15 Lessons from Being Married

Today marks fifteen years Andy and I have been married. I think fifteen is significant enough to make a list of lessons learned. Here is a list, in no particular order.

  1. Prayer is essential.
  2. Although you might want to be right, if it gets in the way of being kind, it’s not worth it. Kind is always better.
  3. Forever only works without contingencies.Forever must always remain the only option.
  4. Knowing someone loves you as much as you love them is true love. The thing is, sometimes I’m hard to love and he loves me more than I love him. And sometimes he’s hard to love and there are times when I’m loving more. This is ultimate true love.
  5. Forgiveness is easier when the other person couples an apology with an action.
  6. Small things matter — the waiting cup of tea; the full tank of gas; the bowl of red raspberries.
  7. Don’t ever be mad at the same time. As long as one person is rational, almost all fights can be avoided. If we are both angry, we avoid one another. He takes a shower and I cook something in the kitchen. Then we are safe.
  8. Hugs are often the solution. If not, there’s a good chance laughter is.
  9. The more I learn to love Jesus, the more I can love Andy.
  10. Grace is a necessity. And it’s not a one time deal. Grace — moment by moment — is a game changer.
  11. I’ve learned to tell the difference between Pink Floyd and Pearl Jam (most of the time). It’s okay, you can shake your head. Andy does too.
  12. I’ve become quite adept at wiping up water spots — I learned within the first week how water spots are his pet-peeve. I’ve been wiping them ever since. About the same time he learned I can’t stand it when the toothpaste is squeezed in the middle. He’s kept a separate tube ever since. (And if, by chance, he uses mine, he probably forgot to squeeze from the bottom. I’ve learned to just fix it without the drama.)
  13. I‘ve learned to never-not-ever serve a vegetarian meal with the phrase, “This will taste just like meat. You won’t even know the difference.” He’s learned to appreciate some meatless dishes.
  14. We’ve learned the thing we like to do most together is to make someone’s day. We love Random Acts of Kindness. They’ve become our favorite kind of date.
  15. I asked Andy if he’s learned anything. Lots of his lessons were the same as mine, but one stood out as solely his: If you want to golf with your friends make sure the kitchen is clean. If you want to watch a game with your friends, plan to get the kids in bed early.

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  1. Happy Anniversary Ruth and Andy. Fifteen is indeed a time to look at what you've learned. I love each one, but numbers 6 and 8, to me, were especially important.

  2. Happy Anniversary, Ruth and Andy. Great lessons learned. Greg and I are 30 years in and I shook my head “yes” as I read your list. For me, 2 and 3 are the stand outs. Here's to many more!

  3. Happy Anniversary! Lessons 1, 3 and 9 are the ones I constantly cling to…but I love them all! Wishing you many more years of learning and growing together!

  4. Happy Anniversary! I've been married almost 30 years and these all still hold true. My husband has found that cleaning the bathroom is also a good way to get on my good side. 🙂

  5. Life together teaches each of these lessons and many more. Your vegetarian meal made me laugh. I so agree! You have something special with that Ayres boy and you have worked together to create that forever family. Happy anniversary!

  6. Happy Anniversary, Ruth and Andy! Lessons learned through love–a list that is impossible to read without smiling, filled with truths that are both universal and deeply personal to you two.