In August, Audley and I celebrated our nineteenth wedding anniversary. According to everyone we work with, that’s a really big deal.
Personally I think everyday spent with my husband is a really big deal, but that’s for another day.
It is a wonderful feeling though, knowing that we have made it through the awesome good times as well as the really bad, always fighting for us, our marriage and family in every thing we do.
I can’t say everything we’ve done has come easy (13 moves in 6 states, a hubby who had a heart attack at 33, various other health issues including my own obesity, and even in-law issues), but I can say without a doubt that the good, the bad; its all been worth it!
It’s also a really good feeling that after nineteen years, people still notice that we are madly and passionately in love with each other. Even MacKenzie Grace recently had a girl that she works with make the comment that based on the way she (MacKenzie) acted and the comments she makes that she still had parents that were happily married.
Recently, we have a friend who has been going through a rough patch in their own life and marriage. While in conversation with Audley and I a couple of weeks back they made the comment that they wanted a marriage like ours and then asked our secret. Audley told them: “God First; Each other Second; and Self Third”. Sounds simple enough, but so many choose not to have this kind of relationship. It may be one person in the marriage or it may be both who are not putting the focus on where it should be. It does take a toll on a marriage, maybe not early on but even twenty to thirty years later as couples are divorcing when they hit the empty nest.
There are many ways to keep your marriages strong, especially having a strong spiritual life together, but one way we keep our focus on each other is by dating.
Yes, after nineteen years of marriage, I still date my husband.
I know that may sound odd, but just like the whole six and a half months we dated prior to our wedding, we still make plans and go out for the evening without our kids. It’s not always been easy and at times we have had to be very creative (check out our carpet picnic here), but we have always made time for each other.
Really, dating is a great thing to benefit your marriage; a break from your element, downtime from the kids, time to reconnect with your spouse and talk about everything going on in your lives or the silly things that can keep your mind off work for a little while.
Yes, we all need it.
But, seriously, why do I date my husband?
I think my Audley actually says it best….
“If you have an expensive car like a Mercedes, BMW or Lexus, you’ll do whatever you must in the way of maintenance to keep that car at peak performance. You know that vehicle, it’s quirks, what makes it run well and you know when it’s not at its best, and needing maintenance.
It’s the same way with your spouse. You learn when things are well with your mate, what they like and dislike, when they are struggling, and even every little quirk they have. They are precious and should be treated as such. You do whatever maintainance is needed to keep your marriage fresh, alive and always growing; always at it’s best.”
“Wives submit (offer respect) to your husbands as to the Lord….
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it…”
Yes, our marriage relationships are precious, special, and lovely indeed!
I do love to date my man though. It’s our time to disconnect from the stresses of the world and reconnect with one another. We laugh, we talk, we share, we still dream and oh how we love!
Since Audley travels during the week for work, I have returned to the workforce this last year, and we have three very busy teenagers at home, our nights out are even more important to us now than even ten years ago!
Sometimes we dress-up and go to the theater (if you have a man that will watch Broadway AND ballet with you…. he’s good one!!), sometimes we go casual just strolling through a park (Audley will even go to the Country Living Fair at Stone Mountain with me), it may be sushi night, out to the movies (we have very opposite tastes so that isn’t too often), NASCAR races, slipping away for weekends in a hotel, watching football either live or at Buffalo Wild Wings, and sometimes we never even leave the house! There are times we keep it cheap (or free) and times we go way out of our budget, but each and every moment is treasured and precious to us.
No matter what we do, we have found plenty of things that we are interested in together. And that is the key…. together. I have been very blessed to enjoy four girls weekends away this summer with girlfriends, bloggers, and my sisters. Audley enjoys golf with the guys. But in the end, the most fun we have is always together.
Which is as it should be.