Okay guys and gals, the secret to 20 years of marriage is not a simple one. Nor is it something you can survive and thrive through with a quick fix seminar. It isn’t because you are destined to be together, or that the wife is always right. It isn’t something that just happens.
Wait for it…
There is no secret. A long lasting marriage is made up of many things and dependent on each individual and couple. It is also dependent on characteristics and traits that are valued and displayed in a relationship. Twenty characteristics that endear my heart to Neil:
Here are 20 reasons why today, Neil and I are celebrating 20 years of marriage, and I am eternally grateful for a lifelong best friend and husband.
1. Take Risks
Neil took a risk on an Aussie gal he met for a day and a half on a small drinking island in Fiji. She was non-catholic, didn’t Ukrainian dance, and she was a bit of a rebel.
2. Follow Your Heart
After knowing each other for less than four months, Neil knew he had met the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He proposed.
This Aussie gal had never experienced -30oC, so when we did Neil always snuggled up tight and made sure I was warm.
4. Try New Things Together
Building a snow shelter and then staying overnight in it wasn’t something on the top of my list. We did it, and once again Neil snuggled up and kept me warm.
5. Laugh Together
Always remember to laugh. Neil has such an awesome sense of humor.
6. Make a Commitment
We shared our vows twice with each other. We made a commitment to love and to hold, through sickness and health, good times and bad. A commitment we have both upheld, value and cherish.
7. Celebrate Each Other
Celebrate by experiencing things together, not just buying something. Be together. Celebrate each other.
8. Cheer Each Other On
Whether it’s a birthday, a promotion, an opportunity – always be your partners #1 cheer leader. Neil has always been my #1!
9. Work Hard for the Life You Desire
We begun our life together in a very small apartment with a futon that acted as our bed and couch, a TV and dining table. We had no vehicle and caught the train to work together every day. We lived there until we saved enough and were able to afford our first house.
10. Honor Each Others Individual Lives
We have always honored the need for both of us to have independent lives outside of our marriage. Friends, hobbies, trips alone or with others.
11. Play Full Out
Halloween, theme parties have always been a blast with Neil. We’ve had so much fun over the years and always play full out!
12. Give Back Together
Generosity brings so many rewards. Finding meaningful charities to support together builds respect, love and humility.
13. Don’t Take Life too Seriously
Fun. Play. Goofing around. When we let loose, we let loose, and have a whole ton of fun. Life is so much easier when we don’t take ourselves so seriously all the time.
14. Everyone Deserves to Dress Up once in a While
I love it when we dress up for a special occasion or a night out.
15. Discover Together
Discovering and trying new things together is such a beautiful gift of quality time. Neil’s main Language of Love is “Quality Time” and we make sure we do just that.
16. Chill Out
Taking time to just sit back, relax and be is a gift that today’s society doesn’t recognize as much. We love to just hang out and relax.
17. Party Together
Every now and then you need to just let loose and have some fun. There are so many fond memories of us partying together and with friends.
18. Love Your Tribe
There’s the saying ‘You are who you surround yourself with,” and we are very fortunate to surround ourselves with amazing friends who we adore and cherish spending time with.
19. Support the Same Team
Supporting a team can really be a family affair – just ask the Samis family (sorry private joke), cheering on the same team brings such comradery and enjoyment. GO Flames GO!
20. Family is Everything
Our family is our soul, it’s our gift and our legacy. Being parents together is the most treasured blessing and opportunity to grow. May our love for each other, be passed on to our daughters who in turn will value relationship, value commitment, and value family.