I came across this article written by Elizabeth Scalia (don't you just love her!) and it really resonated with me. I'm taking her advice and "writing it out to see it".
Chris and I celebrated our 25th anniversary in June and our kids think it is completely hokey that we truly think of each other as being our best friend, but it is true. As it is in every marriage, and every friendship, there are days when we don't like each other all that much. For us women, it can become a real pity party when we aren't exactly getting along with our husbands, culminating in feelings of unworthiness and unlovableness. In hindsight, we hopefully end up seeing most disagreements are a result of hurt pride and not much more.
It is too easy to take each other for granted. Let's take the time to offer up some gratitude and appreciation for our spouse. Do it in writing, so your can really see it.
In our 25 years of marriage, I cannot think of a single time Chris has ever told me no. I'm a pretty reasonable person (at least I like to think I am), but even the most reasonable person has to throw out some pretty outrageous requests and ideas. It has never mattered how outrageous, crazy, or expensive an idea I've asked him to support. Not only does he support it, he often outdoes what I've asked. In those 25 years I've asked him to attend church--not only did we begin attending church, he began praying for people to come into our lives to help us live out our new faith and within 2 years of that request we were both fully "initiated" into the Catholic Church. I've asked him if I could go off birth control--not only did we say goodbye to the pill, we've had 7 living children and taught NFP for many years. I've asked him to homeschool--this year marks our 18th year of homeschooling. When I suggest giving charitably to a particular organization he always gives more generously than I'd requested. What a blessing it has been to be married to such a genuinely generous man.
Chris enjoys being a homebody and spending time with me. We nurture our friendship by hiking, fishing, hunting, playing games, watching movies, or just sitting with each other. I know he actually enjoys my company and presence. What a blessing it has been to be in such a caring relationship.
Chris encourages my spiritual life. Since suggesting we begin attending church services, we have not missed a single mass unnecessarily. We have been late to mass only once in 22 years. Think about that for a minute. We have 7 children and are never late. He has helped make weekly mass an absolute priority. I attend a weekly holy hour in front of the blessed sacrament due to his encouragement. We endeavor to pray the family rosary each night. He forwards articles to me he feels will enrich my faith. He suggests books he feels I would benefit from the wisdom they impart. What a blessing it has been to have his spiritual support.
Probably my favorite quality of Chris' is his sense of humor. Rare is the day in which he has not made me laugh out loud. Married life has not all been a joyride. We've definitely had our bumps and bruises, but for the most part it has been a real blessing being married to this man. I thank God for the man Chris has become and I thank God for the many graces he has bestowed upon us during these 25 years.