My wife and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary. We realize we’ve accomplished something remarkable, because many marriages don’t last as long as ours. Our marriage has even lasted longer than both of our parents’ first marriages.
We don’t claim to be relationship experts, and we’ve made our fair share of mistakes. We’ve found a few things that work.
Trust is the key to all relationships. Without it, a relationship can’t exist. The way to build trust is by being faithful to each other.
My wife and I both watched our parents’ marriages end because of affairs. That’s why I don’t have a lot of respect for people who cheat on their spouses. I feel it’s a cowardly way to deal with problems in a marriage.
For me, faithfulness means being willing to work on your problems, making giving up a last resort instead of a first choice, and being willing to stay committed regardless of the situation. For my wife, she takes a lot of pride in being loyal and said she never will hurt me.
Because we’ve been faithful, we have complete trust in one another. This has enabled us to weather difficult situations that would have ended other marriages.
When people see a couple who have been married for a long time, they assume they must be perfect people who do everything perfectly. My wife and I are far from perfect. We know each other’s flaws, quirks, bad habits, and limitations. We’ve seen each other lose our tempers, make bad decisions, gotten weak and sick, and done things that irritate each other.
We’ve learned to accept each other’s imperfections. I accept my wife’s flaws just as much as she accepts mine. It doesn’t mean we don’t bother each other from time to time, but it does mean we won’t end the relationship over the slightest mistake. This is part of the trust that has strengthened our marriage. We can love each other even when we are at our worst.
My wife and I still love each other very much. She is still beautiful to me, and I am still handsome to her. More than our attraction to each other, love means to us appreciation and caring. I text her each day at work to let her know I’m thinking about her. We seek each other’s opinions. We support each other when we’re having a rough day. And when we disagree, we still make up and show we love each other.
Love means you value someone just as much as you value yourself, if not more. You’re willing to compromise and give a piece of yourself because you know your beloved would do the same for you. Love is when you can be happy just being in each other’s presence.
These are the main reasons why my wife and I have been married for 25 years and look forward to many more years together.