September 1, 2023 was my twenty-ninth wedding anniversary. That sounds like a milestone and it feels like one.
My Motorman and I were born on the exact same day in the SAME hospital! So many say we are a couple made in heaven. I'll leave whether that is true or not up to you.
Each of us showed up to this marriage with hidden wounds, biases, and unexpressed expectations. We jumped in the deep-end at a young age and busied ourselves with work. home, and family. We grew together. We fought and made up. We lived the average suburban life.
As the kids started to become more independent, the wounds, biases, and expectations started to rear their head. Both of us had to come to a moment of looking ourselves in the mirror and daring to ask ourselves difficult questions. We have a wonderful therapist that we see weekly. It's like having a personal trainer for our well-being.
Today, we feel proud for the effort we put into our marriage. The fact that we and our relationship is always under construction is a source of joy for us. We make each of our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health a priority. I look out for mine and his and he looks out for his and mine. We had to let go of assumptions and the enticing lure of wanting the other to fill in the holes created by heartache and past wounding. We are nowhere near perfect and that's just how we like it....most days.
We both took some time to reflect on the things we wish we had known years ago. Here are just a few of the things we came up with.
Attachment styles: Understanding where I was coming from and how I show up in relationships would have been a game changer. I would have not wasted as much energy trying to figure out how to show up and what I was able to expect from an intimate partner. I would have had a place for a lot of confusion to go. There is a great book called Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love that gives you a good understanding of this concept.
Safe communication: Knowing how to speak in a way that opens up dialogue and connection is a key for emotional safety in relationships. Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples gives you step by step instructions on how to communicate and the insights are plentiful. You can download a free guide here.
Psychosocial Development: It's a big word with even bigger ramifications for a happy life and marriage. Human's need to have certain kinds of care to grow. All sorts of false beliefs and core wounds perpetuate when we miss important stages of development. But, we can heal and we can develop at any age. You can find an episode of The Wholeness Network Podcast where I go into detail about this concept as well as download a graphic about it here.
Whether you are in a marriage, a long term relationship, or single understanding these important elements will serve you well. Twenty-nine years of marriage is a milestone we celebrate with immense joy and gratitude. It's a testament to the power of love, resilience, and the commitment to grow together. To all the couples out there, whether you're just starting your journey or celebrating many years together, remember that love is a journey, not a destination and journeys need support and tools to be enjoyed. Embrace each moment, cherish the lessons, and keep the flame of love burning bright. Here's to the next 29 years and beyond!