Yesterday was a momentous occasion, if a somewhat subdued one. My husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. He cooked a wonderful dinner of pineapple-glazed chicken, rice with pineapple chucks, and steamed carrots. We will have an actual date some other time in the next couple of weeks. This is where we go out on the town and take a break from being parents, and just take time for each other (though that happened last night as well).
We have now been married for longer than the national average, about 7.8 years. We are among the 65% of couples that reach their 10th anniversary. This is one case, where I don't mind following the crowd a bit. I hope, that like my grandparent's that this is truly a "til death do us part" situation.
Marriage is challenging, it takes work. It doesn't matter how much you love someone, you will not always agree about everything and you will not always find them pleasant to be around. They will do things that annoy you, and you will annoy them too. You will also help each other to laugh, and cry. They will tickle you and tell you horrible jokes, even when you don't want them to, because you need it. They will back you up with other people, even if they think you are wrong. They bring home a silly present or make you a treat to give your mood a boost, or just because. They will also call you on mistakes and bad choices when necessary, too. They'll be honest with you about how you look in an outfit, yet also tell you that you look great when you are 9 months pregnant. They'll know just the right gift to get for birthdays and Christmas, or they'll choose exactly the wrong thing and do it with love.
I can't claim to be an expert on marriage, I've only done it once. But I can tell you that for me, the most important thing in our relationship is our friendship. We are friends, partners, and lovers. The friend aspect benefits the partner portion because we share things in common, though there are differences. We enjoy many of the same past times, which means we don't necessarily need a "Ladies" Night or "Boys" Night Out to have fun. The friendship enables us to communicate better, I think, than those that aren't friends with their spouses. The differences keep us in balance when it comes to budgeting, child-rearing, etc. Yet we also need time away from each other, time to ourselves. Giving that to your spouse can be one of the most challenging parts of marriage, knowing when to be there and when to back off.
Thank you, Honey. Thank you for helping me to learn that I could be someone besides who my parents wanted me to be. Thank you for helping me to realize exactly how strong I can be. Thank you for giving up a job you loved, so I could fulfill my dreams. Thank you for our beautiful daughter, and for taking care of the homework stuff to allow me to rest after teaching all day. Thank you for all the delicious meals. Thank you for putting up with all my faults and moods, and much much more. I love you.