Our friend Katie, from the popular blog Marriage Confessions, drops by twice a month to share her take on Southern married life. We hope you enjoy, and be sure to visit her at her blog for regular doses of humor and adorable-ness!
I made a “to do” list a few weeks ago. I needed to go grocery shopping, finish grading a test my students took this week, send a thank you note to a kind friend, remember to take my son’s nap blanket to his daycare, clean the melted crayon out of my dryer, and register for a 5k I want to run next month before the fee goes up. Typical Wednesday night things to do.
But when my husband came home from work that night, my plans changed. He’d had a really rough day. He’d had to fire an old college friend who just wasn’t cutting it at work. He had known it was coming. He’d been preparing the paperwork and preparing for the “we have to let you go” meeting. But he hadn’t prepared for the long drive home after the meeting, when he would be along with his thoughts for the first time all day. It was a long drive home, he said.
He helped me feed the kids and we both gave them baths together, and I think that was good for his heart. I cleaned up the dinner mess while he read bedtime books and tucked the kids in bed, making sure bunnies and Mr. Bears were in the appropriate arms before kissing them and turning out the light. And I think that was good for his soul.
By the time he came downstairs, he looked a little better. He opened a beer for us to share while he sat at the kitchen table watching me cook our dinner – his favorite, steaks and potatoes, a last minute change from my carefully planned weekly menu, because he looked like he could use a favorite.
As I moved easily around the kitchen, he told me about his day. About the terrible meeting where he’d let her go, about how hard it is to be the boss, about how he worried what this would do to the morale of the rest of the staff, about how guilty he felt. I really didn’t have to say too much. I knew he just needed someone to talk to, someone who loved him no matter what decisions he had to make. I offered a few words of encouragement, reminded him how proud I was of him for being such a kind person who even has these moments of doubt, but mostly, I was just there with him.
After dinner, we moved to the back deck and sat on our steps, talking about the kids and the upcoming visit from the Easter Bunny. I told him about a book I was reading, and he told me about a new kind of pool pump he thought we should get. We sat outside for an hour before we headed up to bed. Before he fell asleep, he told me he felt better and knew that he would sleep soundly. Before I fell asleep, my mind went back to my to do list, sitting on the kitchen counter, untouched all night. There wasn’t anything on that list that couldn’t wait, I decided, and I, too, slept soundly.
In the eight years that I have been married, I have learned that best laid plans are often set aside for the sake of my marriage. And I’ve learned that when I put other things before the needs of my husband and our relationship, everything just kind of falls apart.
At the core of everything in my life, there is my faith and there is my husband. I have other obligations, other priorities, other responsibilities, of course. But my marriage always comes first. It is the foundation on which everything else is built. I don’t feel bad when I put everything aside to sit and hold my husband’s hand. I don’t feel bad when I we occasionally get a sitter for the kids and have a date night. I don’t feel bad when I cancel other plans because I haven’t had a night at home with Chris in over a week. I don’t feel bad because I know that when my marriage is happy, everything else in my life is better.
We make time for the things that are important in our lives. I encourage you to make time for your marriage. Making your marriage a priority not only builds a solid foundation for your relationship, but it says to your spouse, “You are more important to me than anything else.” Love is strengthened over bathtubs full of kids, shared beers, and back deck conversations, I promise you.
Make your marriage a priority. If you don’t, who will?
See more from this lovely engagement session by Paige Elizabeth in its Facebook Friday album!