Today we are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary. We have been together 20 years but married for 15 of them.
What have we learned about a healthy relationship?
Well we both have been previously married so we have tried very hard not to repeat our past mistakes and we both understand what it means to be hurt by someone you love.
1- we respect each other, we might not agree with each other but we respect their decisions or choices.
2- no one is perfect so deal with it!
3- when we fight -we fight fair, no name calling or character assassination!!!! That kind of behaviour is just childish and it says more about you than it does about your partner.
4- We support each other in our personal interests and endeavours.
5- This is very important for a relationship, we are each our OWN PERSON. We are individuals, not an extension of each other. We can exist without each other. We enjoy our own company and pursue our own interests. We have our own friends and friends we enjoy together. We have a life outside of each other which makes our life together that much richer.
6- We try to have realistic expectations of each other, no one person can be all you need them to be, that is impossible.
7- We all have our own baggage, family history, past relationship whether it be friendships or intimate these experiences shape us and can change who we are. Be prepared to live with each others baggage.
Know going in you are taking on not only the person but that persons joy and pain from past experiences.
The past does rear it's ugly head at times and needs to be dealt with. Sometimes we have to clean up the mess so help each other do that in whatever way works for your relationship.
8- Only one of you can go crazy at a time. We decided this when we first got together. This is what we meant by that. Only one of us can be working on issues at a time, the other is available to support the other. Over the years this has seemed to work out for us. It seems that when one of us has personal issues to deal with the other is always free emotionally, mentally and physically to support the other. There is always one of us available to the other to pick up the slack and stand in support the other in difficult times.
9-God comes first in the relationship. In the end we allowed God to make the final decision. When we both found ourselves separated from our previous spouses we decided to allow God to make the choice for us if we were to remarry. When we surrendered to that, God was free to move in our lives and prepare our hearts for the spouse He chose for us. Gods choice is always perfect even if we are not!
This is what we have learned so far throughout all our years together. The time has been filled with challenges, joys, heartaches, and triumphs. This is what a marriage consists of. It is not easy. It is hard work and if you are not prepared to get your hands dirty don't enter in to such a relationship. Some people are just not suited to such relationships and that is okay. For those who are we cheer you on and wish you all the best. Our journey together is not over, there are both joys and challenges ahead, there are more personal issues to be dealt with and relationships to be healed and we stand firm together steadfast to embark on the next great adventure that God sets our course on!