20 Years!

My husband is far from being a romantic guy, but today he posted this on Facebook:

  On this day 20 years ago I married my one true love and my best friend. I love you just as much now  if not more. Thank you for 20 years of ups downs and sideways.

I think the fact that he is not romantic makes his post even more special.  I love my husband dearly.  Today is our 20th Wedding Anniversary.  We have been together 24 years – I hate to discount the years before marriage, because they were just as important.  Makes me feel old when you put it in numbers like that.  But in all honesty, I don’t feel any older than the day we got married.  I am different though.  We both are.  I hate to use the word wiser, because that makes me sound like I am comparing myself to the Jedi Master Yoda.  But seriously, it’s amazing the number of things you learn about yourself, each other, and life in general over the course of 20 or 24 years.  And if you are lucky, you survive the ups and downs (and sideways) with your partner, and you both come out stronger.  I can only share a few things I have learned on how to make it 20 years – and this applies to both parties – nothing should be one-sided….

1.  Respect – Respect each other’s values, opinions, personality, space – the very thing made you fall in love with this person.  Don’t try to change the very thing that made you fall in love.

2.  Honesty – Be honest about your actions and your feelings.  I have said this time and time again – NO ONE IS A MIND READER and NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU!  If your partner does something that hurts you, tell them.  They may not even know.  In fact, they may not have even done it intentionally.

3.  Support – Be supportive of each other’s hopes, dreams, accomplishments, and even failures.  That doesn’t mean try to do everything or try to fix everything.  Just be there on the sidelines to provide the support that shows you are invested in this person and believe in them.  Of course everything isn’t going to be a success, or even a failure for that matter.  But everyone needs the chance to make their own life’s experiences, whether they succeed or not.  And if they fail, they will need your support even more.

4.  Friends – Have mutual friends so you can do things together (it can be quite fun).  But also have your own friends so that you can still thrive as an individual – remember – be the person they fell in love with, and let them be the person you fell in love with.  Closing each other off socially builds resentment.  Like a tiger left alone in a cage…sooner or later they will do anything to get out – even have you for dinner (metaphorically speaking of course).

5. Laughter – Laugh at yourself, let your partner laugh with you – and vice versa.  When I look back, I think one of the reasons my husband fell in love with me was a little hiking incident we had when we were dating.  We were with my parents at a camp ground while they were visiting someone that was staying there.  Chris and I decided to take a stroll in the woods.  Now I was a stylish teenager – and while I was dressed for summer, I wasn’t dressed hiking in the woods.  Just a few feet before exiting the woods, my brand new, white sneakers sunk deep into a puddle of mud that I didn’t see (with me in them).  In a flash I saw Chris’ face turn to worry – I am sure it was worry about my reaction.  My reaction?  I burst out laughing.  I wasn’t mad that I ruined a pair of brand new sneakers.  I wasn’t mad that I looked ridiculous now.  I wasn’t mad that I made a fool of myself in front of this guy I liked so much.  Nope.  I was laughing hysterically at how funny the situation was.  If I saw it happen in a movie or to someone else I would laugh.  So why not laugh at the fact that it happened to me.  I still remember that incident, because after the look of worry, I saw something else in Chris’ face.  I am not sure how to describe it, but something told me my reaction made all the difference in the world.  Now over the years, there have been many incidents that I didn’t laugh at, when I should have.  My children are reminding me just how important it is not to take yourself so seriously – even in front of them.

I can assure you, these are things I had to learn myself.  It hasn’t always been easy to keep perspective in life.  But remember – life is meant to be an adventure.  It’s all about learning new experiences.  Take everything in stride and you shouldn’t have to do it alone…and boy what an adventure it can be!

Thank you Chris for always being there for me through the good times and the not so good times, when I was loveable and when I wasn’t so loveable.  You are also my one true love and best friend.  I look forward to another 20+(++++) years with you.  Happy Anniversary.


3 comments on “20 Years!

  1. Awesome! That was well written and should be on a bill board! Would Love to copy and keep for My Husband and I when we make it to 20/23 year’s. It is like it was written about us, as we had the same thing to happen while hiking in the woods in Gatlinburg and well! Happy Anniversary to the 2 of you ❤

  2. You are a wonderful writer….and philosopher my darling daughter. It took me over 20 years to learn what you have written about here. Thanks for reminding me of all these necessary things in a marriage. Love you both…. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY.

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