Marriage Advice From An Old, Married Lady

Today is our ninth anniversary. Nine years, y’all! It’s not quite double digits, but it still sounds like a long time, at least to those of us who’ve only been married nine years.

And now, I’m going to indulge myself and tell of our days of matrimony.

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Babies, y’all, just babies.

I met my husband when we were both scrawny college students (OK, I wasn’t exactly “scrawny,” as I had moved to The Real South–Alabama–and put on 30 pounds). It wasn’t exactly love at first sight. He was cute enough, but my husband has decided to grow into his own in later years.

 

Marriage tip #1: Never marry someone for their looks, especially if their looks are currently at their peak. This way, you end up with a hot husband for longer periods of time and you picked the “diamond in the rough” who has a fantastic personality built from years of not being the hottest person in the room. My husband and I both believe we obtained this in our respective spouses.

I was attracted to him because he was things I was not. On the day we met, he was sitting quietly by himself on the way back from an enormous university social event. I then imposed my socializing on him without permission. This continued through most of that first year (and the following decade after that).

Marriage tip #2: Look for someone whose strengths complement your weaknesses. I’m pretty sure this didn’t happen, but I imagine my husband sat down and wrote a pros and cons list before proposing to me. Like, “Hmm, she’s a good planner and I hate planning. Time to put a ring on that one!” Note: This would’ve taken planning ahead, so I seriously doubt this actually happened. I am certain he thoroughly thought through every aspect of our future matrimonious occasion.

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For the record, this photo was edited to be sepia. Obviously, we’re young enough to have color photos…

We started dating a year later (thanks to the only math class I had to take in college, as his best friend was in the same class. I used this to my social advantage). A year after that, he proposed in a Daytona Beach condo (after scaring the bejesus out of me because I thought I was alone in said condo). As unromantic as this is, I remember saying yes because I knew life could be tough, but I wouldn’t want to go through tough times without him.

 

Marriage tip #3: Take a math class. (Obviously, I kid!) Hopefully, this one is obvious to anyone who has been in a long-term relationship, but love is a choice. Day in and day out, you’re not going to feel whimsical, heart-emoji feelings for your spouse. Some days you’ll stand in your kitchen and stink-eye him as he puts that bowl on the counter instead of the dishwasher again. But, hey, the warm-fuzzies always seem to come back around. Sometimes it takes some prayer and counting your blessings.

73768_574360719769_339323_nThe day after our engagement (in early January 2010. My husband told me to enjoy being engaged for at least a day before the whirlwind of wedding planning began), we set our wedding date for August 7, 2010. See? I told you I’m a planner! An August wedding would allow me to graduate in May, then have a few months to finish up wedding details. Well, the week after our engagement, my mom and I took a week-long road trip on Route 66. We spent most of the trip making wedding lists and I started making phone calls. Needless to say, that was the longest summer ever because all of the details were set in stone loooong before early August.

And now, nine years later, I’m sitting here with my 4-year-old, as an old, married woman who has frighteningly graying hair, reminiscing about the last decade. Since then, here’s what’s happened:

  1. We’ve lived in three states.
  2. We started as newlyweds in a 900-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment (with a 14-pound, long-haired cat) and are now in our third house (it has more than one bathroom!).
  3. We both graduated with our bachelor’s degrees.
  4. I’ve attended two additional graduations for my brilliant husband.
  5. I know this is a shock to anyone who has read this blog, but we’ve had two children.
  6. We’re working our way through internationally adopting our third child.
  7. And, most importantly of all, I started a blog.

I feel like a lot of life has been crammed into a decade, but I guess that’s how life works. You don’t really notice it moving by until you have that hindsight.

To my husband: I’m immensely proud of you. You’re the best husband and daddy I could’ve asked for, and God has blessed us with an unbelievably wonderful life. I’m so thankful, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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