Today my husband and I celebrate our 30th anniversary. He gave me the framed the picture below, which was taken on our honeymoon. It made me cry because those 2 young people thought that as long as they loved each other, everything was going to be ok. They didn't know how hard it would be. They didn't know that their marriage would almost end as they neared the 29 year mark. They didn't know that they would have to reach to the bottom of their very beings to find what would make that marriage continue.
This morning, I asked my husband to make a list with me. If we could go back in time, what advice would we give that young, naive couple who were so fiercely in love. This is what we came up with in no particular order:
1. Being married is hard work. You both need to give 100%.
2. Live within your means. Refer back to #1. Adding money problems to the mix only makes it harder.
3. Have each other's backs.
4. Find something that you enjoy doing together and do it on a regular basis.
5. In the same way, find the things that you love doing on your own and do those too. Don't lose sight of who you are.
6. Expect your marriage to go through cycles. There will be ups and downs as you maneuver through life.
7. When you're in the downward cycle, don't give up. Be willing to fight for your marriage.
8. If the cycle continues, get help. A good marriage counselor can help you weed through all the garbage and yucky stuff.
9. Share your highs and lows with each other. That personal trust is what builds intimacy in your relationship.
10. Be honest. Be kind. Be strong. Be willing to forgive and last but not least, be willing to love.
Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for hosting the March Slice of Life Challenge.