When Joe and I were planning to get engaged just over four years ago, I remember being so eager for him to propose because I wanted to have my ring to wear so that everyone would know that my heart was taken and I was committed to him. After we picked out Joe's wedding band, I couldn't wait for our wedding day to come and both of us to be wearing that symbol of our love. A year after we got married, we finally got my wedding band figured out and I had it soldered to my engagement band. My ring felt so much more complete and I remember thinking that now people would know that I had sealed the deal for life. I love our rings and the commitment that they symbolize, but marriage to me means so much more than being committed to my husband forever.
Security: While you're dating, there's still always a chance that things could end, and I guess technically in marriage, there's that chance as well, but because we've eliminated divorce as an option for us, I feel completely secure in my relationship with Joe. I know that no matter what I do or what we're going through, it will be okay in the end.
Having Joe around also gives me a physical sense of security. If he's working late or is gone overnight for something, I'm always a little bit more jumpy than normal. I feel safer having him around.
Friendship: I've been blessed with a lot of great friendships in my life, but the one that I treasure the most is the one that I have with Joe. Nobody knows me better than he does, he's always there to listen, we always have a lot of fun when we're together, and while some friendships come and go throughout the stages of life, I know that this one is here to stay.
Teamwork: Everything is easier when you have two people. If we do something in life, we do it together. House projects, finances, parenting, school and even work are all better because I have Joe. Even if we aren't physically working together on something, we help each other out in some way. Sometimes our teamwork involves bouncing ideas off of each other and other times that we're just there to take care of other responsibilities so that the other person can get what they need to done.
Dependability: As independent as I am, there are things in my life that I can't do for myself. Throughout my pregnancy and recovery after childbirth, I learned to depend on Joe a lot. I still tried to do a lot of it on my own, but he was there for me to lean on when I couldn't do things on my own or without a little help. I know that I can always count on Joe to be there for me and to help me when I need help.
Trust: I know that Joe will always be honest with me about things, and that doesn't just mean that he won't hide things from me. When I'm not being my best self, Joe lets me know. If something I'm wearing looks really terrible, he isn't shy about telling me. When I ask him for his honest opinion, he gives it to me. He's the only one that I feel comfortable telling my strangest thoughts and most embarrassing moments to and I know that I can count on him to keep those things to himself.
What does marriage mean to you?
"Although we’re not guided by religion in our marriage, we’re still 100% committed to making our marriage awesome because 75 years with each other is a LONG time and we want to make the best of our time together. We value what each other brings to our relationship and what it will bring to our future. We work on our marriage daily because our vows mean something.
Now days I'm pretty sure that I don't even hit close to as many texts each month as he and I were sending back then and not every message that I send is to him. I've been thinking a lot lately about how much we used to text and how every time his name would pop up on my screen while we were apart, I'd get an instant smile on my face. Our daily routines and our job responsibilities are a little different now than they were then, so we don't have as much time to text anyway, but I can't help but try to remember what we talked about all day long while we were dating.
Make physical intimacy a priority in your marriage and remember that it doesn't always have to be as involved as it sounds. Taking that time to love each other will strengthen your relationship and help you remember your role in each other's lives as husband and wife when you may be knee deep in parenting or other life responsibilities.
Last Valentines day, I overheard a few coworkers expressing their dislike of the holiday. They felt that it was a day that is commercialized and just to get spouses to buy gifts for each other. I've heard other people suggest that they don't need a special day to let their husband/wife know that they love them. My personal opinion is that Valentines day is an opportunity to shower your lover with extra attention and that if you put some thought into your gift, it can be meaningful and memorable rather than just out of obligation.
Being a newlywed is exciting. The memory of your wedding is still fresh in your mind, you've most likely just got back from honeymoon, and your married life stretches out ahead of you. While you can definitely coast on the joy and fun of your wedding for a while, the newlywed period is also prime time for strengthening your marriage. If you get into good habits now, your marriage will start off on the right foot and you'll be building in strength from day one. If you're a newlywed, here are some ideas to keep your marriage strong.
Whether you are setting goals for your own personal growth, goals to strengthen your marriage, or goals as a couple to help you get further ahead in life, you can work together as a team to accomplish them. Make your spouse's goals your own and help them succeed in any way possible. You're on this journey through life together and your individual successes are just as much of a success for your partner as the things that you set out to accomplish together.