Yesterday we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary by going to New York for the day without our children. Every time we spend more than a couple hours apart from our children, which is rare, we quickly remember how much we love each other and how much fun it is to be together! Not that we don’t love each other or have fun when the children are with us, because certainly we have plenty of love and amusement as a family. But when you’re in the thick of parenting sometimes your view of your partner is filtered through a dense fog of toys and macaroni and cheese and dirty laundry. And you can see that he’s a great dad and you appreciate him doing the dishes and you are grateful for his existence, but you can easily forget about the whole him, and just see him as the other responsible adult in the house.
We are very thankful to my parents and my sister and brother-in-law for minding the kids while we were away. Yay family!
I think we have a great marriage. It’s not perfect, because we’re not perfect, but I think we’re doing all right. Here are my thoughts about why.
Four Secrets to a Successful Marriage–at least ours
1. We pour each other a glass of water every time we pour ourselves one, without asking. We always seem to need water, and it is always nice to know someone else thought to bring you a glass.
2. We know when to keep our mouths shut. At least I do. I can’t speak for Randy, but I realized at some point that one of the most important things to a happy relationship is knowing when NOT to say something you feel like saying but really would not serve any purpose at all but making someone upset. Generally I give Randy credit for always trying to do the right thing. And this is not to say I don’t say or ask annoying things sometimes, because I’m sure I do. But if he makes a mistake and I notice it and it gets on my nerves I try very hard to just move on. I know he must do the same for me because I make plenty of mistakes and he does not criticize.
3. We are usually on the same page. I don’t know if this is just luck, or the result of 10 years together, or part of the core of the connection that drew us together 11 years ago. But we typically have the same idea at the same time about getting dinner from a food cart, or what the kids should or should not be doing, or what we’re going to watch. We have plenty of different interests and tastes, but it doesn’t seem hard to agree on what’s happening next. And sometimes we agree that what we need to do is our own things. These days there’s a lot of divide and conquer, but we’re both using the same map.
4. We are learning more and more to laugh it off. Life is hard. It’s easier when you laugh. We are good at amusing each other. This helps.
Some combination of luck and hard work has brought us to this point, and hopefully will sustain us for decades to come. And someday we will be able to send our children downstairs to watch tv and feed themselves on a Saturday morning and we can sleep in. Here’s hoping.