Chances are that if you know me, then you know this guy. He’s pretty much the sunshine in my world and the man that has made me trust men again. But, even if you know us, you might not know how we met and what we’ve been through this last 16 years that makes our relationship that much more special.
About 16 years ago I was going through a divorce (a bad one…is there any other kind?) and was a single Mom of 2 little girls. I had just started a new job, at the Little America truck stop outside of town in Wyoming (if this could sound any more hillbilly then I don’t know how), and I was being shown around the whole place by a friend of mine. We went to take off in the van (this facility is very big) and a young guy stepped out in front of the van attempting to be funny, but when he saw me he just froze for a minute. He stared at me and smiled. Later he told me that he went straight to his friends and said “that girl is going to be my wife one day”.
From that time forward, we actually became good friends. We would talk for hours about our families, friends and our history. He was such a nice guy, something I wasn’t really used to at that time in my life, I didn’t know they still existed.
Flash forward about a year and we moved in together, we were both young and he was still in high school! Again, I’m not condoning it, I’m just telling the story of how we became “us”. If my daughter was to try this with somebody I’m pretty sure a shotgun and a jail sentence would soon follow! But we were in love (you know how that feeling of love can be when you’re so young), and we wanted to be together forever.
Eventually we moved to Texas and got married, only to struggle every step of the way, financially and in our marriage. There were so many times that we came to the end of ourselves and nearly gave up, one person packing their bags ready to walk out the door. But every time, “something” would bring us back together and we would try again, giving it our best efforts. We found a good church that we could call family and from there God entered our marriage and we thought “now our marriage will get better and our life will get easier”. For anyone who has ever thought that, I’m sure you now know how completely untrue that statement is!
We’ve now been married over 14 years, have 3 awesome children and have been through a tough few years…but here we are, loving each other more than ever before and working on our relationship every single day. I’m very proud to say that I’m still married to the love of my life and plan on keeping it that way “until death do us part”. If you know Josh and I at all, you know that we are COMPLETELY opposite people –
– He likes metal music, I like…pretty much anything other than metal
– He likes watching movies and lazy days at home, I like getting out and going places
– He is an introvert (of sorts) and doesn’t like crowds, I love going places with lots of people
So how do we make it work? Here’s a few of our simple tips that work for us:
1. We stopped comparing ourselves to other couples, we’re us and they are them – we’re never going to look the same (and how boring if we did)
2. We strive to find activities that we both like to do and then we do it together! This is challenging because we have so few things in common, but we have a few now
3. We try to keep a short record of accounts – meaning that if we’re upset with the other we try to take care of it quickly so it doesn’t build up over time and become a monster
4. Find a couple that can be “mentors” to you – this was hard for us since we didn’t have family, but over the years we’ve had a few couples who have been there for us and allowed us to talk things through with them. Having another couple in your corner is beyond helpful, it’s almost necessary!
5. Remember that your marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. Make decisions and base your actions in the long term. Be patient, love is a feeling and might not always be there, but that doesn’t mean that your actions of love go away too! Love is a verb, take it into action.
Just because your love story isn’t a fairy tale or doesn’t look like someone else’s, doesn’t mean that your marriage is bad. Look at why you loved him in the beginning, and work on letting go the of the things that maybe don’t matter as much – after all we’re all flawed. Try to do something every day to help your marriage and make your spouse feel like they’re special and loved. Marriage is a lot of work, but every little effort that you put in will pay off in the long run!
Do you have any hints or tips on how you make your marriage better? Please share below in the comments!