Next week my husband and I will celebrate fifteen years of marriage together. Our marriage has weathered the births of seven children, four college degrees, eleven moves (four of them cross-country), job losses, being hit by a tornado, too many emergency room trips to count (we have six boys) and a host of other day-to-day stresses. Frankly, I hope that the next fifteen years offer more smooth sailing than the last. But despite having crossed some stormy seas I remain more committed than ever to the institution of marriage and more convinced than ever of the benefits of marriage between a man and a woman. I am amazed at how many seemingly intelligent persons are being deceived by the popular argument that the best way to go through life is alone, cohabiting, or in a relationship with someone of the same gender. I love being married to my husband!
There are so many well-documented benefits to man-woman marriage. Married couples are healthier. Married couples are wealthier. Married couples are happier. Married couples have better sex lives. Married couples raise happier and more successful children. These are all proven facts. So, I’d like to digress a bit and share fifteen little things I have loved about being married and being committed to my husband for the past fifteen years:
© Our weekly dates – snowshoeing, hikes, learning a language, trips to the thrift store – the only date that hasn’t gone over well is tennis – I am a sore loser
© Early morning runs – and after two near fires we have made the rule for the kids of “no attempts at cooking” while we are gone
© Middle of the day telephone calls from someone who loves me
© Making plans together – it drives my “let’s get going” husband crazy but I love to get his ideas
© The little jokes my husband cracks right when I am in the middle of my serious tirades
© Shared eye rolls when the kids are going out of control
© When he “winks” his tail light at me when I’m following him in my car
© Having an excuse to get dressed up
© Entertaining together and watching my husband agonize as he tries to set “the perfect table”
© Our nightly ritual of sharing one thing we love about each other – sometimes it’s “I like your nose hairs” (if we’re really mad), but it’s always something
© The births of each of our children – touching heaven for just an instant
© Swinging children between us on hikes
© Trying to keep each other awake when we are driving on long road trips
© The seemingly hundreds of soccer games we’ve attended over the years – sometimes I try to pretend I am not married to him when he loses it with the referee but I still love being there
© Waking up next to my best friend (this is my husband’s addition J)
The cool thing about marriage is that this list is different for everyone but it’s still there.
Yes, today more than ever it is difficult to get married. And it’s difficult to stay married. But if you get the chance, if you fall really, truly in love – don’t settle for less. Commit to lifelong marriage. It’s been a fun ride. I’m looking forward to the next fifteen years.