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I wasn’t given the world’s greatest example of what a happy marriage looked like. I had an example of people who barely tolerated each other and life was miserable in the home. I didn’t realize how not-ideal this was growing up as it was all I knew.
I moved away for college and the church I chose to attend while there had some terrific people in it. I watched their marriages and was amazed to see people who not only were civil to each other, but they genuinely seemed to care for each other, had fun together and really did enjoy spending time together. Their children seemed to be happy with life at home too. Seeing married people happy with their spouses was a foreign concept to me at the time. Seeing happy marriages (not to say marriages that didn’t have their struggles, but these people came through them stronger than ever) caused me to start pondering how different they were from my family growing up and I started researching marriage, relationships and studying those marriages I came into contact with.
Fast forward to my marriage. It is radically different than that of my parents. HubbaHubba and I truly do enjoy spending time together, we rarely have disagreements (we do, but they are rather rare), and I honestly can’t imagine being blessed with a husband better than HubbaHubba. It isn’t this great giant secret to how we are so happy together. It is rather simple, but it does take work and commitment.
First, we are best friends. I know that sounds cliche’ but we truly are the best of friends. We have a lot of the same interests, we find things we both enjoy to do together. We line up in theology and parenting style. In fact, before HubbaHubba even asked to court me, we had been friends for two years. During that time, we got to see each other as friends who we could do fun things with, were free to discuss issues with and just hang out. As time went on, and HubbaHubba asked if we could court each other, it just felt like a natural progression in our relationship (granted, our courtship was not a “normal” one. It was all long distance since I had graduated from college by then.) But through even that time, we put our friendship first, really learned how to talk to each other and remained focus on the purpose of the courtship.
Second, we look out for the other person. We are each other’s biggest supporters. We find ways to bless the other person on a regular basis. We took the time to learn each other’s love language and we seek out ways to use it to our advantages.
We make time for each other. After we get the girls to bed, we spend time just snuggling and talking and enjoying each other’s company.
I’m not saying that marriage isn’t a lot of work, it is. Some days it is harder to love your spouse than others. But it is so worth it. The more you work at something, the better it is. We’ll have been married for nine years in July, and it is better now than when we first got married. I look back to where we started from and see us now, and let me tell you, it just keeps getting better and better. Marriage is worth it. And with hard work, it can be the most rewarding relationship you’ve ever had. My marriage has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. And yes, even if you didn’t have a good example of a happy marriage growing up, you can change that for your future. Be purposeful, read about marriage and relationships, seek to be a blessing to your spouse, learn what makes your spouse “tick” and do what you can to strengthen and enrich your marriage. The rewards are great and so worth the effort.
Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. They say the book is like “Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy HERE.