This month, my husband and I are celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary. Yes, yes, we haven’t been married that long, but we have been together since 2011.
Throughout that time span, milestones and many events have traveled across our relationship: the death of a parent, job loss, sibling weddings, jaunts across the nation and the world, friends’ funerals, job promotions, a DUI, buying a house, totaled cars, unexpected hospital stays, and the birth of our daughter.
We’ve run the gamut. And, of course, I know we have much more ahead.
Our relationship isn’t sexy, but one thing is true: We’ve remained in love with one another consistently all these years. And, as far as I know, we’re not heading out of love any time soon.
Here are a few reasons why my marriage works…
Respect. Love doesn’t work if you don’t value who your partner is. I consistently admire that my husband is a World of Warcraft-playing nerd. He loves that I’m a hippie who’s into astrology and yoga. We’ll grow and change many more times in our lives, but it’s that respect for our life choices that allow us to be us in order to grow side by side.
Space. No, I’m sorry, we are not the couple who needs to schedule sexy time in order to have a fulfilling relationship. Instead, once we put our 1-year-old daughter to bed at 7:30 p.m., I go to a yoga class or blog, and he watches ESPN and plays computer games until we both hit the hay at 10:30 p.m. It’s that individual space that allows us to recharge in order for us to have that energy to be there for one another. (I should add that we do have a weekend date night once a month where we actually go out without our daughter. That’s a different type of space altogether.)
Trying. We can definitely get into ruts: the same food in the grocery cart for three weeks, or the same weekend errands routine for months. But we make it a point to try new things that each of us enjoy. They’re not big and major, but small little tweaks that mix it up for us. For example, I’m addicted to checking out approachable road trips across our beautiful state of Arizona. My husband loves listening to mystery podcasts. With those powers combined, we have a compromised road trip that sounds pretty fun. He loves computer games, and I love nostalgic video games. With our powers combined, a date night of Mortal Kombat or Mario Kart is fun for us. We try things the other might not like as a compromise in order to “mix it up.”
Involvement. This. Is. Big. I come from a large family with many nieces and nephews who happen to meet a few times a month. When my husband isn’t at one of my family gatherings, it looks weird. More importantly, Adam wants to be with my family as “Uncle Adam.” And vice versa. If he has a big work event where he needs support, I’m there. Knowing who’s who in each of our lives is how we can be involved with one another.
Like I mentioned before, my marriage isn’t glamorous. And it isn’t hard work either. It’s a mutual love based on respect, space, trying, and involvement. And that’s why it works so well.