Happy then, happy now

us in the air

Happy then, happy now.

The husband: Where did you get those pants? I like them.

Me: Thanks! And Ann Taylor Loft, on clearance, and an extra 40% off of that.

The husband: Ok, it’s Ann Taylor Loft?

Me: Well, it’s Loft but it’s by Ann Taylor.

The husband: So they’re the same?

Me: No, they’re two different stores. You can call it either Ann Taylor Loft or just Loft if you know what you’re talking about.

The husband: Ok, I know it as Loft.

Me: That’s fine.

The husband: So Ann Taylor doesn’t own Loft?

Me: No, Ann Taylor does own Loft.

The husband: I don’t get it.

Me: It’s like the older sister/younger sister thing. Ann Taylor is the original, Loft is for her younger sister. I like both places.

The husband: So is there one for men? Like Ben Taylor? Or…Basement?
Our 5th anniversary is coming up next Friday. Five years! Next Friday! The husband and I can’t believe it and we wouldn’t change a minute of the last half-decade. A few weeks ago during the church announcements a couple introduced a class they’ll be teaching on marriage. The husband joked, “I’ve been married happily for 29 years, and this year we’ll celebrate our 33rd anniversary.” People chuckled. Days later the husband told me how tacky he thought that comment was and how unfunny for a husband to joke about being unhappily married for any length of time. Unhappy marriages and marriages in genearal aren’t a joke, he said.

Now, we’re all about having a sense of humor but once the husband voiced his opinion (I hadn’t thought about it) I agreed. The husband told me if that couple was really “unhappy” for 4 years of a 33 year marriage, that’s over 10% of the time. Kidding or not, it’s not funny.

I get it and I get what the husband was getting at. A derisive and cavalier attitude toward marriage devalues it and joking about being unhappily married, particularly in church, isn’t being funny or “honest” as so many people are obsessed with, it’s being immature and self-centered.

So, five years in, I was struck by how easily our conversation (see above) from last night, although about a very superficial topic, highlights some extremely simple how-tos of a happy marriage.* These don’t guarantee a happy marriage of course, but they will be present in one. Are we pros? Do we have this down to a science? No, of course not. But after being at this 24/7 for five years we’d be morons if we didn’t know how to get some things right.

* For the “your husband” side of things, my husband would have to start blogging. Or do a guest blog. Hint HINT.

1. Notice things about your wife.

“Are those new pants?”

2. Compliment your wife.

“I like them.”

3. Engage your wife.

“So it’s Ann Taylor Loft?” “So Ann Taylor doesn’t own Loft?”

4. Be honest with your wife.

“I don’t get it.”

5. Make your wife laugh.

“Like Ben Taylor? Or Basement?”

Happy anniversary, baby. Here’s to 5 25 55 a lot more years–I don’t want to put a limit on us.

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3 thoughts on “Happy then, happy now

  1. Pingback: Time to say goodbye | red white and new

  2. YAY!!! 5 years :). It’s the wood anniversary… Has he whittled anything for you? I love how respectful you both are to each other–that’s just so important!

    I will say that I routinely inform people that our first year of marriage was our worst. 100% I wondered if I had married the “right” guy. BUT, I also say that because it was our worst/hardest that means we can only go up from there! And I’m only honest about how hard it was because I have met SOO many people who thought marriage was just all sunshine and roses and then get married and try to combine lives/lifestyles/habits and find that it’s not necessarily that all the time. KWIM? I don’t think I’d ever joke about it, but 1 year out of 5 is 20% (although I’d hardly say I was unhappily married–we just butted heads a lot and had a lot of silly arguments (you want me to keep the pasta there, but I want to keep it somewhere else?) ;). Now that I’ve written a book… I’ll just say that I’m so glad B and I have friends who value marriage as much as we do and still enjoy being with their partner after 5 years and are excited about the future 90+ together!

    The end :).

    p.s. Also, to fly in the face of current culture the marriage conference we just attended suggests that perhaps God created marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy. I like the idea of getting both out of the deal, personally, but just some food for thought.

    p.p.s. won’t this be easier when we’re together in person :)?

    • did you guys go to a sacred marriage (by gary thomas) conference?? we loved what that book said and we are doing his sacred parenting study with our Bible study group right now. 🙂

      as always, thanks for reading and taking the time to reply. i like hearing from you and yes, it will be easier to catch up on all this in person. can’t wait to see you! 😀

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