Lessons after 17 years of marriage?

Seventeen years ago, I married a young man who made me laugh, who shared my dreams, values and faith. It turned out to be the right decision.

We met young and dated for years. But you don’t really know someone until you’re both sleep deprived with toddlers, or grieving at the loss of a loved one. When you’re under the stresses of life, your true character comes out.

So, what have I learned after 17 years of marriage? I’ve learned that after day 6,206, when you get up in the morning, it still matters what you say and do with your spouse. We can’t say, well it’s been this many years, so we’ve made it. Instead we have to choose love each day, even when we don’t feel loved and appreciated (although we try to communicate these). We have to choose our response, our words, and our actions. We have to forgive and move on. We have to look for the best in each other and look for the best for each other.

We have to fit fun into our lives even when we’re busy–whether it’s a family trip away, an early tennis game, or a lunch date on a weekday. We have to make time to connect, to share, to talk.

Honestly, it doesn’t seem that long ago that all our friends and family surrounded us on a sunny September afternoon. But we’ve grown a lot as friends, as parents, as partners, as people. We aren’t the same people who walked down the aisle back in 1995. (Read my most popular post ever, We all married the wrong person.)  Thankfully, we’ve stuck close on the journey so that we’re closer together now than we were even on that perfect day.

Yet, tomorrow again, we will have the same choices to make.

What have you learned during your marriage that helps you keep proper perspective for the long haul?

If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, please consider getting a copy of First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriage. It tells the inspiring, true stories of couples who used adversity to improve their marriages–from overcoming drug addiction to cancer, infidelity, religious differences, family interference and infertility, among many others. It’s available at Amazon.com and in all e-book formats at www.LoriDLowe.com.

Photo by Sharron Goodyear courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net.

7 responses to “Lessons after 17 years of marriage?

  1. Thanks for sharing. I haven’t been married for 17 years yet but I’ve found the same things to be true thus far. It’s all about priorities, if we keep our spouse as our number 1 priority our love for them will grow larger and stronger. Thanks again and congratulations on 17 years of marriage!

  2. GC at Calm.Healthy.Sexy.

    Congratulations on your anniversary! These are really great points. We all have to choose every day to continue to love, appreciate, respect and enjoy our spouses. My husband and I will celebrate our 27th anniversary in November, and we are still doing these things. I think that our marriage is better now than ever!

  3. Pingback: 16 Years, 16 Lessons Learned! « The Industry Cosign

  4. Thank you so much and happy anniversary to you as well!!

  5. Alisa and I celebrated 16 years 10 days after you celebrated 17 years. Congratulations to you. On our 16th I wrote a post sharing the 16 Reasons I Still Love My Wife After 16 Years of Marriage, http://www.oneextraordinarymarriage.com/16-reasons-why-i-still-love-my-wife-after-16-years-of-marriage.

    We did one together for our 15th and will have to say it is something we enjoy doing each year. It reminds us of the good times that we have had together and it’s a reminder that we need to continue to be present in our marriage each and every day.

  6. Congrats to you and Alisa as well! That is good advice to try to be present to each other each day–but not easy to achieve. Best to you both.

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