Today is an anniversary of sorts for me. My husband asked me to marry him twenty years ago today. It wasn't a romantic proposal by any means, but I was ready and said yes with no hesitation whatsoever. He had just come from an annual interview with his Bishop in which the Bishop asked him if there was a girl in his life. To which he said yes. He was then asked if he loved her. To which he replied yes. The Bishop then asked him what was holding him back on getting married. To which he replied that there was nothing.
So we had our usual date afterward and ended up at his parent's house to watch a movie (he was home for the summer from college). He walked me out to my car so I could head home. There was some of the usual goodbye hugging and kissing and then out of nowhere... I hadn't seen it coming... "Well, the Bishop says I should get married. So do you want to get married?" And that was that. All I could think was, 'Finally!' After the realization of what he was asking me finally set in, I said yes.
I had dated him for seven months when I realized he was the one for me and that I didn't want anyone else. But I didn't tell him that. I didn't want to freak him out or anything so I sat back and waited for him to be ready. It took him four more months to figure out that I was the one he wanted too.
In today's society I would be considered crazy or stupid, considering I was only 18 1/2 years old when I became engaged to be married. People would say that it won't last and that we'd end up divorced in a few years. It's a good thing I don't care what society thinks.
It's been a good twenty years, full of ups and downs, but mostly ups. We've grown together and gotten through some pretty tough times. I am so grateful we got married young and had our kids young. We got married for the right reasons and not because we HAD to, but because we wanted to. We didn't wait until we were set in our careers or owned a house or had a nest egg in the bank to start having kids. We jumped right in with both feet and haven't looked back. Starting with nothing and working our way through together has made us a strong family. I'm so grateful we were young, poor, and naive together.
It helps that we had the same goals from the beginning. We both wanted the same things out of life. We were best friends right away and have always loved to spend time together. We are happy together and miss each other when we are apart. Even after twenty years, it is still that way. That is how it should be. A husband and wife should be best friends. You should need each other more than you need anyone else. Whenever I see couples who would rather spend time apart from each other than be together I have to wonder what is wrong in the marriage. That always makes me sad when I see that.
So often I see people put life, money, or other people ahead of their spouse. That is always such a huge mistake. I've come to understand that when we put our spouse first, our children will automatically follow close behind and life will be good. Working 80 hours per week isn't putting your family first, it's putting your bank account first. Putting your parents, siblings, or friends first will only cause your spouse to feel undervalued, unappreciated, and unloved. Putting your children above your spouse will cause resentment and will pull you apart. Put your spouse first and the children second. Someday your children will grow up and leave home and you will only have each other again. Letting the kids know there are limits and that mommy and daddy love each other shows them how to have healthy relationships when they become adults.
Putting ANYTHING above your family will only cause heartache in the end. The only person who should be above your spouse is God. And even then, it's not that you put God first, it's that you have a partnership with Him - a three way partnership - husband, wife, God. Counsel together as a couple and pray for guidance and inspiration in the decisions you make together. Following this pattern with strengthen and solidify your marriage. I know this from experience. I love my husband more than I can ever express in words. I know he feels the same way about me. I know this by the way he treats me. How grateful I am for this day twenty years ago. It was a day that forever changed my life for the better.