15 Reasons My Marriage is Amazing

15 years ago, I chose Joe Daddy to be my husband and he chose me to be his wife. We swore an oath, for better or for worse, to stay faithfully committed to one another until we die. Of course, when you’re madly in love, it’s easy to make that promise. Honestly, staying faithful to my husband hasn’t been hard at all, it’s staying committed to making the marriage the best it can be that has taken all the effort.

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Here are 15 reasons my marriage is ahhhmazing:

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We love each other unconditionally. Marriage is a commitment. It’s choosing to love someone despite their faults each and every day. Most of the time, I’m pretty lovable. Sometimes, I can be a real pain in the ass. Same goes for my husband. We choose to remember that we’re not perfect and don’t let the bad days outnumber the good. That takes intention. Loving someone at their best is easy. Loving someone at their worst takes commitment.

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We put each other first. I love to be right (mostly b/c I always am), but over the years I’ve learned that I care more about the happiness of my husband and the health of my marriage than being right. There are times when I just have to hand over my pride and let my husband figure out how wrong he is all on his own 😉 (there are even times when I don’t mention, “I told you so!”).

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We don’t sweat the small stuff. Nitpicking and nagging are exhausting (whether you’re on the giving or receiving end) and rarely solve anything. I’ve learned that while I can certainly influence my husband, I can’t change who he is as a person, nor should I want to. I have embraced his quirks and accepted his faults. I’m sure there are plenty of things I do that my husband doesn’t like, but he doesn’t complain (like ever, which could just mean that I’m perfect 😉 ). Just like with the kids, we pick our battles wisely.

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We try to “air grievances” and “discuss possible solutions” rather than fight. I know a lot of people say you should never go to bed angry, and that’s a nice idea, but sometimes, that’s exactly what we’ve needed. We’ve had a few instances where we’ve come to an impasse, called it a night, and woke up feeling much more like compromising.

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We tell each other everything. Communication is sooo important. My husband tells me so much about what goes on at his work and the things he and his friends talk about (more than I really even care to know), and I do the same. I’m sure we bore each other at times since we’re not really interested in all of the same stuff, but I enjoy the fact that he is so open and honest with me, and I’m grateful to have someone to vent to that just listens and offers moral support.

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We choose to trust each other. Could my husband be cheating on me every time he says he has to work late? Yes! Could I be having an affair with the postman while he’s at work? Yes! (Well, actually no…he’s a woman 😉 ). But instead of questioning each other and looking through each other’s phones or email accounts (or even worse: sharing them), we choose to believe that we’re doing exactly what we say we’re doing…until we have a reason not to.

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We respect each other’s beliefs and opinions. I think at our core, my husband and I agree on a lot, but we have somewhat different religious beliefs, political views, and ideals on how our children should be raised. Thankfully, we respect each other enough to agree to disagree and realize that neither of us are right or wrong, just different. We choose to enlighten our children in both of our beliefs and opinions and let them choose for themselves what they want to believe. There are times when we butt heads because we honestly can’t understand how the other person can think a certain way, but we’ve come to realize that those things don’t change who we are to each other.

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We know it won’t always be this hard. Our kids are our world and they have certainly enriched our lives, but they make everything more complicated. As if living with and loving another person unconditionally wasn’t hard enough, we had to add five more people to the mix who we have to feed, clothe, bathe, transport, provide for, and love with every fiber of our being, independently and as a unit. Kids make financial decisions more complicated, dinner decisions more taxing, and making time for our relationship as husband and wife nearly impossible. I’m glad that as they get older, it gets easier to find that time.

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We make time for each other. We know that one day, we’ll have nothing but time for each other because our children will have their own children making their marriages more complicated, but we also know we can’t just put our marriage on the back burner for 30 years, so we just keep squeezing out drops of time from our busy schedules to dedicate to each other. Every night after we put the kids to bed, we sit on the couch, vent to each other about our days, and watch a little TV. It doesn’t seem like much, but just being in the same room as my husband without the kids makes me feel grounded. My husband works long hours, so on his days off, we spend as much time together as a family as we can. The only time we ever really go off together is on our birthdays and our anniversary. Somehow, it’s enough for us, for now.

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We make time for ourselves. We are not one person. We don’t have the same likes, hobbies, friends, or interests. I love that my husband loves to hunt, I just don’t want to go with him. My husband loves my photography, but he doesn’t want to sit and watch me edit a bunch of pictures for hours on end. His friends are old high school buddies who like to go beer tasting at breweries. I don’t drink beer. My friends are my sister, my neighbors, and anyone with kids that my kids want to play with. My husband doesn’t like other people’s kids. There are a lot of things we do have in common, but those aren’t the only things we ever want to do. So just as we make time for each other, we let each other make time for ourselves.

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We have mastered the art of compromise. I think one of the reasons our marriage works as well as it does is we both know when to sacrifice our own desires for the happiness of the other. I’m sure I get my way more than my husband does, but there are times when he makes it known that he feels strongly about something and I’ll give in and let him have his way. It doesn’t feel like giving something up though, because I enjoy seeing him happy. I think our biggest compromise over the last 15 years has been how often we have sex. There is one of us who still has the hormones of a teenager and is ready to go all. the. time, and there is one of us who would be happy just to sleep next to each other in the bed every night, except maybe once a month (I’ll let you decide you is who 😉 ). We’ve managed to meet in the middle so that the horn-ball feels somewhat satisfied and the old geezer doesn’t have to wear their self out, haha!

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We know each other’s love language. Mine is vastly different from my husband’s. He craves physical attention. He likes to cuddle and kiss and…well, you know. I, on the other hand, enjoy my space, rarely like to be touched, and would rather he show me he loves me by helping out around the house and with the kids. Of course, my love language was a lot more like his 15 years ago before we had kids, so it’s taken a bit of adjusting on both of our parts to come to understand how different we are and respond appropriately.

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We’ve accepted that, like life (and our bodies…and our hair), love changes. My husband and I started our family when we were 18 and 19 years old. We fell hard and fast. We were living with each other within the first month of meeting each other, engaged a month after that, and expecting our son 3 months after that. Just a year after we met, we were parents to a baby boy (who is getting ready to turn fourteen next week…oh, my gosh, make it stop!). A lot of the people we know who started out the same way are no longer together. We got lucky. Instead of growing apart year after year, we’ve grown closer together. Sure, it’s taken some trial and error, lots of “sanding and repainting,” but we’ve remained committed and now, we’re stronger than ever! We both feel like we’re more in love now than we were 15 years ago because we realize: that love was easy. That love was full of hormonal passion and desire and didn’t have any baggage or complication. The love we have now is despite the baggage and complication, and full of intentional passion and desire. It’s a love we’ve nurtured like a fire. Love grows and changes, and that’s a good thing!

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My husband is the yin to my yang. Just as yin and yang are seemingly opposing forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts, my husband complements me. Where I am weak, he is strong, and vice versa. I know it’s cliche to say “we complete each other,” because we firmly believe that we are complete people all on our own, but without him, I don’t feel as whole (and I’m only speaking from the few experiences where he is away on business or out hunting for short periods of time).

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My marriage doesn’t look like everyone else’s. What works for us, doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, and that’s OK! Comparison is the thief of joy. My marriage isn’t perfect, but it’s amazing, and it’s mine, and I love it!

And in case you didn’t get enough of our adorableness, here’s some more for ya! 😉

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Happy Anniversary to the one I love! I look forward to many more years of growing in love together!

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“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”

Phoenix 2-001