25 years ago this week my wife and I were married. Today we are renewing our vows and throwing a kick ass party! We have officially been together for more than half our lives. Recently I was asked the secret to a long marriage. I think the better question is “What’s the secret to a happy marriage?” People can be married for decades but be miserable and unwilling to do anything about the situation. There are couples who have a wonderful marriage until the untimely death of a spouse just a few months after the wedding. It’s quality, not quantity, that matters. People assume if you’ve been married a long time you must be doing something right. That’s not always the case.
I’ve read all sorts of quips on marriage: Marriage is hard work. I’ve written that In a marriage you have to always be willing to give more than you receive. It is more a 60/60 or 70/70 deal with each giving more so that the relationship grows. This is important to remember as time goes on. A flower planted in the richest soil will need some added nutrients after a few years. Otherwise the flower loses its brilliance.
I once read a quote (I believe from Larry Bird as he stepped down as coach from the Indiana Pacers) “4 years is is enough time to stay in anyone place” . In a marriage you will not BE married to the person you asked to marry you. People change. My wife has changed and I know I have changed. But we have changed together.
Marriage is not about you, it’s about the other person. For me, I’ve taken the definition of a good marriage from a line in the Tom Cruise movie Jerry Maquire: “You complete me.”
My wife and I are not quite opposites but we compliment each others personality. She’s more outgoing than me. I tend to feel more awkward in social situations. We’ve had a few laughs over the first day we met. How I felt immediate attraction and she looked at me and thought, “hmm., interesting.” I think I was the complete opposite of the guys she had dated before. While I think opposites attract (think James Carville and Mary Matalin) there must be common ground to build a good foundation. We have similar political beliefs and opinions and enjoy traveling and days at the lake. We really like just spending time with each other.
We are each other’s best friend, but not our only friend.
It hasn’t always been easy. But I never doubted if we would make it. Over the years I’ve realized that she supports me no matter what. When we started our first gym or when I Started Gym Momentum.
We’ve faced some deaths in our families in the last year and a half but we got through it together. Relying on each others strength in our times of weakness.
She has my back and she knows I have hers.
She completes me and I complete her. As I told a young friend of mine, “I keeps her grounded AND she lets me fly.”
TOP 10 REASONS MY MARRIAGE IS GREAT
10. I can call, text, email and say whatever’s on my mind without fear of scaring her off.
No matter where I am in the world. I can get in touch with Steph. She will listen, laugh, give advice if necessary and never run away screaming (so far at least).
9. I have a permanent sing-along, dance-along, and adventure-along buddy.
Being married to Steph allows me to be totally, 100 percent myself at all times. I always have someone who will laugh with me, dance with me and sing in the car with me — or at least someone to lovingly roll their eyes at me when I’m feeling punchy.
8. I have a two-person team to handle everything.
Sure, I can deal with waiting for the cable guy, taking the kids to the doctor, doing the grocery shopping, and re-painting the kitchen alone — but it’s so much easier to get the day-to-day errands and annoying household tasks done when you’ve got a buddy. Bonus: a great partner makes even the most mundane chores more fun.
7. I have a cheerleader and a partner in crime.
Had a crappy day at work? No worries. I’m going home to your #1 fan! Stephanie is always be there to cheer me on, whether I trying a new workout at the gym, trying to write a book or working on a new comedy routine. Why? Because it’s us against the world!
6. Shared financial goals.
Two salaries = more money. And you can put that money toward shared goals, like a lake house, a new kitchen or taking a vacation, which is a lot more fun than splitting up the bills with a roommate.
5. Creating new family traditions.
Starting our own little family and creating new must-dos for holidays and vacations is so exciting. Whether it is Christmas day movies or asking :what was the best part of your day?” at dinner these are the things that make us- us.
4. You’ll have a lifelong cuddle buddy/sex partner.
We may not feel like newlyweds forever, but with Steph, I always have a partner you knows my likes and dislikes.
3. Spousal telepathy.
When Steph gives me “the look” I will automatically know it’s time to eat, get serious, or get the f$@k out of this party.
2. We always find things to laugh about. Laugh together. Times are tough. Tragedy happens in all families. Things will go wrong. But we find ways to laugh about “it”.
AND THE NUMBER ONE REASON WHY MY MARRIAGE IS GREAT
I am with my best friend.
Steph was my friend before we even kissed. And when we finally kissed, the world got brighter. I was head-over-heels in love. I still feel that way today, and that’s a pretty great feeling to have for the rest of my life.