Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Maintaining Our Marriage

This summer Lee and I will celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. It's crazy to think that 8 years have passed by, and yet it seems like we've been together forever.

I can remember when I realized that Lee was my best friend. Something crazy happened at a store that I was in, and I was laughing about it, and he was the first person I thought to call instead of my girlfriends Sylvia or Kate, whom I would have normally called first. In that moment, I knew that he was my best friend...and I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.

I believe that Lee and I complement each other - not like "compliment" which is nice things we say about each other.

Complement is
1. something that completes or makes perfect
2. the quantity or amount that completes anything
3. either of two parts or things needed to complete the whole; counterpart.

His strengths are my weaknesses, and my strengths are his weaknesses. We really balance each other out.

But we are still 2 individuals. We still have our own likes and dislikes - and they are not always the same.

One thing I have learned over our 8 years together is the importance of doing things together, and then doing things apart. It's important to me to let boys be boys...to let Lee go out and do guy things. I can honestly say that when he comes home he's a better man. I don't demand that he do things with me first, or help me clean the house first...and usually when he comes back he does a lot for me and with me without me ever asking.

He knows the same goes for me. It's important for me to get out with the girls. To go shopping and get pedicures. Girlie things. I'm better when I return too.

The hard part is with our kids. We both feel guilty now when the other one is at home with the kids. If I leave him at home with the kids, I feel bad for leaving. If he does something after work, and I'm at home with the kids, he feels guilty. It's a no win situation right now. We are having to work through it and realize the importance of doing things for ourselves.

We are fortunate to have some wonderful babysitters who absolutely adore our kids. I think that they are more disappointed to leave when we come home from a date than our kids are about them leaving, which is (and says) a lot. It is a huge blessing to have these girls who love our children. And it is a blessing that these girls see it as an investment in our marriage. We are so grateful for them!!!

Date nights are important to us. It's hard for us to do things without talking about work or kids. But we have to do it. It's necessary for us and our marriage and our kids. A healthy marriage takes a lot of work...it doesn't just happen. Just like any friendship can grow apart without healthy maintenance, so can any marriage.
And a healthy marriage is the greatest gift we can give to our children.

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