style / mindset / simplicity
style / mindset / simplicity
On May 18, Matthew and I will celebrate 19 years of marriage. I'm straying a little from the topic of style this post...I hope you'll forgive me.
We have a really great marriage. I consider myself very blessed by our rock solid union. I still pinch myself sometimes to see if I'm dreaming.
Over the years, many people have asked me, "What's the secret to a strong and happy marriage?"
I can only answer from my own experience. Here is my take based on my relationship with Matthew...
1. We truly like each other. I didn't realize the importance of this piece when I first met Matthew. Ridiculous, I know. I now realize that liking your spouse is as important as being in love. We simply enjoy each other's company.
2. We forgive fully and often. When there's an issue between us, we don't hold grudges.
We carry no baggage in this partnership.
3. We make time for each other. We have always made sure that there is 'us' time built into our busy lives. For example: since our children were born, we have chosen to eat Adult Dinner after we put our kids to bed. We eat something small with them...and then have a full dinner alone.
By candlelight. Every night. I believe that this one practice has had the biggest impact on the strength of our marriage. This time together is very closely guarded. It has certainly raised a few eyebrows from friends and family members over the years...but it works for us.
4. We recognize when the other needs a break. When one of us is completely overwhelmed, the other takes over. We jokingly call it the 'take charge routine'. It's obvious when one of us needs to escape the craziness- for a workout or a nap or a shower or just a few minutes to recharge. Thankfully, we don't usually need to escape at the same time.
5. We have similar parenting styles. We seem to come to the parenting table with the same basic ideas. When our thoughts differ, we're good at hearing each other out and finding a compromise.
Our marriage isn't perfect. It's real. And it's good.
We make each other better.
I'd like to share a story that's special to me. A story about an Anthropologie jacket.
My birthday is in December. I always made a visit to Anthroplogie during my birthday month. I would spend time trying on everything that I loved, knowing I might never actually buy most of the pieces. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the process.
One year, I tried on navy blue boiled wool jacket with black taffeta trim by Sparrow.
This jacket was 'me' in a single garment.
My love of navy and black was already strongly intact and this piece was a perfect marriage of my colors.
I was in heaven in the fitting room in this jacket! I stayed there, in the jacket for a long time.
I didn't purchase the jacket that day. Didn't say a word about it to anyone. Just secretly loved it.
A week later on Christmas moring...
I opened gifts with Matthew and our three children. I unwrapped an Anthropologie box.
Inside was the navy and black jacket! I remember my eyes filling with tears as I stared at the jacket in disbelief. I gushed about how much I loved the jacket. I shared how I had worn the jacket for at least 15 minutes during my fantasy shopping trip.
I asked him how he knew...
He laughed softly and said something like, "How could I not, it looks just like you".
I will never forget that moment.
I felt like he really knew me...in a way that mattered.
I am excited to celebrate 19 years of marriage on Monday.
I love you, Matthew. Always.
Looking forward to the next 19 plus.
Thanks for reading.