November first marked our sixteenth wedding anniversary. Sixteen years of lots of ups and many downs... huge amounts of laughter and loads of tears.
Marriage is hard work. I dont think its just us.
Two selfish sinners trying to live together, raise kids together and do life together with all it's hardships and surprises - both good and bad - can be rough going.
I read a perfectly timed article recently titled 'marriage is not for me' and you know what... It really isnt.
Its not about me at all.
Its about my husband.
Its not a place where we can get away with asking "what's in it for me?" but more... "what can I give?"
Its about making his happiness more important than my own - and that is something I don't do so well.
I like things to be just the way I like them... I am happy when all my little ducks are lined up in a row - the house is tidy and clean, my love tank is filled to the brim, money is in the bank, stress is at minimum and everyone around me is happy.
The thing is, funnily enough, none of those things happen very often. As soon as the house is tidy.. someone messes it UP! As soon as there is finally some money in the bank... someone outgrows their shoes or clothes or eats all the food or dares to hurt themselves and we have a doctors visit to pay for. Stress is pretty much part of life everyday when there are seven other souls to take care of and our happiness is something each of us are individually responsible for.
I can't force those I love to be happy and the thing is there is always someone who will be annoying, words spoken that shouldn't be and grumpiness that rears its ugly head.
These are all daily occurrences and their presence should not dictate how I treat my husband.
But oh boy they do.
I had to swallow a bitter pill this week when I asked Tim to be honest with me about how he was really feeling. And to his credit (and my shame) he was. We have drifted apart this year... a combination of long work hours, a new baby and the demands of a big family have meant my focus was on everything but him.
A precious friend who tragically lost her husband when she was a young mama has always reminded me that our children are here because of our marriage not the other way round. Our spouse NEEDS to be our priority regardless of the busyness of life and family and I confess I had forgotten that wise advice. Tim was struggling to stay connected and that reality broke my heart.
I sure was glad for the opportunity to get away for five whole days this past week and have much needed time to talk, reconnect and most importantly listen.
I resolve, with Gods help, to make my husband my priority, my speech kinder and my heart softer and I pray that the next sixteen years will be even sweeter.