In a couple days, my husband and I will be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary. Such occasions always provoke reflection, and I can't help but think of how much I enjoy married life.
Don't get me wrong, sometimes it's aggravating, like when you compete with each other for who is Most Tired.
Or when you get excited for a popsicle upon opening the freezer, but oh no, there aren't any — it's actually just an empty box.
Or when you decide to tell him you are sad, and that you don't like your new city, and that you have no friends, and it's too hot, and it storms all the time, and you'll never be a successful writer. But instead of making you feel better, he gets sad because you're sad, and all your feelings-sharing did was make everyone sad.
Or when he asks you where the salt is and you wonder if you even live in the same house together.
Don't get me started on when he asks you where the ketchup is before opening the refrigerator…
It's annoying, but mostly, being married is awesome.
Below is a list of 21 ways marriage makes life better:
1. It is comfortable and secure. I can be my (nerdy) self. I don't have to hold back my urge to bust a move or belt out a song. He already knows I can't sing and lack even the tiniest ability to dance. He loves me anyway, so I enjoy myself, and don't feel any shame if I do so while wearing nothing but granny panties and a tank top with our children's food remnants on it.
2. You don't have to pretend like you're not crazy. I can be a hormonal, irrational, sensitive mess and he totally expects it. He knows it's his job to not fix my problems but to say "I'm sorry. That must really suck" while stroking my hair.
3. You have someone to reassure you that your sick baby is going to be okay, that your headache isn't caused by a brain tumor, and that the turbulence is normal — the plane's not going to crash.
4. You'll always have a cheerleader. Smart husbands know that what's good for you is good for them. They want the best for you, and have your back.
5. You feel a little less weird by being with someone who is probably weird like you. People just seem to match up in their types and degrees of weirdness.
6. Spouses have complimentary characteristics. My husband has a lot of the qualities that I lack, and they kind of rub off on me. So thanks to his honest and authentic nature, I have learned to be less of a people-pleaser and better at being true to myself. I've also learned to not use the towels we use on our bodies for cleaning up messes…
7. Spouses share secrets. They don't keep them from each other, but they keep each other's, and that's a special closeness.
8. You have someone to help you make decisions. I like to ask my husband's opinion on practically everything, that way if something goes wrong it won't be all my fault.
9. Spouses share their own language. Only me and my husband know that "fastupid" is being a mixture of facetious and stupid. Only we know what a "tookie" is. Or do we? I'm not sure, but we talk about tookies all the time. I'm pretty sure many couples are also good at communicating without using any words at all, only eyes are necessary.
14. There are legal benefits. I won't go into tax deductions, health insurance, IRAs and that boring stuff, but our union is recognized by the law. This makes it easy for me to be a good little housewife and handle business, even if its his business. His business is my business.
15. You have someone to share responsibility with. Life is a heavy load. Make it lighter by being a team. Rock-paper-scissors for who changes the next diaper.
16. You share a love that is boundless. My husband has inspected my stools before and he still manages to find me attractive. I'm pretty sure saggy skin and weird stray hairs won't turn him away as we age, either.
16. There is an element of peace that comes with being settled down. Marriage means a lot of the big decisions in life are taken care of, and rather than wonder what your future holds, you enjoy the moment more. Life has begun.
17. You get to share yourself completely. Marriages thrive when people are open. By sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly you feel understood and accepted for all of who you are. That is the meaning of love.
18. You face the world together. A Swedish proverb says, "Joy shared is double joy, sorrow shared is half the sorrow." We have each other to laugh with and smile at when our kids are cute and funny. And we have each other to hold when we think we might lose it.
19. It gives you a sense of belonging — I'm not going to lie, the title of wife makes me feel special and proud. We share a name, a family, our dreams, and our future.
20. It evokes self-discovery and improvement. Successful people learn that it is more important to look inward when faced with marital problems, rather than blame their spouse. In this way, marriage helps you be more reflective.
21. Forgiveness is abundant. Spouses see each other's ugly sides, insecurities, and shortcomings, but they constantly forgive each other and accept each other's humanness while also encouraging each other's betterment.
An anniversary is a celebration of love and commitment, but because of the effort put forth, it is also a celebration of individual growth and accomplishment.
Let us revisit often the promises we made and all the reasons we fell in love.