Yesterday, January 20th, was our 14 year wedding anniversary. We met when I was 18, and we were young, broke and crazy in love. We didn’t wait long to get married (14 months after we met, actually) and had a quiet little ceremony in Sedona, Arizona. I can remember it like it was yesterday – putting on my dress, the nerves – followed by that quiet calm that I was doing the rightest thing in the world. Our entire wedding (dress and suit included) cost about $2000. I think the only thing we cared about was just being married – so quick and sweet worked perfectly for us.
When it came to making our 14th anniversary special, we decided to re-create some of our wedding pictures. So we packed up the car and after a lovely weekend in Flagstaff, we drove down to Sedona and got set up. As soon as we came up with the idea, I knew the exact dress I wanted to wear – a white full skirted number from City Chic. I kept the accessories simple (and threw in a blue necklace as my ‘something blue’) and grabbed my favorite lippie.
some of our original wedding pictures, taken January 20th, 2001
For this post, Nick and I wanted to share the one thing we’ve learned being married for this long – a bit of relationship advice if you will.
I’ve always found that there is one rule in relationships: protect each other. That’s really all you need to do. It may sound simple, but it comes with a lot of sub-items. Your job in a relationship is to make sure your partner is taken care of – to protect them from harm, from getting into danger.
Protecting your partner could be as simple as pointing out the dip in the street so they don’t trip, to being honest about something difficult – even if they don’t want to hear it. Whatever protection means to you, do that. If you’re in a situation where you don’t know what to do, think about protecting them and let that guide you.
Disagreements can turn into uncomfortable yelling matches, or into opportunities to learn more about your spouse — It all depends on how you approach it.
It’s very easy to get sucked into the anger of the moment, but it’s important to not give into that temptation. No snide remark you make is going to benefit your relationship. Whatever justification you’re feeling in your position, remember that your spouse is feeling the same way. As long as you maintain curiosity about their feelings, you’ll be able to understand why they believe and feel the way they do, and empathize with their point of view.
With this, disagreements won’t be a taboo to be avoided for fear of anxiety, but rather a discussion that feels productive and strengthens the relationship.