Today was a gorgeous day here in Vieques but I didn’t have time for the beach (sigh). I spent the afternoon with Larry and Fernando, clients who are visiting the island this week a year ahead of their commitment ceremony next November. They are hilarious and I’m so excited I got to meet them in person. Now I know which guy is going to be my groomzilla! After lunch, I sent them to the beach — I always want to make sure that clients have a true vacation when they come down on a pre-planning jaunt. Helps them to fall in love with the island, if they haven’t already. There’s a lot to fall in love with here.
Unfortunately, we’ve been so busy lately that we haven’t had much time to appreciate this gorgeous island we live on. We did a crazy number of weddings in four months this summer, and we’re still in recovery. Next week, we’re leaving on vacation for a few weeks. We’re going to visit friends, catch up on rest, and celebrate our own 5th wedding anniversary. Isn’t it sad that in order to vacation, we have to leave our tropical island? Anyway, our upcoming wedding anniversary inspired today’s blog. Five years together and I still love Bill a little bit more every day. What’s the secret? Appreciate each other. And celebrate your anniversary every month.
Most people have their wedding rings engraved. It’s a good idea for a couple of reasons:
1 – it’s sentimental — you can surprise each other with what you put in the ring
2 – it makes it easier to get it back if you lose it
3 — most importantly, if you put your wedding date inside the ring, your spouse NEVER has an excuse to forget the big day!
Celebrate your wedding anniversary every month. I don’t mean you have to get dressed up and buy gifts — just acknowledge that it’s your anniversary to one another in a special way. An extra kiss before you leave for work, a quiet dinner together alone at home (with the TV off), a long walk with the dog together after work. You get my point. Every single month is a landmark. Look at the divorce rate in this country, for God’s sake — 50%!!! We are the new generation of married couples. We are the future. And it’s up to us to show the generation before us that you can, in fact, make a marriage work and be happy together for years.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the minutia of life and not have time for each other. But that’s a slippery slope. I know some couples have date night on a weekly basis — that’s a great idea too. But if it’s not practical because of your schedules, just make sure you do the monthly anniversary together if possible. No matter where you are, just remember to say to each other “I love you” and “Happy Anniversary!” Because it is something to celebrate. And if you’re having a rough time or a particularly bad month, take a step back and thank God that at least you have a solid, loving marriage. You should celebrate that.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. The bills are due. You have a family member who is ill. You hate your boss. The roof has a leak. The new puppy refuses to be housebroken. When all these things hit at one time, it’s hard to see the silver lining. But there’s always a silver lining if you have a life partner that you love. There’s always a little light at the end of the tunnel. There’s always something at the end of the rainbow (unfortunately, it’s not always a pot of gold — but there’s always something there). When things get too overwhelming and you feel like you want to quit, you have to look at something that is steady and secure and safe for reaffirmation that you’re going to make it through that day, week or month. That security is the love you have with your spouse. No matter what happens, he or she will be there for you, with you, beside you until you get through whatever challenges you face together.
Let’s face it — men suck about remembering important dates (sorry guys — the truth hurts). And your monthly anniversary is an important date. So engrave it in his ring. Put a reminder on his Outlook calendar. And never get mad when he forgets — just tease him when you remind him.
And gentlemen — don’t forget your anniversary. Bill used to bring me flowers all time for no reason when we lived in DC, but he can’t do that now because here I am the florist. So instead he does other sweet things for me that let me know he cares. On a hot sticky day when I’ve been out running around and am exhausted and miserable, he’ll treat me to a couple bottles of this orange drink stuff I’ve gotten addicted to down here. I don’t keep it in the fridge because I’ll drink it — it’s a sweet icy cold rush and the sugar boost lasts for long enough to help me finish whatever I’m doing. I consider it a special treat. Bill has been known to go out and get it for me without me asking. It’s not a big deal, but when he does it, it seems like the biggest deal in the world.
Sometimes, he’ll come back from town with a frappacino from Roy’s Coffee House for me without me asking — and I know he had to deal with parking in town to get it and then rush it home to me before it melts. It’s a lot of effort. Especially because Bill doesn’t even drink coffee.
And when I’m on a hour after hour of back-to-back conference calls with clients, he’ll stick his head in my office every so often to check and see if I need anything to drink. He’ll bring in little snacks. Sometimes, if he can tell I’m having a particularly difficult call, he’ll sit in and listen so that he can talk with me about it when I’m finished. He realizes it can be stressful trying to talk a bride off the ledge.
Most importantly, since my wedding planning business took off, Bill has taken on most of the household responsibilities so I can focus on the clients. He does some of the cooking (a big step) and most of the dishes. He does ALL the laundry now (after some initial laundry debacles with my delicates, he’s gotten the hang of it — although he refuses to adopt my system and has his own, the stubborn man). He does the post office and bank runs. And a million other things that make my life easier on a daily basis. Gosh, when I sit down and think about it, I realize that he’s an even better husband that I thought — and I thought he was pretty close to perfect!
I guess my point is that, with marriages being treated as disposable by so many people, a good marriage is something to appreciate. You have to work on it, and you have to feed it lots of love and energy. But you will both be rewarded for every little bit of effort that you put in. We are the new generation and it’s up to us to return marriage to the lifelong commitment it was always meant to be.
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!