15 Years – Keys to My Happy Marriage

Today I celebrate thirteen years of marriage and fifteen years with my husband.

As I ponder the years of my marriage to my husband Laird I really get to thinking on why we stay together, and what makes it work for us?  Anyone who knows Laird and I will tell you we have a pretty good marriage that is filled with love, passion, respect, and tons of space.  Looking back there were only two times I thought we were going to separate, and I’m so glad we were able to work through those times.  I chose a partner that I can’t control, and who has really taught me about love, forgiveness, and not to take things personally.

The morning began with Laird showing up with a lei he made from yellow flowers that float in the river.  It just so happens that we were married on the Hanalei River where he collected these flowers and that were floating down the river the day we said our vows.  I have gotten to the point where I appreciate this type of thoughtfulness and effort rather than a little small box.  I’m not saying I don’t like small boxes (I’m a girl and I love shiny things), but to have someone give from the heart, well there is just nothing like it.

I always wondered where the expectation was put into us to desire our partners to give us stuff for special events; that if they somehow didn’t we felt less loved or appreciated.  I use to tell Laird “forget the Holidays, be nice to me all year round.”  Having said that a thoughtful gesture of some kind is a meaningful act.

Laird then took me to a lovely brunch and off to our regular days we went. I don’t give advice but I will share the things that work for us.

I never talk to my husband in a snippy or bossy way.  One he wouldn’t accept that from me, and two years ago he told me he had a Mother and she passed away.  Got that message loud and clear.

My husband is very loving and complimentary to me.  I feel this type of attention creates a very healthy male/female dynamic between us. He is at no point my brother.  In moments we are friends, but our roles are pretty defined in the male and the female.

I don’t care how long you have been together, or how many children you have, or how busy you are; make time for sex.  No offense to men, but in a beautiful way they are so easy to please.  Get off their back, let them have fun, lift them up, feed them, good sleep, and good loving.  It’s funny when I was in my 20′s with Laird and had a ton more time to have sex I didn’t.  I kept waiting for it to just happen.  Now, with kids and chaos I’m willing to schedule that time and not compromise that precious intimate time with my husband.

Separate and Together Lives
We have our own lives that collide into our life together with one another and our family.  It’s a blend of maintaining your individuality all the while being part of someone else.

Doesn’t mean we haven’t made mistakes, but the truth has always been shared.  Laird is one of the most honest people I have met, and I have learned to be less afraid of the truth (even when it’s scary).

Be kind but get it out there.

Do Your Part
I take care of my job (whatever that is in our agreement, food, house stuff, kid details etc.) and Laird holds up his end of the deal (outside house stuff, anything slimy, the fun etc.).

I know with Laird he will tell me if he needs to go somewhere else.  I’m not going to baby sit or hold my breath.  Who can live like that?  I always say I live on a “need to know basis”.  If I need to know he will tell me.

Similar Values
We are very different (he is emotional I am analytical), but when it comes to money, how to handle things, raising children, religion etc. we are pretty much on the same page.

Leave Them Alone
Don’t hound your guy.  If he is a good egg then just let him be, and give him some support.  He will end up wanting to spend more time with you than if you are always on him about “why are you playing golf, and don’t you want to be together?”  They will run.

If you have a partner you really love than it’s important to appreciate them and let them know that you are excited to be with them.

Take it One Day at a Time
If you asked me to think about “forever” I may jump off the cliff, but since all we have is today why not work on your relationship each day.

Be Yourself
I can remember in the beginning of my marriage walking around on egg shells when my husband who can get into intense moods was “in a mood”.  Yeah, ask me how well that went when after a few years of that we were almost divorced.  Speak your mind and be yourself.  Of course there are more opportune moments than others to discuss things, but that is the art of a relationship.  Don’t change to be with someone because in time you will end up breaking out.

Have Some Fun
Pretty straight forward.
I’m sure there are a ton more but the last and most important thing I have learned is MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY.  No person “completes you”, and if you have a shot at being in a happy relationship chances are that increases if you are happy yourself.

Say Sorry
If you are wrong be quick to admit it.  Never let your pride get in the way of your happiness.

Since no one is perfect…I once heard a quote about “it’s good to have a short memory and a lot of forgiveness in a relationship”.

Two People Can Be Right at the Same Time
Not all arguments have to have a winner and a loser.  It’s quite possible that both of you can be right at the same time, and still disagree. In the end who cares who is right so long as the situation can get worked out where both parties feel happy or at least heard.

Don’t Take Things Personal
I went through a crisis, Laird went through a crisis, I’m in a mood, he gets in moods, but it’s not always a reflection on how much the other person loves the other or how much they desire to be in the relationship.  Woman we need to not take things so personal.  I say this to myself as well.

Make Yourself Happy
If you have love take care of it, if you don’t yet it will find you, and I wish all of you great health, happiness, and peace.

I’m too young to be with someone fifteen years?  How did that happen?  How great.

Best, Gabby