Michael and I have been married for half of our lives—20 years. It’s okay if you want to applaud or send gifts. New towels or sheets would be perfect! After 20 years we celebrate our anniversary for totally different reasons than for when we were married for 5 years or even 15 years. We’re committed to our partnership with our eyes are wide open. We’ve seen the best and worst in one another and we still say I do every day.
While I’m still head over heels for Michael’s beautiful blue eyes, fabulous sense of humor, thoughtfulness and incredible mind there’s more to our marriage than those things which first attracted me to him. What does love look like at 20 years of marriage?
I’m not one to hold a grudge. I crave resolution and closure. I don’t mind a confrontation—even a fight—but I like to make up. Forgiveness seems simple, but it’s not. There are times when I don’t even realize I haven’t forgiven Michael until I feel angry at almost everything he does. Old wounds have a way of resurfacing when forgiveness isn’t complete. Forgiveness is freedom—for you and the one you love.
I remember just a short time ago feeling hopeless about a certain area of our marriage. I wrote in my journal: “I seriously have zero hope that things will ever change.” Guess what? They did! I continued to journal, pouring my heart out to God and praying for His help and direction. I took a hard look at myself and realized I needed to change; I needed to be a little more honest and a lot less self-reliant. Development is always uneven—we both place our hope in God and are confident in His unrelenting work in us.
Love at 20 years of marriage is something to celebrate. Michael commented to me the other day that he thinks we should celebrate our anniversary for the entire year and I agree. There’s something big about this year for us and we’re reveling in it. We celebrate each other—not the perfection of our marriage but the fact that we are always growing. The joy, the pain, celebrating us and the life we choose to live together. Celebrating each beautiful moment and the messy imperfect ones too.
What does love look like in your marriage? Comment below or start a conversation on social media.
Coming this Monday: Love at 20 Years Marriage Part 2 by Michael Howard!
For more about our story buy my book: How to Love Your Crazy Family – 52 Quick Reads for No Ordinary Days
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