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Happy Valentines Day!
Last night, Mickey was up late working (until almost 3:00 am!) and I was watching Bridges of Madison County. I’ve always loved that movie, like I like all of those love stories: The Way We Were, Love Story, Splendor in the Grass. I’ve always had a soft spot for movies like that.
Here’s the truth: Marriage isn’t always like the movies, but it can come pretty close.
I can remember when Mickey and I were dating in high school and a few friends said things like “High school relationships don’t last… don’t plan on staying together” or “Once you go off to college, you will both date other people.”
Well, here we are, years later… still together.
Mickey and I have been together since 1997, when I was just a teenager and so was he. If I can find one thing that stands behind our marriage – it is this: I know that he loves me. He knows that I love him.
One time, when we were still new parents and our second son, Beau, had just been born with some very difficult health issues, like hypertonicity, I was so sad… sad and helpless. How do you help your sick child? Luckily, we turned to prayers and a LOT of therapy. Even the doctor’s couldn’t explain his healing. Well, one night Mickey turned to me and said: “I know God will help him. I know that we have to trust in Him. I know this because He gave me you. Sometimes I can’t believe that you married me. Anytime I question his vision for us, I remember that he gave me you. That’s why I know that it’s going to be OK. I have you and we have our family. That’s all that we need.”
I think I’ll remember his words forever, because they stood out to me in such a way that I knew he would always love me.
That, my friends, is what holds a marriage together: honesty, love, truth.
Anytime that I’m upset with Mickey for something, I just remember that day.
It’s not always pretty… There are times when he puts the dishes in the sink, instead of the dishwasher, for the 5th time that day and I want to scream. There are times when I leave my wet towel on the floor instead of hanging it back up after a shower & he wants to scream. But that’s just what comes with living with someone… dealing with their habits & appreciating other ones.
The true part of a marriage is all of the other stuff. He is my best friend.
That’s why I was up at 3:00 am watching The Bridges of Madison County. I can’t fall asleep without him beside me. I toss and turn until he comes to bed. Yes, he falls asleep the second his head hits the pillow and I lie awake for another hour because I’ve passed my “sleepy” phase & I’m not tired anymore, but I just can’t sleep without him near me.
Both of our parents have marriages like this… strong, reliable, mutual. I want our kids to have marriages like this. I tell our sons, already, to ‘Remember, one day when you are married, to tell your wife how much she means to you. Say it every day, Ok? Don’t ever let her forget how much you love her. 20 years have passed & your daddy still does this. I do it, too. Remember that, ok?”
I remind them to “Tell your wife that you love her. Tell her that she is the most beautiful person you’ve ever seen. You be sure to tell her how special she is to you. That’s what daddy does and it matters.” I tell them to remind their mom of that, too… 😉
Mickey & I have a running joke, from the Golden Girls. There is an episode when Blanche walked into the room in a new outfit, all dressed up and ready to go out.
The script goes like this:
Blanche: How do I look?
Rose: Great, Blanche.
Blanche: Great? Or gorgeous?
Blanche: What about sexy?
Dorothy steps in and says: I’ll handle this… Blanche, no woman ever looked better than you look right now, and no one ever will.
Blanche: Thank you, Dorothy. Honestly, Rose, sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get a little compliment out of you.
So, when I come downstairs dressed up for church or to go to dinner or just out somewhere, Mickey will say that to me: “No woman ever looked better than you look right now, and no one ever will.”
The most important part? He says it in front of our kids… lead by example. 🙂
Grab these free rules for a happy marriage here.