“ A successful marriage requires falling in love many times
and always with the same person.” Mignon McLaughlin
This weekend my husband Phil and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary. It is hard to believe that we have been married almost 25 years as the time has really flown by! I fondly remember how I first met Phil. I was on summer break from university, desperate for a job and feeling let’s just say … very lonely. "Looking for Love in All The Wrong Places" could be my theme song at that time sadly I guess. I asked my mom to approach friends of ours, the Romualdi family to see if I could get a job at their grocery store for the summer. Unfortunately they did not need summer help, but I was offered at first much to my dismay … the job of their housekeeper. My initial reaction was an absolute “no,” as this was not the type of work I had in mind. After some convincing, my mom got me to give it a try as she knew the family well, and knew that it would be a very positive and pleasant experience with Mrs. Romualdi working right alongside me. Well it did end up being a great job. They had a gorgeous home on the lake and working alongside Mrs. Romualdi, I grew to appreciate and love her dearly. We took many breaks, had great, long chats and she ALWAYS gave me the more pleasant housekeeping duties as this is just the type of person she is. Well to make a long story short, her son Phil came up often in our many conversations and one day he came home for lunch when I was working. I guess the rest is history! We hit is off right away! Not only was he incredibly handsome, but he had a wisdom beyond his years, a strong desire to settle down and a very sweet and sensitive nature I was immediately drawn to. It was like that feeling of I have known you all my life, “yet where have you been all my life?” all at the same time! Phil was such a breath of fresh air. He lived right down the street from me, but it took me a while to find him. I am so glad I did and I know that it was clearly God’s timing and plan for us to meet and marry.
So this brings me to where I am today, reflecting on 22 years of marriage. We have sure had our ups and downs, and no marriage is perfect believe me, but there are many things that Phil has done to contribute to the success of our marriage and I would like to speak about that at this time. I have certainly tried my best to make our marriage work as well, as it takes two to have a successful marriage but I really want this blog to be what I appreciate about my husband Phil. I want to put "trait number six" into action if you will so here goes! Phil you keep teasing me about when I will write a blog about you, so here it is. I hope you like it! The Six Traits of Successful Marriages and How They Apply to My Husband Phil!
Trait Number One: Love your spouse and hold him or her in high regard above all other people. I have always felt loved and valued by Phil. He encourages me daily through his words and actions. He is my biggest fan. Besides writing, I love to sing. He has sat through more concerts of mine than I can count and will clap with gusto like he has never heard that song before each time. I don't know if I have ever even thanked him for that so thank you Phil! He works afternoons, but calls and texts often to keep in touch, which is very appreciated. As much as he loves our kids, I know that I have that that special top priority spot in his heart. He makes sure we take time for just the two of us and it is really healthy for our relationship.
Trait Number Two: Listen to and value your spouse’s dreams and goals no matter how grandiose or challenging they may seem. The fact that you support and really listen to your spouse about these special aspects of their lives makes all the difference. I have many dreams and goals and Phil has always been my biggest cheerleader. I had a dream to write and publish a book which I have done called Magic Kisses: A Grief Journey From Heartache to Hope. Phil has supported me from the start with this dream, as he was the first to propose I consider it. Though we had some challenges and hurdles taking it from an idea to reality, Phil’s belief that it would one day be a reality for me never wavered and I am so thankful for that!
Trait Number Three: Strive to bring out the best in each other.
I have often told Phil that he is the wind beneath my wings, but I really feel that. Phil and I are a great team. In some ways we are quite opposite, but I think that is why our marriage works. Phil has helped me grow in areas I struggle and has taught me many things. It was Phil’s idea that I become a teacher which I am today. It was not of interest to me originally as I am a social worker and at the time I was quite content working at our local library. Phil kept revisiting that notion of me teaching seeing the potential I could have to use my skill set and really help kids in a powerful and meaningful way. His encouragement and belief in me gave me the courage to leave a profession I enjoyed and head off to teacher’s college on a new and uncertain path. This has been a very positive move for me and I know I would not be where I am today without Phil’s support.
Trait Number Four: Stick together when the times get tough. We have been through many challenges as a couple like our family business Phil’s Leamington Foods being forced to close, several miscarriages, unemployment, deaths in the family of close loved ones, and many career changes. It has not been easy but through it all with God at the center of our relationship we have made it through. Phil has listened to me endlessly talk about heartaches, stressful situations, uncertain scenarios, and depressing topics. Through it all he has offered a listening ear, good advice, a kick in the pants if needed and a reassurance that he is right beside me all the way, no matter what we go through. A true test of marriage is how it stands during the tough times, and it is these tough times that can really make your marriage stronger if you allow it.
Trait Number Five: Keep God at the center of your relationship. This simple statement will help you immensely. Phil takes pride in being the spiritual leader in our home. He prays often for us and about us. He believes in and values what we have and knows that no matter what comes our way with God as part of the equation, we can take it one day at a time. If this is not a part of your marriage at present I urge you to invite God into your marriage and see what happens. You will be very glad you did I can assure you, as no longer are you alone as a couple but have every issue covered by the Lord Almighty. This is quite reassuring!
Trait Number Six: Say and show you love each other often!
My husband says and shows me he loves me often. He often takes me out to dinner or will drop by with a coffee at work to show he cares. Mornings are hectic at our house and I do try to do my part but no word of a lie, because he works afternoons, before he leaves for work he tidies up the entire house, doing lots of extras like deep cleaning and wash! I am very blessed! He is a custodian and his organizational skills and cleaning abilities really come in handy around our home!
So those are some of the things I appreciate about Phil. God has blessed me and I am truly thankful. He is not perfect but perfect for me. Our marriage is not perfect but we value it and feel that it is worth fighting for. Maybe your marriage is similar, better or worse. No matter what the state of your marriage is though, it is NEVER too late to start trying to make it better. Consider these six simple traits and put them to work today. You and your spouse will be so glad you did! Believe me! God bless!
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ~ Two are better than one… for if they fall, one will lift up the other.
Little Lesson Learned: A good marriage does not just happen. Take time to value it and nurture it. It is worth the effort!
Copyright: littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2014