February 7th was 22 years of being Mrs Greene.
When a marriage starts, no one can really say they know what’s before them.
What I did know is that Nathan Greene is without deviation in all he does. He is intense, if you don’t know him you may think I’m the driving force. Nope, I’m loud and gregarious but Nathan is the engine.
He will work so hard that one of the reasons we’re a good fit is I remind him to have fun.
I am a lot of fun 😁
I often hear how adorable we are, how great our marriage is… you are seeing the “after” in our marriage.
Before social media for years we didn’t have vacations, our Facebook would have been really really really boring to watch. Then we worked, a lot: we’ve had no financial safety net from family. For years we cried in each other’s arms at yet another lost pregnancy. We have moved 8 times in our marriage, creating a new support network each time. We’ve failed together, we’ve succeeded together, we’ve faced health issues, including death, me being in a wheelchair, Nathan’s heart attack and our own daughter’s death. In other words, we’ve been through hell together, but because we’ve turned to each other, we’ve always found a heaven in each other.
I decided to share a list of 22 things I’ve learned about marriage:
1) Marriage is worth the work, when your spouse bothers you, realize you are just as annoying.
2) Different personalities see things differently doesn’t mean you’re right and their wrong. It’s simply preferences.
3) Get in, ALL into the marriage. Unless they’re abusive, addicted, or disrespectful. When you feel like checking out, get back in.
4) Hard times will happen that is when you must face it together. If one is at fault, it doesn’t matter, as you are married: you face it together. That means no keeping score.
5) Have a budget. Work your money plan together. Both be accountable on how money is spent. Have fun money in the budget.
6) Live on less than you make, even if that means you can only save $5 a month. Be saving. The tires, heater, car something will give out, so have money to fall back on.
7) Talk about money. Money and sex are both commodities if you use them against each other, you’ll bankrupt your relationship. Both sex and Money are shared equally in the marriage. Communicate.
8)Every problem has a solution, the two of you working together can overcome. If you blame each other or some outside force you’re compromising what you can achieve together and what you’ll become.
9) 100% is the minimum. There is no 50/50, as that’s a partnership, not the melding of two souls together. Neither one of you gets a free ride. There are times life will require more of one of you than the other, which is ok, life isn’t fair. You’ll both enjoy a deeper connection when you give your all to the relationship.
10) Protect your marriage. Love your spouse, serve your spouse, be each other’s best friend. Don’t gossip, nit-pick or compare to others.
Look to each other.
11) Work hard together. Have a project, goals that you’re working towards. Have them clear as a couple and then work on the goals everyday.
12) Pray together daily. If you’re not into God, that’s ok, He’s into you. Whatever you believe is after this, imagine you’re doing that together. In other words, there is no end date to your commitment.
13) Date. Date often. Doesn’t have to cost money, go on walks, talk, laugh, hold each other, don’t withhold your heart or body from being connected.
14) Be each other’s cheerleader. Not their job and your job. The daily work, from earning money to doing dishes. At different times, one may do one or more than the other, respect the others work.
15) Pride. There is no work beneath you. Sometimes the toilet of your marriage needs to be cleaned. If you see the problem, it’s your job to fix it.
16) Compliment each other, both with words and actions. If you’re better at something, you do it. When your spouse does something he/she is better at, compliment them. Celebrate your differences.
17) Rest time. I like to craft, he likes to ride his bike. Support each other in what calms you, even if you think it’s really stupid. It’s not, they like it. Help them find time to do what calms them.
18) Marriage is not addition 1+1, it’s multiplication not .5x.5 or .5×1, it is always 1×1. Be the math, do the math, don’t divide.
19) Kids are not your spouse, they’re not your confidants, they are your greatest responsibility. They are life’s greatest gift. Give them a life, teach them how to live it with love. They will learn that from watching your marriage.
20) Worship together regularly. If you don’t go to church or do have a cause, a regular service project outside of you, something greater than just the two of you.
21) Forgiveness. You will mess up, they will mess up, but you both will work towards the solution together.
22) Kiss often. Hold hands. Hug.