The words I wrote last year, for our 25th, are just as true today as they were then. In addition to the things I mentioned then, we’ve also made a few other changes.
We’ve changed diapers
We’ve changed residences
We’ve changed cars (LOL – more than I care to count!)
We’ve changed our hair styles (in some ways – definitely for the better!)
We’ve changed jobs
We’ve changed our opinions to match each other’s or to differ from each other’s
Yes, we’ve definitely changed in the past 26 years. Not all of it has been for the better, but it’s taken all of the blessings and issues of the past 26 years to make us the people we are today. There are definitely things that I wish we had done differently, but if who we are today would be different, then maybe I wouldn’t make those changes. We could have made better financial decisions, we could have planned better for the future, and we could have taken better care of ourselves physically. The main thing is to learn from your mistakes (which sometimes we had to make more than once before we had our “aha” moment) and go forward from there.
I’d still give the same advice to others who would ask how we’ve made it…
- Faith. Regardless of your religion, make faith part of your everyday life.
- Don’t go to bed angry. That’s easier said than done, but it can be done. See next point.
- Agree to disagree. Face it; you’re not going to agree on 100% of the stuff 100% of the time.
- Give 150% - marriage isn’t 50/50 – it’s giving 100% from each party, so give 150% instead
- Laugh at your mistakes together and not at each other.
- Be willing to compromise. Again. Again. Again. As much as it takes as long as it doesn’t involve safety issues.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. There will always be little irritations in life – just let go of them and don’t let them build up to become a major issue.
- Present a unified front to others. You have issues with each other? Discuss it privately.
- Support each other’s decisions. That includes in front of your children.
- Provide words of encouragement to each other. You never know what kind of day your loved one has had and one little encouraging word may make all the difference in his (or her) day.
- Don’t lose yourself entirely in the relationship. Have shared interests as well as individual interests. Individual outside interests are not only important, they provide opportunities for conversation.
- Remember that saying “I love you” can’t be overdone. Just because you said it last week, or last month, or last year doesn’t mean that he (or she) doesn’t need to hear it today.
- Give hugs. Touch is very important and a pat on the back, a light shoulder rub in passing, or the touch of your hands is as important in any stage of a relationship as it is in the beginning.
- Decide that your relationship is something worth working on. Too many people give up too easily and throw in the towel.
- Have eyes only for your spouse. That being said, if you have a good healthy relationship, your spouse is not going to feel jealous or less than “yours” if you comment on a nice looking individual. By the same token, neither should you. Ron and I have both admired the looks of someone else – but we know who we’re going home with at night and there’s never been a question of where our love is or where our loyalties lie. I can say “he’s hot!” and he knows that doesn’t make me think any less of him. He’s also admired more than one set of nice looking legs in the past 26 years. Big deal. He loves my whole package and that’s all that matters.
This morning when I left for work, I told Ron “Happy Anniversary.” He said, “It’s not our anniversary – is it? Oh wait; it’s the anniversary of the day we first met.” I said that, no it really was our wedding anniversary. He felt so bad because he’s told himself that he wouldn’t forget anything like that. I told him to not worry about it – I had the best anniversary present that anyone could ever have.
Him. Sitting right there in his chair. And I hadn’t had a funeral this summer for him.
God is good!