On This Day, 18 Years Ago

At only 19 years old, I had no clue who I was yet. I didn’t know what I liked. I suppose I knew what I thought I liked at the time. And I must say, I had horrible taste. If given the chance, I would likely do many things in my life differently. Except one.

One thing I’ve always been certain of is my love for the man I married 18 years ago, 7/19/97. We’ve done a lot of growing up since then. It’s no secret that we’ve been through a hell of a lot as a couple. The thing is, we’re still a couple. Our relationship has grown stronger & healthier with time & tribulations.

I don’t know if there’s anything that can truly prepare someone for marriage. The person you marry is not the person you’re going to be living with in ten years, twenty, etc. But you’re not going to be the same person either! To grow, evolve, & change is inevitable & desirable even. I think the goal is to do much of the growing together rather than apart.

I was thinking about some of the “principles” that have made our marriage last. This is what I’ve come up with on a whim. I’m sure I’ll be adding to it. . .

My Wedding RingPrinciples That Help My Marriage Work

MAINTAINING OUR OWN IDENTITIES

Though I regret marrying in a church, as I feel it was the epitome of hypocritical, I gained something valuable from it. The way the Pastor carried out the lighting of the Unity Candle was, for lack of a better word, enlightening. From what I understand this is a traditional part of most wedding ceremonies. We each held our own, individual lit candles, then together lit a separate candle – the Unity Candle. This was to symbolize the two of us becoming one, united. Sometimes you will then see the bride & groom blow out their own candles, the ones used to light the Unity Candle. But in our ceremony the Pastor told us not to. We were to leave them alit, alongside the unity candle to represent us each still being individuals & having our own identities.

This was a life lesson, one in which we didn’t hear loud enough at the time. It takes practice. We’re each responsible for ourselves & only ourselves. I can only control myself & vice versa. We each have to take care of ourselves separately so that we can be present in our relationship. This includes health, enjoying our own hobbies, friends, etc. Whatever it is that makes us, us; we have to honor that or we may lose ourselves in the relationship & grow resentful. Or just have a very dysfunctional relationship.

When I think about the lighting of the unity candle, I picture the three different candles. One representing our relationship, the other two representing each of us. So there are three moving parts here, only one do I have complete control over.

RESPECT

IF WE WOULDN’T DO IT IN FRONT OF ONE ANOTHER, THEN WE DON’T DO IT AT ALL.

This is a general disclaimer. It’s also common sense. I’m not sure where we heard it but we liked it, & it stuck. When you’re young & out with your buddies drinking, you never know, a little disclaimer in the back of your mind might help in a big way. {Or if you’re in the midst of a full-blown manic episode}

WE EACH KNOW WE CAN DO WHATEVER WE WANT, WHENEVER WE WANT; WITH COMMON SENSE ATTACHED.

It’s just respectful to run it by one another. One of us may have had something else planned, we don’t want to get our signals crossed. We’d also like to know so we can adjust our own schedules accordingly. And I’m sorry, when you’re married, you expect to know where your spouse is & what he/she is doing. Doesn’t this go without saying?

OPEN + HEALTHY COMMUNICATION

SAY WHAT YOU MEAN. ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT.

Seriously, no one’s a mind-reader. Additionally, no one likes games. Especially if those games involve passive-aggressive behavior. We’re all adults here so let’s act like adults, shall we?

 FIGHT NICE!

This is something we did not do as a young couple. The objective was to see who could throw the lowest blow. But we’ve learned that there’s a better way. To always come from a place of love. To focus on the matter at hand, rather than dredging up old stuff that holds no relevance to why we’re arguing today. Also, to start sentences with “I feel.”

BE A TEAM

This is especially important when it comes to co-parenting. However, this applies to everything. This means always putting your marriage & family first. Always consider your marriage & your family’s needs before considering outside factors. You need to take care of your marriage & your family first!

What’s made your relationship last? Tell me in a Comment!


Krista-Lee-Pfeiffer :: Blogger & Creator of TheSunnyShadow.com


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