Ten years. That’s how long Abby and I have been married. In that 10 years we have made 4 babies and adopted one, moved 7 times, changed jobs, joined the Catholic Church, converted from pro-choice to pro-life, published a book, travelled to several different countries, been to Disney world 3 times, and lived a very public life style. In honor of our 10 years together, I have put together 10 key ingredients to our own marriage that makes what we have work.
What I am about to say to start this thing off may sound a bit hokey. It may come off as cheesy and typical, but I have to say it because it’s the truth. Our marriage wouldn’t be as amazing as it is if it wasn’t for our faith. Church, prayer, and our faith in Christ are the core foundation for our family. Without it, we wouldn’t have anything to build on. Our relationship didn’t start out that way, but once we let go of our own plans and got on with God’s, our marriage flourished. Now, we feel like we could walk through fire together. So, with that very important detail out in the open, let’s get to the list.
10. We agree that most dinners should be eaten at the table as a family.
I was told that houses are not being built with dinning rooms anymore, and that about broke my heart. Abby and I both grew up eating together at the table as a family, and I can’t think of anything more bonding. Dinner is the perfect time to get together and have quality time.
Sure, every so often, we have a night when the kids eat on the floor and mom and dad eat in their recliners. We just call that, “movie night.”
9. We support each other in our roles.
Abby brings home the bacon and I fry it up. Then the kids come from out of nowhere to eat it faster than I can cook it. Abby is a public figure and is responsible for 100% of our income. That needs A TON of support. I stay at home with our kids and take care of most of their needs. There is NO WAY I could care for 5 kids unless Abby jumped in to help. It’s a delicate balancing act, but I think he have a pretty good system. Just don’t ask me to describe it.
8. Neither of us has ever been scared to tell the other, “That’s a bad idea.”
On the flip side, we are also not scared to go to each other with our ideas. Even if we know they might get shot down, it’s good to have someone you can bounce things off of. Who knows, the idea might be so bad that we both have a good laugh, or it might be so good that we end up changing the world together.
7. We share responsibility when it comes to our fertility.
There is only one way to make a baby. Two people have to be involved every time. Both people have a role in making the baby, therefore both are responsible. I don’t blame her or get upset if she gets pregnant. I know exactly what we are getting in to each and every time we have sex.
6. Big or small, we always take a vacation together.
At least once a year, Abby and I do something together without the kids. It may only be for a couple of days and in our own home or it might be a long trip to a far away land. Either way, we make sure to get some alone time together. As far as vacations for the whole family go? We do that every chance we get. The family that plays together, am I right?
5. We are each other’s “First person I want to call when something important happens.”
I often tell people this is how you know you’ve found the person you want to marry. When you get bad news, who do you call for comfort? When something exciting happens, who is the first person you want to celebrate with? That’s the person you should share your life with.
4. We help each other to “Snap out if it.”
You know those moments she the kids are getting on your nerves, or life is just not being fair, or maybe you just want to get one little job done before that self-appointed deadline… We don’t allow anyone to have those zoned out moments of unjustified irritation. So when Abby thinks I am getting to frustrated with the kids, she’ll tag in and tell me to go have a moment to snap out of it and stop snapping at the people I love most.
3. We encourage each other to be involved in…
Church, school, hobbies, our kids activities, community, or anything that puts us and our faith in front of others. If there is one thing I have learned through marriage, it’s that we are all here to serve each other in some capacity. We serve each other in our home and we serve others that we interact with. Even if it is a simple as being a Eucharistic minister at church or spending 10 seconds talking to a lonely stranger, it all matters. Service to others gives us something to do together and a way to teach our faith and values to our children.
2. We allow each other to have individual hobbies, friends, and social life.
Yes, we are one flesh as a married couple. That doesn’t mean we don’t have separate interests. For example, I have a passion for craft beer. Abby can hardly stand the smell of beer. So, when ever there is a chance, she lets me go out with friends that love to just hang out, talk about guy things, and enjoy some delicious beer. Abby spends a lot of her time eating at banquets with strangers. So when an opportunity comes for her to hang out with her girlfriends and eat some Tex-Mex, I like to encourage her to do that.
1. Any time is a good time to laugh.
My wife and I like to argue over who is the funnier one between the two of us. I am pretty sure this is a competition that will still be going on when we are celebrating our 50 year anniversary. If there is one thing I love most about my wife, it’s that she loves to have fun. I can’t think of any place where we can’t have a good time and make each other laugh. I think it is that laughter that has gotten us through some pretty tough times. As long as we can still laugh together, I think we have it made.
Newlyweds become oldyweds, and oldyweds are the reasons that families work. ~Author Unknown