The other day as we were talking my wife mentioned that she thinks this past year has been the best so far. I was initially surprised at this comment. Believe me when I tell you that we as most couples have experienced many ups and downs over these years. Moments where we’ve looked at each other and wondered what we were doing still together. Moments where we question our decision to join ourselves together for better or for worse.
When I heard my wife say that this past year was our best I paused and reflected. Because I agree with her statement I wondered: What keeps our relationship moving forward. What has made the last year so good? What are we doing differently that we have never done before?
The first thing is that we have learned the necessity about being intentional about our marriage. When I say intentional I mean to be intentional about everything. Specifically what has helped us so much is that we have become more intentional about our relationship.
Over the years we have traditionally done very well at spending time together as that is my wife's non-negotiable love language. We have traveled by plane, boat, canoe, car, and bus. We have hiked, snorkeled, climbed, traversed, and portaged.
The one thing that we have learned to do in recent years that has made the difference in our marriage is the art of communication. Specifically the ability to communicate how we feel at any given moment and not worry about judgment or punishment. Ultimately this leads to vulnerability at which you find true intimacy.
This is why my wife can look at me and say this has been the best year so far! Because we know each other better than ever. We know each other's flaws, faults, fears, and failures and accept each other in spite of all of them.
We've learned to love each other through our short comings because those are what make us human and unique.
Lastly, is the unsaid. What has been said but unsaid to this point is that I choose to love my wife and she chooses to love me. Let's remember that love is choice. I choose to love my wife every day. Some days it's an easy choice that I don't put much effort into. Other days it is a conscious choice and I remind myself of the commitment and promises I made.
It's been a 16 year roller coaster and that's okay! I anticipate the next 16 will be a wild ride too and today I am excited what the future holds for us!edit.