Last week, after a typical day doing our regular routine, I felt an overwhelming surge of satisfaction. That feeling of peace and joy that everything seemed perfectly right in the world.
25 Years Later…
Living a life riddled with anxiety, this doesn’t happen very often. At all. So it took me quite by surprise; and I smiled when I realized why.
That night, as Colby and I climbed into bed after saying goodnight to the girls, I told him about my revelation.
“You know I’m not really a jealous person right. I mean, there are things I sometimes see other people have, but I’m not jealous of those things. Just inspired.”
For example, although I’m not exactly the cook in the family, I love the look of a large, open kitchen with a farmhouse sink and concrete counter tops.
Or, I would be thrilled to own a vehicle that all nine of us could ride in together. (Yes, they’re out there).
Sometimes, I just want the success I see in other small businesses to happen for us.
But, I’m not jealous of those people or things, I simply want to find a way to make it happen for us. I’m a dreamer. A big one at that.
Honestly, the list could go on with things I want for our family, but there’s something I don’t seek out in others because I already feel like we’ve achieved it.
Back to our conversation;
“But today I realized there’s something I’m pretty content with just as it is. Our marriage.”
Y’all, we’re not perfect, but we’ve come such an incredibly far way in our 25 years together.
Perhaps it’s because we’ve learned to grow together rather than apart. We’ve been through some things and it’s taught us the importance of having each other.
We’ve experienced racism and prejudice from family members who chose to remove themselves from our lives. From our kids’ lives.
We’ve suffered a broken marriage as well as restoration.
We’ve suffered the loss of a child, the loss of a parent, and the loss of friends.
We’ve weathered hard financial times, desperate measures, and close calls.
We’ve fought, made up, and fought again.
We’ve laughed, cried, yelled, and even sang together.
We’ve raised five incredible children together.
And, most recently, we both watched as our first grandchild made her way into this world.
But most of all, we’ve made the decision to do this life together; the best way we know how.
Marriage isn’t easy. Every day isn’t filled with a bouquet of roses and sweet pillow talk, but it’s worth every minute.
We don’t have it all figured out, but we do have a lot of the kinks worked out.
In fact, let me share a few little things we’ve found can make a big difference in your marriage:
Love is a verb
This is the one piece of advice we’ve retained from our pre-marital counseling, and it’s been a good reminder for us on the hard days. Love requires a choice. It requires action. It requires work.
Put your marriage first
It can be the unpopular opinion, and one I was definitely not raised to believe, but when you put your spouse first, everything else seems to fall into place.
They say opposites attract and it was true for us. We came from different backgrounds and had varying views of a lot of things. Being able to compromise helped save our marriage and our sanity.
As I mentioned, we’re not perfect. We still have disagreements sometimes, but we’ve learned to use facts rather than emotions. To listen and not yell. To be open-minded.
Say no to comparison
In today’s social media world, it can be challenging to not compare yourself to others. Just remember, a picture on Instagram doesn’t tell the whole story. There’s a bigger picture behind the one you see online.
This can be two-part: couple getaways and family vacations. You need to find time to reconnect; away from the kids. Even if it’s a quick weekend escape. And some of our fondest memories have been made on vacations with the kids.
Be a couple
Not sure how to phrase this one exactly, but you have to know how to just be a couple. Eventually, all of the kids will leave the nest and it’ll just be the two of you. Being able to be alone, together, will make all the difference.
Never stop flirting
I’ve mentioned this one before, and I’m repeating it again because it’s one of my favorites. A physical relationship isn’t everything, but we do enjoy the intimate moments that are shared only between the two of us.
So, here’s to another 25 years.
It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth fighting for.
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