Today is our 19th wedding anniversary. 19 years on the 19th!! I’d make some joke about how that can’t be possible because I’m just so young, but I guarantee you it most certainly is possible.
Yep. I was a 21 year-old bride and he was a 23 year-old groom on that beautiful June day in Indiana. A morning that dawned gray and drizzly became an afternoon and evening of blue skies, sunshine, and perfect temperatures. It was a beautiful start to our adventure as husband and wife.
Of course, no marriage is blue skies and sunshine all the time. To expect or even ask for that would be foolish! But we have learned and laughed, loved and grown more than I ever could have dreamed over the last 19 years.
What is special about finding love and getting married so young? How do you keep working when the going gets tough? And why do I love this man so much? Here are 19 reasons why for all of the above.
19. You have to learn basically everything together. Budgeting, cooking, home care…neither of you knows how to do it individually, so you just have to figure it out as a pair.
18. Being each other’s first and only isn’t just a nice suggestion from your priest (and, um, God). It’s incredibly romantic and meaningful.
17. When you begin married life with zero money, you learn to be happy with less and grow from there.
16. Making the transition from college student to actual adult is hard. Doing it alongside your best friend makes it a lot more fun.
15. Getting such an early start means we have lots and lots of years to look forward to. Knowing we can (God willing) celebrate our 60th or even 70th wedding anniversary? Priceless.
When the Going Gets Tough
14. Work to understand where the other person is coming from. I make decisions with my heart. Greg lives in his brain most of the time. Knowing the source of the other person’s rationale helps with communication and reduces confusion and hurt feelings.
13. “Don’t go to bed angry” is a bunch of BS. The number of major blowups we have avoided by letting our anger have time to go from a rolling boil to a simmer isn’t negligible.
12. Know how to say you’re sorry. And if you don’t know, then learn. Some people say it too often or when they don’t exactly mean it (she types as she raises her hand slowly) and some people may not say it enough. But those two little words can make a world of difference.
11. Fight in front of your kids, but do so respectfully. It really is OK for your children to know that you don’t get along 100% of the time. In fact, I’d offer that it’s good for them to know it! That way, they don’t head into their own marriages with unrealistic expectations of unending marital bliss and they have been given an example of loving conflict resolution.
10. Pray. Offer your marriage to God time and time again.
9. Always remember that the house, the jobs, and yes, even the kids are all secondary. Remember why you love each other even when it’s hard. And remember to put the other person and your marriage first in the hustle and bustle of family life.
This Man of Mine
8. He knows me better than I know myself and he reminds me of it in the sweetest ways!
7. When I doubt myself, he is there with support and love enough to cover what I lack.
6. He is a tireless provider for our family, quietly working harder than anyone I know and never looking for or expecting recognition.
5. Even though he has somehow managed to find the fountain of youth and not show the signs of age that I have, he lets me know time and time again that I am the most beautiful thing he sees.
4. My head fits perfectly in the crook of his neck.
3. He has a laugh that you have to work for, so when you do earn that actual “LOL” from him, it’s the best feeling in the world.
2. He pushes me, encourages me, and helps me to grow in all the best ways…even when I don’t want to.
And the number 1 reason… This faithful, prayerful, funny, hardworking, loving man is exactly who, from the beginning of time, God meant for me to spend my life with. And for that, I am immensely grateful.