My husband and I are celebrating 13 years of marriage this year. I wish I could tell you that it’s been sheer wedded bliss and everything has been so beautiful and magical with fluffy unicorns, raindrops on roses, and all that crap. Honestly, our marriage has been filled with heartache, loss, debt, and there were several times we thought we wouldn’t even make it.
We got married young (I was 20, he was 27), and while we both loved each other, neither of us I think really had any clue what true love was all about. I especially still had a lot of growing up to do, and we faced a LOT, and I mean, A FREAKING SHIT-TON of obstacles in our marriage. If you would’ve told me 5 years ago that we’d be celebrating 13 years HAPPILY and excitedly welcoming our FIFTH baby soon, I would’ve laughed in your face!!!
I’m no relationship guru, but there is one HUGE thing I have learned that I believe is KEY to what makes my marriage successful:
Respect ~ Those that know me know I am not the submissive type, when I’m told what to do or what I “should” do, I usually just laugh… I’ve always been fiercely independent and stubborn, with a bit of a rebellious streak, so “respecting” my husband was not something that was on my radar. “Respect” was one of those words that would instantly repulse me. It wasn’t until more recently, that I have found what respect means both to me and my husband… For instance, he needs transparency, but for me, I need support; and because we respect each other, these needs are met.
He also doesn’t want a docile doormat of a wife, in fact, he has told me that one of the things he loves about me is my headstrong ways… And one of the things I love about him is his alpha character… With two very tenacious people, it can be “like a tornado meeting a volcano,” but when we work together, magic happens!! THIRTEEN YEARS and we finally understand mutual respect, instead of butting heads, we put them together and figure out how we can tackle life’s curveballs.
On the surface, my husband and I can be very different. Polar opposites in some ways, even. But our core beliefs, values, deep love and commitment for each other and our family are the ties that bind us
He’s also one of my favorite humans, and here are just a couple reasons why:
~ He can straight throw it down in the kitchen, it’s like having my own personal chef when he’s home. This is AFTER he’s worked ungodly hours (up to 70 hours a week) just to provide a comfortable life for our family. This may not seem like much, but the way to my heart is through my belly!! 😛 He shows his love in very practical ways, like letting me take a nap when I’m sleep deprived, making extra food for leftovers during the week when I’ll be busy.. And I am SO GRATEFUL for these expressions of love!!!
~ He’s my rock. I’m a very emotional creature, (INFP, Cancerian, empath — all signs say I am ALL heart), so I tend to get worked up about the STUPIDEST things, and he is always the voice of reason, talking me down with logic and patience. (In fact, when I found out I was pregnant with #5 and was losing my shit, he was the one saying, “It will be just fine, I will do everything I can to help you, AND maybe we’ll get a little boy!”) 😉 He is supportive of some of my crazy ideas. Doesn’t mean I won’t get an ear full of what a dumb idea it might be, but he’ll still listen to my side of things, offer his best advice, and then let me do my thing.
We certainly aren’t perfect, never have been, never will be. But we are perfect for each other and are finally reaping some of the rewards for sticking it out through the hardest times of our lives. I know that no matter what happens in this life, as long as we are together, we can face it head on and will persevere…
Here’s to 13 years, and many more to come!!!!
~To love and be loved is everything ~