What I Learned After 25 Years of Marriage

I am a reminiscer. Whether it is a birthday or an anniversary, I spend all day pondering over what was and how far they've or I've or we've come.
25 years of marriage is quite a milestone. I have been thinking A LOT about what I've learned about marriage. Granted, my marriage isn't your marriage and my marriage has been without some of the big trials that some marriages go through or end because of so this is for me, it couldn't possibly apply across the board.
This is what I have learned-
1. I met my husband shortly after my 13th birthday. I went to church with his family for years. After we married I remember feeling, "Who IS this man?!?" In other words, I am convinced that the time you know someone really doesn't matter, because you will never REALLY know them until after you marry. Therefor what is time?
2. It gets better. We hear this a lot for teenagers going through the trials of high school but this holds true for many things, including marriage. That isn't to say that my marriage has been so terrible that we wanted to end it, I just mean that it matures and when it does, it becomes oh so sweet. There was an acne, awkward, not so beautiful, trying to fit, confused stage- but it cleared and it was worth it to stick around and see the swan our marriage became.
3. The work is never done. We are always moving, be it forward or backward, our marriage is either improving or going in the opposite direction, We have to work to move it forward. For my marriage to improve, it requires lots of lovin' and hand holding. It takes telling each other how much we love each other. It takes one running into the others arms after time apart. Even if it's just a 10 hour work shift.
4. Putting the spouse first. If we love our children and want to give them everything possible, we will give them parents who love each other dearly. That will be a good example for when they marry and will give them security.
5. Let them lean on you. I declare, as I type, my husband is leaning on me. He is napping with his head on my shoulder. We need to do this for each other, and we do. I love him for letting me lean on him and it makes me grateful to do the same.  As the song goes, we all need somebody to lean on. And that should be our spouse.

6. (borrowed words from F. Burton Howard)" If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently.You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by." 

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