Today my husband and I celebrate seven years of marriage. So far, there is no itch. :)
I honestly can't even believe that we've been married for seven years! Besides my creaky knees and added weight I often feel like I am still 22 and walking down that aisle. I'm still head over heels for my husband of which I've seen and smelled farts, endured many stomach flus alongside, and spent several sleepless nights with while tending to our screaming child. Living with and loving someone isn't all roses and chocolates. There have been many ups and many downs. I can truthfully say today that I am SO glad I married this man. I'm so thankful to be loved by him.
So, you want to know my secret to a successful marriage? Read on!
There is NO secret to a successful marriage. Haha... tricked you there, didn't I!? Okay, so there might be a secret to a successful marriage... but, I'll get back to you in 60 years and let you know if I've found it. My grandparents celebrated their 67th anniversary on June 2. If you ask them the secret of a successful marriage they'd likely shrug and mention love and work. They didn't think about the secret to making their love work throughout the years. They did however WORK to make their love work throughout the years.
Before marriage my husband and I visited a premarital counselor. This was the best decision I've ever made in my entire life hands down. I've seen and lived divorce through the eyes of my parents. I didn't believe in marriage before meeting my (now) husband. I believed in loving, but not marriage. We chose to go to a licensed counselor rather than a minister. We walked into our counselor's office knowing that we wanted to work on our relationship. At the end of our 8-week session the counselor mentioned that he thought we'd either be together forever or never make it down the aisle. He'd never seen a couple come in with a list of things to work on... usually they were in denial that anything could possibly be wrong with their relationship and giddy about their impending nuptials. Who really knows which is better?
We showed each other that we are in love enough to make it work.
Over the last seven years it hasn't been easy all the time. People have seen us bicker over one thing or another. I've been angry. He has been angry. Over and over again we've had to use the skills that we worked on in our premarital counseling course.
So, I don't have the SECRET to a successful marriage. Even if someday the hubs and I find our secret to a happy marriage I very much doubt that it would be a blanket secret that applied to each and every marriage out there. I do strongly believe that if you love something enough you will love it enough to do some hard work on yourself and your relationship. It is a two-way street. And, sometimes, work isn't enough. Sometimes getting away from a bad marriage is good. Sometimes marriage isn't right while loving still is.
For me and my husband today though... work and love has made for a beautiful and fruitful marriage. I'd take my vows today with as much conviction as seven years ago.
I Jenni, take you Brian to be my husband. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I promise to encourage you and inspire you. I make a vow to support you in your endeavors and challenge you to meet your goals. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple and when it is an effort. I give you my hand, my heart and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.
Thanks for reading my thoughts on marriage today as I celebrate the big 7-year anniversary!
What is YOUR secret to marriage or a successful relationship?