12 March 2010

17 Years and Going Strong

On March 19th, the love of my life and I will celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. These days, making it to 17 years seems like quite a feat. Many of our friends have married and divorced multiple times. Some have had additional children in a failed attempt to save the marriage. Some have their own versions of 'The Brady Bunch.' Some are now alone and, I'm sure, lonely.

It is commonly said that marriage is hard work. Honestly, for me, being married to D is one of the easiest and most joyful aspects of my life. I am blessed beyond belief with a loving, hard-working, supportive, attentive, compassionate man. We've had our hard times, but we have managed to come through them together and bonded stronger than ever before. My Granny M's last words to us were, "be good to each other and love each other." And I am happy to say we are and we do!

One of the most important things I have learned about marriage is that fighting is inevitable, it is how you handle it that makes a difference. Trust me, as odd as it reads, there is a right way and a wrong way to fight! Several years ago, we defined what you could call our "Rules of Engagement." They are:

  • Absolutely no name calling!
  • Don't bring up old stuff. It's in the past and that's where it needs to stay.
  • Don't make generalities like "you always do this," "you always say that."
  • Choose your words carefully because once they leave your mouth, you can't take them back.

These work for us and I always share the list with anyone I know that is getting married. I'm not saying it is a perfect "system" but being conscious of your behavior in anger is great for improving your self-control and can keep you from hurting the most important person in your life.

I'm looking forward to the 19th and to celebrating the next 17+ years with my honey, D.

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