Today, my husband, David, and I are celebrating 33 years of marriage. 33 years! Whoa! It blows me away! 33 years & 8 kids. I do think I've learned a few things and thought it would be fun to list 33 things I've learned in 33 years of marriage. One thing not listed is a given.....put God first. Put God first not only personally, but as a couple. It's only through the power and grace of Jesus Christ that any of us can love another in the first place.
Here's the rest of my list, in no particular order:
1. I don't own him.
2. He does not own me.
3. One spouse needing a little space does not equal personal rejection.
4. It's not about stuff.
5. Friends are important....individual friends as well as together friends.
6. It's not my job to change him.
7. It's not his job to change me.
8. "Even Steven," that old man who has to have everything evenly distributed, was put out the door at the very beginning for us......it's best not to keep track of stuff.
9. Conflict is going to happen.....be kind when it does.
10. Fight fair......keep to the issue at hand and don't bring up anything from the past.
11. From time to time, tell your spouse you like them. You might say "I love you" every day, but it's sweet to also hear that you're liked.
12. Listening with intent to understand rather than intent to respond will add volumes of depth to a marriage.
13. Have fun. Life is hard work, add fun intentionally.
14. Realize that your spouse can't "make" you mad....you choose anger.....and sometimes anger happens, just deal with it wisely and with kindness.
15. Keep private stuff private.
16. It's never good to participate in spouse-bashing. I've heard a lot of that.....and I am happy to say I never once participated.
17. Showing respect at all times is vital.
18. Treat your spouse like a person, not a punching bag.
19. Be honest, but kind.
20. Don't make assumptions. Ever.
21. Smiling works wonders.
22. Choosing happiness over being right is highly rewarding.
23. Letting go of tradition is very liberating.
24. It's ok if you disagree with your spouse.
25. It's ok if your spouse disagrees with you.
26. Laugh daily...... with each other.
27. Sticking together as parents will give a family stability. David and I were outnumbered by our kids early on, so we had to stick together or quickly be conquered.
28. Stuff happens......act on stuff without reacting to stuff. There's a difference.
29. Be a good sounding-board.....let your spouse vent to their heart's content while listening with all your heart. At times of venting, it's best not to try to "fix" whatever's wrong; just listen with empathy.
30. Nurture a good relationship with your in-laws.
31. Let your spouse spoil you if they want. I'm totally spoiled....I never pump gas, rarely fill the dishwasher, never have to deal with spiders, wake up to juice on my nightstand every day, etc.
32. Spoil your spouse.
33. Getting pregnant is much easier than I thought it would be. :)
Happy Anniversary, David! It's been a great 33 years!