I’ve been trying to think about what to write about for our 7th wedding anniversary which was last week (December 23rd). Seven years of marriage is quite the milestone – especially when divorce is so prevalent in many families.
When you look at the fact that almost 80% of parents with a special needs child get divorced (we have two special needs kids, you do the math) and the fact that many military couples end up in divorce as well, I feel as though we’ve defied the odds.
We’ve been through a lot together in our seven years of marriage and while we are far from a perfect marriage, I have found seven secrets that I think have helped keep us together through it all.
Seven Years of Marriage: Our Secrets
I have written about this topic before, but I really do believe forgiveness has a played a big part in our marriage. Without forgiveness how could we move on when we hurt one another? Without forgiveness, I really believe there could be no relationship.
When thinking about this post and what things I felt had contributed most to our marriage, I asked my husband what he thought and he said commitment. Even though it’s an obvious one, it’s an important one.
Sure, we promised things to each other at the altar seven years ago, but the truth is, it all comes down to commitment. Are we going to keep the promises we made? Are we going to stick with each other through it all even when it gets bad or doesn’t go as planned? If so, that’s commitment. We’ve had some real rough patches in our marriage. We are both headstrong and stubborn, yet through it all our commitment to this marriage and each other shines through.
It’s no secret that we are a Christian couple, however when many people question how we’ve done it and how we’ve gone through so much in our lives, I try and point them to our faith in Christ. That is one difference that many couples do not have, and it’s the number one thing we could not do without. Without Christ, our lives would be lost.
4. Sex & Intimacy
While this topic may make you blush, I feel as though it’s too important not to touch on. Making sex and intimacy a priority in our marriage has brought us closer together. I won’t go into a lot of detail, but Christian marriage bloggers like: To Love, Honor and Vacuum, Hot, Holy and Humorous, and The Generous Wife and reading Christian books on sex and intimacy have helped shaped my thoughts on views on how important and life-changing sex and intimacy within marriage can be.
5. Quality Time
Quality time is one of the love languages, but it’s still important to have quality time with your spouse whether it’s your love language or not. Having quality time together is really what has kept our marriage alive. Going out on date nights, watching a movie, playing a game, putting down our phones and talking to each other about life – these are the things I love and need in our marriage.
6. Overlooking the Little Things
A good friend once told me that one of the secrets of a happy marriage is learning to overlook the little things and knowing when to let them go. Does he leave his dishes in the sink instead of putting them away? Are his clothes all over the floor? Sure those things are frustrating and annoying, but are they really that important?
My husband and I have both learned to overlook a lot of these little things. He’d like a cleaner house than I keep, but he has realized over the years that it’s hard for me with two special needs kids. I sometimes get frustrated by how OCD he can be, but I’ve learned that it’s really not a big deal compared to what else we deal with in our lives.
Do we still sometimes argue about the little things? Sure! But we also laugh about them too. We’ve learned that letting go and overlooking these little things make for a better and easier marriage.
7. Marriage Counseling
I have talked about how marriage counseling has changed our marriage many times on this blog. You can read about it at 7 Reasons Why Every Couple Should go to Marriage Counseling and 5 Thing I learned in Marriage Counseling. I won’t go into all the reasons why since the two posts I mentioned speak for themselves, but marriage counseling is life changing and has helped shape our marriage into a better one and a happier one for both of us.
How long have you been married? What are your secrets for a happy marriage?