After the Honeymoon…..

Almost thirty years ago, someone stole my heart.

Actually, I stole his hat. In a teenager-infested pizza parlor on a Friday night.
And next week, we will celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary. You can tell we married in the 80’s if you look closely at the gargantuan poufy long sleeves on my dress. For an August wedding in California. Was I nuts?
With another anniversary looming and another year in the record books, my mind is on the whole weddings/couples/marriage subject in general. So I decided to try and summarize what I think has kept us happily married, through thick and thin, through two babies, two puppies, two apartments, and two home purchases.
Making your Marriage Last
Top Ten Ways We Kept from Killing Each Other

Don’t sweat the small stuff. I know, I’m ripping that off from someone (who actually took the time to write a book), but hear me out. If you don’t like how he hangs his towel, either ignore it or re-hang it yourself if it’s that important to you. If he leaves his shoes on the floor, he’s not doing it to drive you crazy or make a statement. People are people and not everyone will do the exact.same.thing the exact.same.way. If you waste all of your energy on small stuff, you won’t have any left for the big stuff that will come. And it will come, trust me.
Share when it makes sense. If you can find a common toothpaste brand, then share a tube! Same mouthwash? Share a bottle! But some things aren’t meant to be shared; like bath towels, underwear, nose rings, and shoes.
Have a money plan. Yours/mine/ours works well for us, and keeps me from demanding “Did you really need that wrench/fishing pole/kayak?” and keeps him from asking “Didn’t you just buy a new pair of sandals LAST summer?” It’s good to have a little mad money for yourself. Not enough that you are running off to Vegas on your lunch break, but enough that you can splurge on a MAC lip-gloss once in a while. Or a secret stash of Dr. Pepper.
Never take each other for granted. For every relationship that lasts and lasts, there is another one that didn’t. Some people leave for work and never come home. Even on the worst, most boring days my heart skips a beat when I see hubby come home from work. And I tell him that. I appreciate that he can fix the water pump on our car; he was amazed when I slip-covered the sofa and loveseat without a pattern.
Go your separate ways. We spend a lot of time together, and hubby doesn’t travel for work as much as he did when our kiddos were little. When we are apart, whether for girl’s night out, having a beer after work with the guys, or a business trip, we have more to share when we are together again. His voice sounds different, he has stories to tell me, and we make more eye contact than usual.
Set some goals together, even if they are silly. Having something you are aiming for together, whether it’s to own your own business, potty-train the puppy, paint the house, vacation in Italy, retire on the beach someday, or just start a family brings you closer. Awww.
Take a look at your honey and pretend like it’s the first time you’ve ever seen him. Or that it’s the last time you will ever see him. I read this somewhere and it really stuck with me. It’s amazing what you notice when you look at someone this way. Diapers, credit card bills, stress at work, and the daily grind have a way of making you forget what it’s all about.
Touch. Well yeah, of course THAT, but I mean other kinds of touches that aren’t expected. Run your fingers through his hair while he’s on the computer. Put your arm around his shoulders and give him a squeeze at the grocery store. Give him a peck on the forehead when he’s watching TV. I don’t know how it works, but it helps keep us connected. I guess it’s magic.
Humor is a key to my marital happiness. Even when a situation seems overwhelming, there’s always something to laugh about. Hubby makes me laugh at least once every single day, and always has. I don’t always think his potty jokes are funny (the kids do) but it makes me laugh that HE thinks they are hilarious. He does impressions. He sings and doesn’t know most of the words, but this doesn’t stop him. He is afflicted with a sort of musical Tourette’s syndrome, which means the mere mention of a word in a sentence causes him to break into a song with the same word in it. Which usually has nothing AT ALL to do with the conversation we were having. And I laugh. Me? I’m not so funny.
Respect each other; the most important thing. I may not agree with everything hubby thinks or says, and he most certainly doesn’t agree with me all of the time. But because of our commitment to each other, we respect these differences. I respect that hubby likes Bob Seger, Johnny Cash, and will eat mushy bananas. He respects that I like Lady Gaga, love broccoli, and enjoy a Dr. Pepper now and then.

OK, maybe he doesn’t respect the Lady Gaga part.


  1. THat is a wonderful list Sherri! 23 years of marriage with your HS sweetheart is something I look forward to someday. God Bless you both and I hope you have a wonderful week together!

  2. We just celebrated our 8 year anniversary on Tuesday! This is a fantastic list (and you guys look so cute in that picture!!). I would add this to the list, which has made our own marriage a joy:

    Always put your spouse's needs above your own.

    If you can both do that, you're golden 🙂

  3. Bethany @ Organic Enchilada says:

    Lovely list. And I drink regular soda, hubs drinks diet, so we don't have to share or get mad at each other for drinking the last one. It's beautiful.

    That was kinda random.

    Anyway, Happy Anniversary to you. Your husband is a lucky man!

  4. Awww, what a wonderful tribute 🙂 Congratulations!

  5. Polished Portrayal says:

    Amazing advice. But due to the sleeves, that you so boldly pointed out, I may not take your fashion advice so seriously…

    25th year anniversary vow renewal anyone? With a sleeveless gown… So funny.

  6. Aging Mommy says:

    Great list and great advice – sometimes some of those things are so very hard to remember. Congratulations, 23 years is a very major achievement and you should both be very proud.

  7. That is a wonderful list. We're coming up on 5 years in November…mere babes compared to you & yours. Congratulations!

  8. The redhead says:

    Love the list. But is it seriously going to take me 23 years to learn how not to sweat the small stuff? That is by far the toughest one for me, what with me being perfect and all. You know how it is.

  9. Happy Anniversary! I love your wedding dress, too. You guys look as happy now as you do in your picture and that is impressive.

  10. Happy 23rd Anniversary next week!! Love your list and information 🙂

  11. What a great post and I absolutely agree on everything except running my fingers through my husband's hair. He's bald. 🙂 Thanks for those gentle reminders and happy anniversary!

  12. Wow, congrats on a successful 23 years! We're celebrating our 10th this year, and this list is very, very true. When you say that if you spend too much time worrying about the small stuff you won't have room for the big stuff..AND "ITLL COME…truer words were never spoken.

    I've learned just in the last two years to put some of the tiny stuff aside because we've had avalanches hit and you need all of your energy to weather them. But with the right attitude, you can come out with such a stronger relationship!

  13. Happy Anniversary!! You are so right about things like money and still having time APART. all of these are so true!

  14. Booyah's Momma says:

    This was BEAUTIFUL. I loved this, and such great words to live by. You guys sound lucky to have each other. Congrats on your anniversary… here's to another 23 years.

  15. Teresa ZM says:

    I had a dress like that too… 🙂
    Recently, on two seperate occasions, two different people visiting our house picked up our wedding picture and asked me, "Who's the guy?" My reply, "My first husband."
    Poor Mark!! He's embarrassed by the whole thing but shakes it off saying, "It's not the age, it's the mileage."
    I appreciate the wedding picture…. to see how it was all those miles ago. 😉

  16. Congratulations on 23 years of marriage. When is your anniversary? Ours is August 21st and we will celebrate 45 years of marriage this year. Your list is spot on. Loved your wedding picture.

  17. Mrs.Mayhem says:

    Happy anniversary! That is a wonderful photo (and you can't even see the poufy sleeves).

  18. Lula Lola says:

    Good advice, and after 23 years, you have earned the right to give it! Congrats!
    My husband makes me laugh too. And I swear a sense of humor goes a lot further than you'd think!
    Really good stuff!

  19. Michelle @ Flying Giggles says:

    I love the list. Congratulations! Happy Anniversary!

  20. I want to know what your colors were…dusty rose perhaps?

    Love the list and I think I'll go get a towel for my husbands sweaty little bald head as I watch him cleaning the skylights as I'm enjoying a glass of wine blog surfing. How's that for thoughtful?

  21. Sherri – fantastic advice! I love the one about looking at your honey. Off to do so right now 🙂

    Happy almost anniversary!

  22. Congratulations Sherry on 23 years!!! I think your list is fantastic – and I think you should put it all in a BOOK (like that 'sweatin the small stuff' person!) You hit the nail on every one of your tips – and I so need to be reminded of them from time to time! They all are SO important! CONGRATS!! (Love the photo, too!!)

  23. Congrats and happy anniversary! This is such good and true advice..and you look so sweet in your wedding picture!

  24. Jersey Diva Mom says:

    Aug anniversaries rock! This is such a great post. The comnent about seeing for the first time or the last time just gave me the chills. really does make you think differently.

  25. Julie Hedlund says:

    This is a great list and should be required reading for newlyweds. We can get so bogged down in the everyday details, it's good to take a look at the big picture.

  26. Excellent advice, and I like how you make it fun to read with your style of humor. And by the way, I like him already. Cash, Seger, mushy bananas, and breaking out into song because of a word…..I can so relate.

  27. The Empress says:

    I love this, and the only one that I can honestly say I incorporate in to our daily life is the "look at your husband as if it were the last time."

    that one takes care of all the other ones.

    It just does.

  28. The mad woman behind the blog says:

    Plotting way to get this under the husband's nose without it coming from me….will indeed need stealth tactics.

    LOVED this! Happy belated Anniversary!

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  152. Hi Patricia,Thanks for the kind comments. As I mentioned in the article, Jesus could very well have been born in December, and the weather in that part of Israel isn’t too cold at that time of year. We simply don’t know what time of year he was born. Also, I’m not convinced that Saturnalia formed the basis for the December 25 date. It had only started a few years before Julius Africanus listed December 25 as the date of Christ’s birth. Although I do agree that the church has far too often incorporated pagan practices into their beliefs. Thanks for reading!

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  159. Marci – Family fun is a good one, also Michael’s has a kids newsletter call The Knack. They also do events in the store that are sometimes free or low cost. So does Lowe’s. They had a build a bird house deal around Mother’s day that I missed but looked totally cute.May 28, 2009 – 9:45 am