My husband and I have been married for 23 years. And I love him more today than I did the day we got married. Sometimes he can be very annoying (as all men can), but I am so grateful to have him in my life.
I am grateful that he is a hard worker and a wonderful provider for our family. When we first decided to get married, he left the profession he loved (massage therapy) to work for the US Postal Service because he thought it was important to provide a stable income and benefits for his family. I know he doesn’t love being a letter carrier, but I am grateful that he has been a steady provider for our family for the past 23 years.
He also works hard around our house. He is the reason we are almost done with the final touches of our house remodel that we started planning for in the summer of 2008. Throughout the project, he did demolition of the kitchen and other walls that had to go, cleaned up after the contractors so we didn’t have to pay them hourly to clean up after themselves, and he did all the hard work in putting in our rain garden. He still has a small to do list to finish up the last few items before final inspection, and I know he will get it done. I am grateful for that.
I am grateful that he loves me and always wants the best for me. Whenever we have gotten a new car during our marriage, he always insists that I get the newer or better car. Even though he would really like to drive the car with air conditioning and I almost never use it, he currently drives the one without because he wants me to have the safer car.
I am also grateful that he loves our son and shows a great concern for his well being. Now that the kid is a teenager, they don’t always see eye to eye, but I know that they love each other. My husband has been a great role model of for our son in all that he does.
Lately I have been thinking about one of the things about him that I am most grateful for. I spent a big chunk of the middle of our 23 years of marriage suffering from major depression. Looking back, I know that I wasn’t much fun to live with during that time. I was grumpy and didn’t want to do much of anything. I cried a lot and had a difficult time accomplishing anything. I didn’t do much to show him how much I loved him. But he stuck with me and loved me through it all, so that now we can enjoy the rest of our years together. A lot of guys would have thrown in the towel and just given up, especially along about year 8 or 9, but not my husband. When he said “in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live,” he really meant it. And for that I am grateful after all these years.
It is easy to be irritated by a spouse. I’ve certainly had days when my husband bugged the heck out of me. But if we take just a few minutes to focus on the wonderful characteristics that made us love them in the first place it is easy to see that the little irritations are quite insignificant by comparison. I think that the key to a happy and lasting marriage is to take time to focus on the positive and be grateful for what our spouse does and who he or she is. And if we really think about it, we probably irritate them from time to time, too. Let’s hope they remember the good things and feel grateful to be married to us.
So if you are feeling a little irritated with your spouse today, stop and ponder why you fell in love in the first place, and all the things you would miss if they were gone.