My sister asked what I would say about what to look for in someone for that next step in a relationship. She wasn’t asking for herself, but for her kid. They had already talked about it and she had shared what she thought but wanted to ask for another perspective and different experiences.
I was surprised at how much thought this took.
Matt and I have been married for almost 21 years. We did a ton of things not smart and out of order. Financially, with kids and houses and…and…and… we’ve lived. Mistakes have been made all around and in every arena save for our household. Some of the things that I think are important that we have in our relationship or have done besides think the other person is ridiculously hot…
We’ve never said a single mean word to each other. Not one. ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘I didn’t mean it’ doesn’t fix anything. I think we should be kinder to the person who chose us to be their partner in life than we are to strangers. This doesn’t mean we haven’t disagreed – I mean, really, its been 22+ years together – but we manage to stay civil in disagreement. It doesn’t hurt that when we’re really mad we both get quiet and clean. Its a win/win.
We didn’t know ahead of time and got lucky in this, but how you each handle stress, disappointments, difficulty is a big deal. The good times are easy, imo. Life tests us all. How well we handle those tests is important. Can you pull together when the going gets tough? We look at everything as us against the world. Its not as harsh as that sounds but in bad times, no matter what, I have his back and he has mine. Period. And we never, ever have left this in doubt. That final scene in the department store in Mr & Mrs Smith, Brad and Angie back to back, guns blazing, taking on the bad guys…yeah…that’s us.
We laugh together, too. We laugh with and at and about each other. I think he’s hilarious. If you only know him as serious then you don’t know him. And I love to make him laugh. He impersonates with the best of them which can be good and bad. We have that thing where we can both see something, wait until it passes and then go “Did you see that?” Oh…ma…gawd…!”
I remember the first time I heard Shania Twain’s Looks Like We Made It song and thinking how do you know you have because that song no longer applies to her? We’ve known people married much longer than us who still divorced. Life is hard. I guess being grateful for each other every day, even if you have to remind yourself to be is important. And any time you get up on your high horse about that other person, remember that their first mistake might have been choosing you.
For us, anyway, its been about choosing your best friend (who you also think it super hot) and working to be worthy always.
So when our girls ask us, this is what I’ll say. Its what they see and I hope for them that they find at the least what we have.