Friday the 13th is a lucky day this month since it happens to be our 16th wedding anniversary. In general, I tend to think of 13 as a lucky number just because of my anniversary (and Fatima….totally also the Fatima apparitions).
People keep asking me if we’re doing something “special” and I’m like, maybe??? Applebee’s does still have their $1 margarita special going. At some point, we’ll probably listen to “our song” , but otherwise, it will be a typical Friday.
Someone recently asked in a Facebook comment for a marriage post. Well, okay then! Seems like a good day to share how my husband and I remain happily, and passionately, in love with one another even after sixteen years of marriage.
1. We both know that our marriage, as a sacrament, is an important full-time job. We make time for each other (and not just for the marital embrace!). We don’t assume that our marriage will successfully carry on without any work on our part. We know that if we don’t set aside time to talk, be alone, or go on dates, our relationship will feel the strain. And that adds strain to the whole family dynamic. We know that by constantly working and improving our marriage we’re teaching our kids what a good marriage takes, and looks like. Our kids feel secure. They don’t worry about us divorcing if we argue or disagree. I hope my daughters learn not to settle for anyone who treats them less than their father treats me, and my sons don’t settle for women like me. (Kidding!) We take our commitment to one another seriously; all worthwhile things require hard work and marriage is no exception.
2. We love spending time together. I think all couples start their relationships with that feeling of always wanting to be together, but for some people it seems to fade. Or they consider time all together as a family counts as time with their spouse. I don’t know if Tony and I enjoy time together more than most couples, but I consider him working from home as one of the greatest blessings EVER. We would always like more time together, even if we just spend it next to each other reading books. While there is still passion, our relationship is not based on lust or infatuation (which are fleeting feelings). But we take joy in spending even the small and mundane parts of our lives together. NEW and EXCITING has it’s time, but comfortable and familiar is pretty great too.
3. We can have frank, honest conversations with each other, and in general, we enjoy talking about a variety of subjects. When I read something interesting, Tony is the first person I want to talk to about it.I can ask Tony if an outfit is flattering and he can say yes or no without fear, and I respect what he says. I can vent and cry about something and Tony will hug me and not offer advice (until I ask for it specifically) because he knows that’s what I want. Tony can share his business ideas with me and I can say “That game graphic looks poor.” and he will seriously consider my opinion without getting defensive. We can talk about a current political or religious topic we disagree on and each learn from the other’s perspective. If either of us feels mad, hurt, disappointed, etc. we just say so and deal with it without beating around the bush, being passive aggressive, rude, overreacting, or giving the other the silent treatment. We speak with charity; the way we want to be spoken to. Most of our arguments or disagreements end with someone pointing out how unreasonable the other is being and then we laugh about it. (As cheesy as it sounds, I found it helpful when we learned each other’s love language and it improved our communication even more.)
4. We encourage each other to practice self-care and do things with our friends. As much as I love spending time with my husband, we both see the value in cultivating hobbies and friendships with other people. He happily sends me out to homeschool mom socials and I encourage him to go smoke a pipe, drink scotch and discuss books with his friends. I try to take an interest in all of Tony’s passions, but I’m glad he can go discuss programming with people who enjoy game development as much as he does. Tony supports my blogging, but happily gives me time to chat branding, social media strategy, and post ideas with online friends via Google Hangouts or by traveling to meet them in person. Because we both know marriage is our top priority, neither allows our outside activities to take over. And if it ever seems like it is, because we’re comfortable talking with one another, we just say so.
5. We make sacrifices joyfully for each other, and the family. I understand that I can’t get what I want 100 percent of the time. I have to compromise sometimes. Tony has to compromise sometimes. I don’t sulk or complain. I understand that giving up what I want occasionally is better for my marriage or family. I’m willing to make myself miserable if I have to, but I know that Tony doesn’t want that for me, just like I don’t want Tony taking on more than he has to when I can sacrifice something to lessen his burden. A marriage isn’t a 50/50 split; it’s two people who are prepared to willingly sacrifice 100 percent for each other. Because I know my husband will make sacrifices when necessary, I don’t ever hesitate to make them myself. A marriage only works when both sides give of themselves completely without worrying about keeping score.
6. Frequent the sacraments as a family, a couple and as individuals. We make it possible for each other to get to daily mass and confession on a regular basis. I ask him to help me recall sins so I can make a better confession and if he tells me I’m doing something more frequently, I humbly consider his words rather than get defensive. We occasionally read the Mass readings or listen to a talk together. We support each other in our Lenten practices. I came to the faith as a convert through the example of my husband and he remains the spiritual head of the household. He leads, not as a dictator, but with the sacrificial love that St. Paul commands. He feels the full responsibility of his position in our family and it encourages me to step up and be the best that I can be to support him and our children on our journey towards eternity.
7. I accept my husband for who is. I cannot change him. I can encourage him, pray for him and help him if he choses to change himself, but in the mean time I can only work on myself. My husband loves me as I am. He encourages me when I get a crazy new idea in my head, but will always reassure me of his love. I don’t need to do anything to earn his love, and he doesn’t need to improve to keep my love. I don’t complain about his faults to the kids, my friends or family and he doesn’t complain about me behind my back.
(P.S In asking for his feedback on this post, I was reminded that having a sense of humor is truly the backbone of our marriage [right next to the grace of the sacrament I suppose]. But no seriously; thank you oh so much for your honest criticisms of my takes Tony. It’s sooooo much better now.)
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How’s your week? Write it down then link it up below! Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts! BONUS! Don’t have a blog? Make a collage of seven pictures, or select seven photos to share that sum up your week and share them on social media with the tag #7QT. I look forward to seeing your photos!