21

Yesterday my wife and I celebrated our 21st anniversary. Including our time dating and engaged we’ve been together nearly 23 years. We are still very much in love and we are still best friends.

That’s not to say things have always been easy. We have had our share of fights and disagreements. We’ve had many nights in bed crying as we worked through understanding how we had hurt each other. Our marriage has been the source of the greatest pain I’ve experienced in my life. Hurting or being hurt by the person you love and are committed to more than anyone is devastating. The times in my life when I’ve truly felt like I couldn’t go on were times when I deeply hurt my wife.

So how have we survived? What is the secret to still being in love and being best friends after all these years? A lot of people expect me to say it is keeping God at the center of our marriage. But I know a lot of couples who don’t share my faith, some are even athiest, and have enduring living relationships.

Don’t misunderstand, my faith is important, and I’m sure Krista’s is as well. Being able to pray through hard times is invaluable. Having a shared faith centers us.

But the thing that has kept us together is communication. We talk about everything. Every decision we make is discussed. Every parenting decision is discussed. If one of us seems to be heading in a bad direction, the other will call them out on it. Then we can discuss it and move forward. Sometimes it’s painful, but things don’t build up and linger.

We present a unified front in parenting. We haven’t always agreed about everything, but we have talked things through until we agree on how to move forward together.

So, it’s not a big secret, but it is a lot of work. Anything worth having will be. It is painful, but also the source of the most joy and strength in my life. When life has gotten hard, which our life has very often, it is this relationship that has gotten me through. This relationship has been my source of strength and inspiration. She is the only one who can make me cry, who can truly devastate me, but she can also pull me from despair. She is my soulmate, my best friend, and my one true love.

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