wow. I cannot believe its been 10 years. It went by so stinking fast! I just can’t believe it. It seems like yesterday we visited the Troll under the bridge for the first time….then got stuck on 99 and drove all the way to Alki Beach. All the while talking and never running out of things to talk about. That was our first (non) date. The rest was history. He makes me laugh till I cry, he holds me when I do cry and he watches me tear up from across the room while we are shooting weddings. He’s my driver, provider, protector and calmer-downer. He steps up when I need him, and supports me when I have dreams. I cannot believe how much I love this man. This isn’t to say that we haven’t had trials in our marriage…but, in the end, we know that we love each other and there is no one in the world that knows me better.
Here are a few of my favorite tips for getting to 10 years of marriage.
1. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff. I think about all the things I used to get annoyed with. Drew not putting his clothes in the laundry basket or getting his hair all over the sink when he shaves….and a few other things that used to get on my nerves. I don’t know how…or why…but they just don’t bother me anymore. I let go. The house doesn’t have to be perfect….and those things seem so minute and fleeting, when we have happy, healthy kids and a spouse that wants to spend time with you. There are a lot of bigger things to worry about than a little hair around the bathroom sink. Remind yourself that these things don’t really matter in the grand scheme of life.
2. Be thankful. Again, life is short. If you find yourself forgetting what is important in life, make yourself a list…of all the things you are thankful for. Your husband, your kids (yes this includes dogs!), a roof over your head and food for your belly. I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to be home with my kids our whole marriage…and that my husband has worked really hard to build a business and provide for our family!
3. Respect your spouse in words and deed. I think sometimes women have a hard time understanding what this means. I know I did. I kinda thought to myself…”I repect him…but he doesn’t really understand this issue.” I would feel the desire to repeatedly share my opinions and feel the right to be angry if he didn’t take my side….or give him the cold shoulder if I didn’t get my way. Not cool! There is an element of not trusting that your spouse has your best interest in mind when you don’t give them the benefit of the doubt….and say your piece, then let them decide on what to do. Its better to just support your husband, than to have a wedge between you.
4. Go on Dates! Spending time together is like the glue that keeps you stuck together. When you don’t intentionally spend time with your honey, you can drift apart more easily. The more shared experiences you have together, the more chances you have to create memories, be proud of each other and just laugh together. If you don’t have a common hobby…make one up! Try new restaurants, go hiking, travel or whatever…just find something to do together. Some of the best times I’ve had with Drew are dates we went on….sharing a glass of wine and just laughing together.
5. Forgive First, Forgive often. Refer to #1.
6.Have a lot of sex. Alot.
7. Never let anything come between you in the marriage bed…..kids, computers, work, Ipads, Iphones or anything else. Go to bed at the same time and snuggle. Nothing feels like home more than laying my head on Drew’s chest before we go to sleep. Its home.
8. Play games. not head games….board games. Nothing like a healthy competition. We’ve had many a belly laugh while playing Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, and True Colors ( a game I found at the goodwill).
9. Give & Serve together. The guy loves people. He’s much more compassionate than I am…and will give the shirt off his back to anyone who needs it. I’m working on that part. But..giving to others in need reminds us that we have more than we need and it brings us closer together when we spend time giving and serving others.
10. Jump into Faith Together. One of the the things that I admire most about Drew is his wisdom and knowledge when it comes to spiritual matters. Something that has given us hope in times of need, failure and trials is our mutual faith and love for God. When things are good, we thank God, when things are hard, we thank God….because we know that our life is in His hands. We can pray together…and know that everything is going to be ok. Like the time we almost couldn’t buy our kids Christmas presents. Or the time we almost couldn’t pay our mortgage. Or the time I thought I had a brain tumor. Or the time I thought something might be seriously wrong with our son. Its times like those that pull us together, instead of push us apart because we go to God in prayer. If you haven’t had a faith in God before, there’s no time like today to put your trust in him. If you have questions about this, please feel free to email me at Kaylee@eylanderphotography.com. I would love to encourage you.