10 years of marriage. Wow. My husband and I were talking about the past 10 years of marriage and truly feel it’s been rather easy. Now, you say this to family and they are shocked. We have been through a LOT over the past 10 years, but when you look at the big picture, marriage wise, it really has been rather easy and I think there are a few reasons for this. Here’s how I feel we have made it to our 10 year anniversary!
A whole lot of patience. We both have our shortcomings. We both have things that annoy each other. We both make mistakes. It has taken a lot of patience, on both our parts, to realize some things aren’t worth fighting over and neither of us are perfect.
We are constantly using forgiveness because let’s face it, sometimes our feelings are hurt, we feel frustrated with our spouse, and we fall short of the expectations we have for each other.
I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Having a marriage centered around Christ and his teachings has helped a ton. Having an eternal perspective has helped us want to be better individuals, better together, and gives us the desire to try harder in our marriage. Now, we aren’t perfect on this front. Reading scriptures together is hard when you’re exhausted at the end of a long day. Saying prayers get forgotten when one goes to bed before the other. It is a constant work in progress, but we do it together.
A fun piece of advice we were given when we got married was to always hold our ring finger hands as we prayed together, so we still do this. Something a little funny is he says prayer on odd days (I always joke cause he is “odd.”) and I say prayers on even days (Which he jokes that it’s because I’m “even odder.”)
This has been a BIG one for us. We have had two traumatic experiences with our children being born. Our first was born 3 months early and spent 77 days in the NICU. This time was spend with me working part time, him working part time and attending school full time, running to the hospital many times a day. This meant us going home without our baby. It was a really hard, stressful time, but we did it together. Then, there was our second son. At 20 weeks we found out he would be born with half a heart. That meant open heart surgeries. It meant daily medicine. It meant lots of long hospital stays, which meant being separated a lot. It meant juggling schedules. At one point my husband mentioned he felt like a single parent as he cared for our older son at home, while I was at the hospital with our youngest. It meant feeding difficulties. To this day, we still deal with all of these things. Again, we turned to each other for strength. I truly believe the trials we have gone through over the past 10 years have made our marriage stronger.
SUPPORT & ENCOURAGEMENT
We have always been very supportive of each other and our dreams. He knows how much I love photography. It is a creative outlet for me, I love interacting with people, and it is a passion of mine. He has always encouraged me to go after my dreams of being a photographer. Some days that means being gone at a wedding ALL day or leaving when he comes home to go do a photoshoot. He has always loved sports, but finding a job in sports in hard, especially when you want to stay within a certain area to be by family, but also by a great children’ hospital. It often means not great pay as you begin to work towards getting your dream job. I have always encouraged him to find a job he enjoys. I want him happy when he is away, even if it means a lower paying job. We do what we need to do to support each other in our dreams, even if it requires sacrifice on the other’s part.
Appreciation goes a long way in marriage. I once heard a man talk about how in marriage you start by asking, then you expect, then you demand. There have been moments where we have had to stop and ask ourselves are we kind in asking our spouse to do things, are we expecting them to do things, or have we started demanding things to be done. I think it’s important to know your spouse’s love language and to express appreciation regularly. I think it helps you to be grateful for your spouse, but also a way to show love to your spouse.
Man has this been a big one. We laugh together and yes, we laugh at each other. Some are too embarrassing to list, but seriously, we have had some really good laughs. Have you ever tried the 15 second kiss? It’s surprisingly long (maybe it’s because we have been married for almost 10 years)! There was a story shared around social media about a couple being asked how they made it so long in their marriage and they said the 15 second kiss. You kiss your spouse for 15 WHOLE seconds. We seriously laugh so hard when we try it because it seems so long. I can’t tell you how much just that little bit of laughter has done for us. So, do what you need to do to laugh together!