Our 18th anniversary

Today is my 18th wedding anniversary!  And what makes it even more special is that I’ve now been officially married for half of my life.  (My ds16 asked me today if I felt like it had been 18 years, and I wasn’t sure how to answer – I don’t feel old enough to have been married that long but obviously I am!)

I’ve been thinking about marriage lately.  Some people might think that if you have a good marriage, it kind of stays like that once you get it off the ground.  But you really can’t take your marriage or your spouse for granted, no matter how strong your relationship is.  Relationships become stronger with regular investments of time and energy, and feelings of connection fade when too long goes by without consciously putting forth time and energy to build the relationship.

I recently caught myself being so busy that my husband and I were basically giving instructions/information to one another in passing, without having time for meaningful conversation.  Even though my husband is the most important person in my life, I realized I wasn’t allocating my time in a way that reflected that.  A couple of days ago I told him I recognized that I’ve been doing this, and that I’d really like to have a weekly night out together.

This has been something he’s wanted to do for a long time but I’ve been resistant to making it something regular that I have to put into my schedule.  My nature is that I enjoy getting things done, and it’s actually relaxing for me to be at home and cleaning the kitchen while chatting.  But my husband understandably doesn’t find it relaxing to talk to me when I’m cleaning the kitchen and flitting from one thing to another.  And honestly, it’s totally different when you get out of the house, because all of your focus is on your spouse, not on what else has to be done at home.

Recognizing that love means doing for someone what they perceive as loving, not doing what you want and then getting annoyed that he doesn’t appreciate your efforts, I felt it would be an important message for him and for myself, that I was putting our relationship ahead of everything else.  It’s not just a token acknowledgement – it means in the middle of a busy week setting aside an evening when we know we’ll have a chance to connect on a meaningful level (we already have that on the weekend, so having a mid week opportunity helps bridge the gap).

Going out doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive.  I prefer quiet settings where I’m not distracted by other people, so I can focus on my husband.  My husband knows my preferences by now and suggested a place by a lake, which was really beautiful.  It was peaceful and quiet (both of which I really appreciate, not having much of that during the course of a day!), and I’m looking forward to making it a regular part of my week.  I really enjoy his company, and I love that our relationship gets better and better every year!

Avivah

11 thoughts on “Our 18th anniversary

  1. Mazal tov! Doing the math makes me realize that you and I are the same age. So I guess I can’t say that I want to be Avivah when I grow up! 😉 May you and your husband share many long, happy, and healthy years together raising your beautiful family and continuing to influence the world for good.

  2. Hi Aviva –
    Mazel on your Chai anniversary!!! May you and your husband continue to share a life together that is full of happiness, growth, and love ( not neccesarily in that order)

    Love
    Devoiry

  3. Mazel Tov, Avivah, to you and your hubby!!! I wish I had been lucky enough to meet my husband so young! I love your date night, sounds romantic and peaceful!

    1. Thank you all for your good wishes!

      I’ve never referred to my age in the last four years of blogging but this anniversary being half of my life is significant to me; omitting that would be leaving out a very important detail! People always assume I’m older than I am based on the age of my oldest (he’ll be seventeen next week), but if they meet me in person and don’t know about my family size, assume I’m younger than I am. So I have a feeling a number of readers may have been surprised after doing the math. :)

  4. I met my husband when I was 18 (and a 1/2) although I was 22 by the time we actually got married, and I too was thinking that we were getting close to that half way point when I will have known him for half of my life. Since we met when I was 18.5, that won’t be until almost another year from now. (So we’re also about the same age…)

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