Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My Best Marriage Advice

Church was over for the day, and the halls were filled with the usual mass exodus of little boys in clip-on ties and girls running with their tulle underskirts flapping behind them.

Phillip and I picked up our two little girls from their Sunday School classes and carried them to the car. We buckled them into their car seats and turned the key in the ignition  and nothing happened.

That's when I remembered I'd left the lights on.

I felt pretty bad about it, even though in the grand scheme of things (or even in a minor scheme of things) it wasn't a big deal. Mentally kicking myself, I told Phillip it was my fault.

Stepping out of the car and back into the parking lot, he flagged down a man nearby and said, "Hey, do you happen to have jumper cables? We left the lights on and our battery died."

Instead of throwing me under the bus in even the smallest way, Phillip assumed half the responsibility for my mistake without even thinking about it, saying "we left the lights on" instead of "my wife left the lights on."

I doubt he'd even remember that day if I asked him, but that was when it hit me with full force: we are a team.

After 14 years, I feel like I should have a bunch of sage pieces of marriage advice. But I only have one.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

When you're two starry-eyed 20-somethings planning your future together, you really have no idea how much you're going to become a team. Or much you're going to need to be one to make it through whatever lies ahead.

Being a team looks different for every couple, because every couple is its own unique mix of personalities, quirks, habits, needs, and strengths.

For us it means that on road trips, Phillip drives while I'm in charge of keeping the kids alive. Because I fall asleep at the wheel.

And since I'm more okay than he is with disrupted sleep, I get up with babies in the night. But he gets up with the older kids in the morning and gets them off to school while I sleep in.

And when we go on vacation, it's my job to give him a list of everything we need and he somehow gathers it up and makes it all fit in the car.

Today's our 14th anniversary, which means it's been fourteen years of sharing diaper duty and planning birthday parties and disciplining our kids and going to elementary school art shows together. We've supported each other through college, moving, having babies (me,) and a kidney stone (him.) We've tag-teamed bedtimes and school pickups and rides to soccer practice.

People see my 6 amazing kids and the fact that I hold down a church calling, write a blog, and even shower most days and they ask me, "How do you do it?"

And truthfully, I don't really know. I'm just pretty sure I couldn't if I didn't have such a great teammate.

After 14 years, I feel like I should have a bunch of sage pieces of marriage advice. But I only have one.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

I feel like I should have accumulated more wisdom than that by now, like after 14 years I should have cracked the formula for a good marriage and can now pass it on to others like the secret recipe for cheddar bay biscuits at Red Lobster.

But I suppose my best marriage advice is this: remember that you're a team.

Also, carry jumper cables in your trunk. You never know when you're going to need them.

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12 comments:

  1. Happy anniversary to you guys! You really do make a great team! Also, the jumper cable advice is very timely, because our car's battery died two days ago, and that's when Angel realized we didn't have jumper cables in the car. Putting them on the grocery list now.

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  2. Happy Anniversary!! Your advice is spot on. So many things go wrong for me when I forget that we are on the SAME team. I hope you guys have a great day and are able to do something special.

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  3. Happy Anniversary! I think your advice sums it up pretty well. Of course, I've been married for 14 years and seven months. Perhaps more secrets will be revealed as we get achieve more happily married year markers.

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  4. Aw, congratulations! Happy anniversary. I agree that you have to remember you're a team. Teams have fun, win and lose together, fight and get over it, respect and rely on each other, and have a good Head Coach, too. :)

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    1. Yes, you should always listen to your Coach! He can see what's going on in the game better than you can.

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  5. Happy Anniversary! The jumper cable advice is too real. Just a few weeks ago James' car died at work and I had to go rescue him with my jumper cables. At least one of us had them!

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  6. Happy Anniversary!! You shared some great pictures of you two. Also, I think that is remarkable advice that I think many people forget along the way.

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    1. Those were both from our anniversary trip to NYC two years ago... it made me realize that we need to take more pictures together since there are very few of just the two of us!

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  7. Happy 14th Anniversary, Jenny, and Phillip. Seems just like yesterday, that it was your 13th! Man, how time flies, when I don't pay attention! lol

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  8. Happy anniversary! Sounds like you've got quite the guy. I wish you and him many more wonderful years together.

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    1. I try not to get too mushy about him on the blog because that's annoying when it's some guy you don't even know, but he is the absolute best.

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