This month the hubby and I celebrate 28 years of marriage. I know…that’s a long, long time. Time – for me at least – that has quite literally flown by. We’ve been together for 31 years, which is even crazier. Feels like yesterday we were just dating. Now we’re both in our 50’s, our kids are grown, and we’re looking forward to retirement and grand kids.
A lot can change in 28 years, but what hasn’t changed is this: he’s my best friend, and always will be.
Because I’m somewhat of an expert on marriage (NOT…but it sounds good anyway), I thought I’d share with you some wise words of advice on making it work.
Marriage is work. Marriage is not simply the one day you say ‘I do’. Marriage is all the tough days that come after. Being married is wonderful, but it is work. If you’re not ready for hard work, don’t do it.
Laughter is the best medicine. I truly am no expert, but what I can say is that being able to laugh (at yourself, at your partner) is 90% of what makes a marriage good.
No marriage is perfect. Everyone has their ups and downs. We all have issues with communication and trust at some point. You’re gonna screw up; you are absolutely going to hurt one another.
Make time for one another. I’ll be the first to admit that when we were raising our kids, they were the priority, not the marriage. It’s easy to put your partner on the back burner when the laundry is piled up and the kids have multiple events every day. Make time to reconnect…and talk.
Listen to one another. It’s not news that men and women are different animals. We communicate differently and have different expectations of one another. Honestly, it’s a wonder we end up happy given all our differences. Try to listen more and really hear what the other person is saying.
With the years, comes change. In the years the hubby and I have been together, we’ve both changed a lot. Sure, we’ve grown and matured, because that’s what you do when you age. But as we’ve grown and matured, our ideals have shifted, plans for the future have changed, and we are most certainly not the same two 20 year olds we were when we first met. Change is good. Embrace it.
Find common interests. When we first got together, I quickly realized that the hubby and I liked different things; music, sports teams, movies. Now, years later, his likes have become mine and vice versa (not everything, but many). I’m now a die hard Steelers fan, he now eats (almost) every type of vegetable. Embrace your differences and find things you can share together.
Silence is sometimes best. Sure, an argument is good now and again, but sometimes you just need to learn to shut up. Choose your battles (this is a good parenting tip as well). Keep your mouth shut if it means you might do irreparable harm.
You do marry the family. It might be all roses and sunshine when you first get married, but chances are at some point your two families are going to knock heads. There will be battles. Just because you two decided to love one another forever, doesn’t mean your families will. Be warned.
Always, always, always say I love you. You might want to rip your partner’s head off or shove a fork in their eye, but don’t forget to say I love you. Those three little words may sound easy, and at times may even sound redundant, but keep in mind that no one will love your partner like you do. The words “I love you” mean more than that. They mean I’m standing by your side through all this craziness and I’m willing to fight like hell to make our marriage work.
With ALL that said, I’d like to wish my amazing hubby happy anniversary. Thank you for the past 28 years. I can’t wait for the next 28!