Sunday, June 27, 2010

twelve ... and counting

Today we celebrate 12 years of marriage!  And while that may not seem long enough to make me a marriage expert, since this is my blog I thought I'd write about some of the keys that have kept our relationship strong through thick and thin.  These may seem like rather stringent 'rules', and they are certainly not the norm.  But our culture doesn't have the best track record when it comes to marriage, so we're not trying to fall in line!

1. No cutting each other down in front of other people.  This includes sarcasm.  This is a nasty habit that's hard to break.  But we agreed to this very early in our dating relationship and it's paid great dividends.  And since we're not in the habit of cutting each other down when we're apart, it never happens when we're together either.  Recently Danny came to a seminary event with me.  It was great how many people said to him, "I've heard such great things about you!"  And a man from Danny's Bible Study sought me out once to tell me how highly Danny talks about me in their group.  Now that's cool.
2. No being alone with someone of the opposite sex.  This is a rule we adopted from our days in Bible College.  Even if you're not doing anything wrong, other people who happen to see you alone together don't know that.  There's never a time when we're not representing Jesus to the world around us.
3. No compliments to members of the opposite sex.  If you've just had your hair cut or have a great new dress, you'll never hear Danny tell you that.  And if you're wearing a snazzy tie, don't expect a compliment from me.  You just can't be too careful when it comes to members of the opposite sex.  Even if you don't mean to be flirtatious, the other person may not be in a place emotionally to be able to handle it well.
4. We make decisions as a team.  From little things like 'What should I do on Thursday night?' ... to 'Should I accept this job offer?' ... from 'Should we switch to organic milk?' to ... 'Should I put more money into this car?', life is something we share together, and we honor one another's opinions enough to check first.  Sometimes we disagree, sometimes we defer to each other, other times we push off the decision, but the important thing is that we discuss it together.  I imagine that Danny has gotten some flack for saying, 'I'll check with Carmen and let you know.'  It doesn't sound very 'manly'.  But our marriage is a priority for him and that is such a great feeling.
5. Divorce is not an option.  It hasn't been an issue yet, anyway, but we made a 65-year committment to each other, and then we plan to re-evaluate. (We figure after that long divorce would not be worth the effort!). :)

I'm so thankful for those who helped us navigate the 'dating' scene so many years ago and who gave us good advice at key junctures.  Reilly and Miriam, Ray, Karl, Mary, Mom and Dad, Bonnie and Wayne, Jeff ... each of you helped us to lay a strong foundation for a lifetime together.  Thanks!

Happy Anniversary, Honey!  I'm so glad you picked me!  I just love being your wife.


  1. Interesting keys/rules! I had to think which ones I might be following too. I think that, for me, there have been some exceptions made to keys #2 & 3. Especially since I have so many men relatives and friends! I'm so glad you have had 12 good years! Congratulations! It is good to hear that Wayne and I played a part in helping you lay a strong foundations. (Makes me curious, though, what we said! :)

  2. I love the marriage tips! Thank you Carmen and congratulations to you and Danny!

  3. This is all great stuff. Congratulations.