31 Keys to Living 31 Years Happily Married to the Same Person (No One Does I Do Like We Do)
Happy 31st Anniversary, Larry!
I echo Harry Conick, Jr.’s song: No one does I do like we do.
A lot of them mean it when they say it, but they don’t do I do like we do or they’d still be doing I do, too.
In honor of our 31 years together, here are 31 keys to how we’ve done I do so well and kept ourselves from saying, Never mind, I don’t anymore.
31 Keys to Living 31 Years Happily Married to the Same Person
- We’ve laughed. A lot. And I really do mean a lot!
- We’ve kept God the center of all our decisions – and forgiven each other when we didn’t.
- We married each other for exactly who we were on the day we said I Do with no hidden agenda to fix the other after we married.
- We’ve prayed for each other and our marriage. A lot. And complained about each other only to God.
- We’ve looked only to God to change the other – but, more importantly, to first change us.
- We’ve committed to snapping the snapping at each other because it only shows disrespect, never love or kindness.
- We’ve kept a thick skin, slathered in patience and a great sense of humor, always ready to laugh at ourselves.
- We’ve given the other freedom to laugh, not only with us but at us without getting offended. In fact, we’ve joined in the laughter.
- We’ve held each other and cried. And even when my tears seemed silly, he held me and loved me instead of belittling me.
- We’ve said I’m sorry – even when we didn’t think we did anything wrong.
- We’ve given grace when we should’ve said sorry but didn’t.
- We’ve laughed some more, even when we wanted to cry. Sometimes especially when we wanted to cry.
- He’s accepted me with my quirks (chewing noises make me crazy) and phobias (no skydiving or deepwater diving for me). I accepted him with his quirks (no lights or noise allowed after he’s gone to bed) and his maddeningly methodical ways (researching something for 10 years — or maybe it was really just 10 days — before making a decision. Yeah, I know it’s saved us a fortune. Thanks!)
- I’ve encouraged him when he’s taken our children to do crazy things without making him feel like a bad father. (It’s increased my prayer life, and that’s good, right?)
- We’ve drunk lots of coffee.
- We’ve lived life in community, surrounding ourselves with friends and family to love, support, encourage, and challenge us.
- He’s helped me in my garden when he could’ve been hunting.
- We’ve said thank you a lot — even after helping me with the laundry and thus shrinking my favorite shirt. And especially for not getting mad when I’ve gone out and replaced that one shirt with five others.
- He’s done the stuff I hate just because I hate it, like going to the grocery store and filling up my gas tank.
- He hasn’t counted the number of books I’ve bought or writers conferences I’ve attended. He’s even gone to some conferences with me just to meet my writing friends and encourage me. (But I also haven’t blown our budget to do it.)
- I’ve encouraged and cheered him on when he’s gone on yet another hunting trip because I know he loves it. And he hasn’t let his hunting monopolize his time. He keeps hunting after me — except on the first and last day of the season. I can deal with that.
- He doesn’t make me feel bad for not wanting to go hunting. (Sit still and quiet in a deer stand? No thanks!)
- He’s handled everything with the house and kids when life has overwhelmed me. Like those years I drove back and forth between my parents in Georgia and home to be with them at the end of their lives.
- We’ve loved each other’s families as our own.
- We’ve trusted each other, believing the best, and forgiven each other when we’ve acted the fool.
- We’ve encouraged and supported each other to reach for our dreams.
- We’ve given each other the freedom to make mistakes without fear of criticism or wagging of the head.
- We’ve believed the best in each other even when we’ve been our worst.
- We’ve showered our home in grace, grace, grace. (And boy, have I needed it.)
- Even when we didn’t feel love, we’ve chosen to show love, because love never fails.
- And last but not least, he’s made sure I never leave home without my chargers. (The kids are laughing at this one.)
Thanks, Larry, for loving me every single day of our 31 years of marriage — especially on those two days when I was less than lovable!
No One Does I Do Like We
Harry Connick, Jr. says he wrote the song “No One Does I Do Like We Do” for his wife. But I think he wrote it for Larry and me.
It’s never too late to have an amazing marriage. It’s a choice and commitment we all can make.
Our son and his beautiful bride have made that choice.
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