Heather and I have been married almost 12 years now. We got married young, Heather was 19 and I was 23. In some ways, that seems like a lifetime ago. The time has flown by so fast that many times it also seems like yesterday I saw her walking down the isle in her wedding dress.
It sounds like a cliche, but I am crazier about my wife now than I was 12 years ago, and I didn’t think that was possible. Heather is literally my dream come true, and more than I ever imagined a wife could be. She is the person that I want to grow old with. I want to be a madly in love 90-year-old man trying to steal a kiss from a smoking hot 86-year-old Heather.
One of my favorite phrases is, “Begin your journey with the end in mind.” What that means is that when you start out on a task, project or event, go into that task with your eyes on the desired result. That focused mindset helps you to overcome the obstacles and variables that inevitably are thrown your way.
This phrase is so incredibly powerful, and vital to the success of our marriages. We have to meet our spouses at the alter with the intention of growing old together. We have to be so focused on that goal/dream that we refuse to allow any obstacle, hard time, financial issues, WHATEVER…. jeopardize that dream.
This is not easy. Keeping a marriage thriving takes work, sacrifice, compromise, forgiveness, tolerance and then MORE WORK. The amazing thing is that all of this is so worth it. The relationship that I have with Heather is so important to me, that I guard and protect it. I value her and I refuse to let anything come in the way of our relationship.
We all have issues that we deal with. One of the biggest marriage killers is pride/selfishness. We stop seeing our marriage a joint, team effort and start to think of ourselves more as two individuals. One person may feel neglected in one way, or just have a me-first mentality that is crippling to a marriage. Selfishness opens the door for unfaithfulness, which destroys a marriage.
A healthy marriage is never about one person. If I am thriving, but Heather is struggling, then our marriage is struggling. As her husband, it is my responsibility to think of Heather first, me second. This isn’t always fun. I do not always enjoy the long list of honeydo’s my wife comes up with, or watching whatever estrogen filled chick-flick that just came out. You know what though, those things are important to Heather. When I complete a list of things she wants done, it shows Heather that I value what is important to her, and my words have actions.
Another thing that can cripple a marriage is letting your guard down. I have a very strict line in my professional life that cannot be crossed. I avoid certain topics with female coworkers and never allow myself to be put in the position to where someone can question my behavior with a coworker. I keep that area of my life above reproach. I have seen coworkers cross the lines of appropriate behavior and it destroyed their marriage. You know what, it all starts with one step over that line. One step at a time, the coworker walked herself into an affair and divorce.
We have to keep our guard up and not become lazy. I think that is the biggest key to my future with Heather. I refuse to become complacent and take Heather for granted. That means that as her husband, it is my duty to take full advantage of every opportunity I have to show her how much I love her.
I want to grow old with this amazing lady and watch her hold our grand-kids one day. I want to sit and hold her hand on a porch swing when we are in our 70’s. I want us to grow old together, and I work hard every day to make sure that dream comes true.