The other day I did a post about a Top Ten Lists of Love book I made Tony last year. We decided we were going to keep track of our anniversaries in the back of it each year.
I know there are plenty of marriages that have lasted WAAAYYY longer than ours. And I know there are couples WAAAAYYY wiser than us. And so I hesitate to share a few of my thoughts. And I really don’t want to sound like we have it all together… we do not. But we have learned a few things along the way.
There are also a lot of marriages NOT as far in as us, and honestly, we do work hard at our marriage.
Maybe God has taught us something someone needs to hear…
So, here’s what we wrote in our book this year… Stuff that we think makes our marriage a pretty super happy one!
1. Attempting to be two great FORGIVERS!
We mess up all the time. Both of us. We have both become pretty quick to forgive. I’ll admit Tony is quicker than me, (hey, I’m not a robot!) but in the end, we don’t leave stuff standing between us.
2. We work to CHANGE to improve our relationship!
This is my biggy! If I could pin point one thing that has grown me as a person, and has helped our marriage gain strength, it has been CHANGE!! A lot of folks say, “Don’t change for any man.” or “You can’t change who you are.” Yes you can. And you should! Jesus wants to transform us!! As we allow Him to do that, and start attacking sin and getting victory over it – we WILL have happier marriages. He can strip us of anger, selfishness, rudeness… and that makes us a lot better to live with! I have changed a TON in these years! And usually our spouse can see the areas we need to change. LISTEN! (lay down the pride) And CHANGE!
3. We love to CUDDLE!
Most nights after kids go to bed, you’ll find us crashed (exhausted) on the couch watching TV. I used to feel like we should be up doing something, but now it’s a time where we can enjoy resting together doing something we enjoy. We sit close, snuggled up, and it’s just nice to connect like that. Physical touch does help us feel close.
4. We strive to work as a TEAM!
We work together through life. We don’t worry too much about “gender roles” we just try to make life easier, and if that means Tony cooks – Awesome! If that means I kill spiders – Super! Serving and sacrificing is the goal – unity of hearts.
5. We give lots of I LOVE YOUS!
Tony is a HUGE words of affirmation guy! He needs to hear lots of reassurance. And we all do! Give “I love yous” all the time – when you part, when you hang up, and tons throughout your days. Brings security, I think.
6. We have a common VISION for our family!
This one is totally God. God has really aligned our minds to want the same things for our family. Pray for it. If I could say it was any human effort, I would say it comes down to seeking your spouse’s desires above your own. As in, does Tony want our kids to skip sports to have more time with them? Well, I kind of like them to play sports, but for his sake, I say no sports. Stuff like that.
7. We have developed SHARED interests!
These are sought out. Tony has bent a little of who he is, and I have bent a little of who I am, so that we can enjoy things together. Like, our family hikes, guess who first came up with that idea?? We go to those cute little shops in beach towns… clearly that originated with me. Give in and try something new… it can bring a fun new connection with your spouse!
8. We feel SAFE!
There is nothing in this world or in my life that I cannot talk to Tony about. I’m serious. He is my safe place. That’s the best! Be a trustworthy person for your spouse. Let them know you’ll receive anything they say with grace.
9. We’re BEST buddies!
Tony is the most important person in my life, and I know I’m the closest person to him as well. I think we need to be careful not to put other relationships in place of the marriage relationship. We’re one with our spouse, not with anyone else in this world. Spend TIME together, rely on each other, choose the other first.
10. We try to make things SPECIAL!
This is where Tony shines! He adds in traditions or something fun to give us something to look forward to. For example, getting ice cream after grocery shopping, racing to trail markers on hikes, having cinnamon toast after playing in the snow, etc. Just little things that we all look forward to. Makes life together more fun and sweet.
11. We love dreaming of our FUTURE!
We talk a lot of things we hope for in life. It’s just fun to dream together. And it bonds us to look forward to things. We sat down and made lists of vacations we want to take our kids on. We planned out what we want to spend tax returns on for the next 20 years. We ask questions like, “Where would you like our kids to go to college?” It’s fun to learn something new about your spouse’s goals!
And there they are… our “TOP 11″ for the year! Hope it doesn’t sound braggish. We can’t wait to learn and grow more. But those are a few insights God has revealed along the journey. We bless the name of the Lord for bringing us together and sustaining our marriage for eleven years. We have a wonderful life together, and look forward to the rest of it! ♥
What would you add to the list that has been pivotal to making your marriage happy??