This year my good looking husband and I celebrated 8 years of marriage. 8 years isn’t a fancy number for celebration or really any reason to get ready for dinner. But for us-we have endured, looked at, lived with, survived two high-risk pregnancies, moved across the country three times, hated and loved each other for over 2,920 days. That matters.
We wanted to submit this anniversary to history with a bang, so we did what most couples do; we wrote a rap. It is the story of our marriage melodically recorded to one killer beat. We also compiled six small things that have made massive differences in our marriage, and kept us laughing and together thus far. Let’s be real- marriage is tough. In no particular order this is how we navigate our story, and our love.
ONE: WE FIGHT
There is no other man, much less person, that can irritate and upset me more than my husband. He knows exactly what buttons to push and when to drive them home; and you better believe I know how to retaliate. We fight, often, but there is a method to our madness. We fight it out so the issue doesn’t fester. You will find no unsaid hurt or misunderstanding swept under our rugs. We handle it.
There are rules to our fighting that we try to adhere to: Not in front our children, not in public and we don’t take cheap shots. We address the issue. Our marriage counselor challenged us to fight holding hands (try it) and keep it fair. We know when each other needs a breather, then we settle it. If it’s bigger than us, we seek help from professional counselors. We settle it.
TWO: WE HAVE SEX
This helps with number one. Right?!
Remember those days before marriage when all you wanted to do is have sex? Where does that desire go? Ugh! There is a myth that Josh and I can’t keep our hands off each other because of how frequently I was pregnant. (including our miscarriages) Real life- I am just fertile. And we were lucky. Real life- we have had times in our marriage that we call “droughts”. During the times we weren’t actively pursuing each other sexually we were fighting constantly. Days of the silence treatment. Weeks of bickering. Everything was off. There is a reason God told Adam and Eve to become one flesh, before the fall of man, before Eve snacked on the apple; God knew. He knew we would need it to survive, and live together for an extended amount of time. It was his gift.
I wish we had twenty-something libido these days-but the reality of our hectic, small children camp is that we have to pursue sex. Because at 9:30 when the house is quiet and we are done with the daily routine it is all we can do to tell each other goodnight. I don’t even have to use the proverbial headache excuse. We are both equally exhausted. When we have gone a bit without- we know-and we remedy. That’s fun.
Lastly, we don’t use sex as a bargaining chip or form of manipulation. For the love husbands, get to know your wife and talk openly about what she’s got going on. You will be pleasantly surprised how willing she will be when it becomes a team event. Wives, get busy. Pursue your husband (he will freak out). Try hard to push through your to do list for a minute and re-connect with your man. Sex is important to a man. Intimacy is important to a woman. Find the balance. It’s important to your marriage.
THREE: I AM JOSH’S ONE NIGHT STAND
Has anyone ever asked you “I mean, come on, If you could have a one night stand with anyone-your number one, who would it be?” Usually the answer is a celebrity of sorts. I’ve been asked that countless times, and have answered countless times…but my husband. My husband always chooses me when he is asked. He always says “Courtney.”
For the longest time it annoyed me that he wouldn’t just answer like any normal person and pick a celebrity. A few years into our marriage it became one of my FAVORITE things about him. I am his number one. That sentence means he chooses me, over every other woman in this world. That sentence gives me the push to get through the days with our kids. The knowledge that I am his number one rests my mind when he is gone longer than expected. I don’t second guess him. I am his number one.
Following his lead, I want him to be my one night stand, my every night stand. (when we are awake). It protects us. It leaves no wiggle room for temptation. We are human and accident prone. There are beautiful people around us constantly, but we are each others number one. We work at this. Let your spouse be your one night stand. This will rock people’s world in your circle of friends. Totally unexpected.
(Husbands-wanna see your wife deflate on the spot? Call another woman hot in her presence and the company of others. She may put on a nice front-but you are hurting her. Same with wives- words matter.)
FOUR: NO MORE BUS TRACKS
Have you ever been the couple that takes the dinner party from slammin’ to awkward in the moment you choose to hate each other in front of everyone? No? Yes? Yeah- don’t be THAT COUPLE. Josh and I have been that couple. It was the worst. I know our friends wanted to crawl under the table. We have learned to stay away from triggers that will erupt into a fight around other people. One HUGE trigger is throwing each other “under the bus.” It’s basic disrespect. A good laugh at the expense of the other. Belittling or challenging a thought or statement. Bringing up an issue that isn’t completely settled. You know, stuff that has no business being shared or dealt with outside of your home.
Josh gives me a look now when I am getting too close to the line OR we just step out of the room to do a quick chat about what’s going on. It has really helped. Don’t be that couple. You won’t be invited to dinner parties anymore.
FIVE: WE CHANGE
My husband works for a church and we are not quiet about our faith or love for Jesus. Many Christians rest in the assurance that with God in the center of their marriage it will stand the test of time. Though I don’t disagree, I challenge that assurance simply because if your not open to change, even God will have a hard time with your marriage. As a matter of fact, he is in the business of change. Positive, renewing, life-giving change. And your gonna need it to love your spouse day in and day out. Marriage will pull the dirty out of you, lay it at your feet, and make you decide to claim it or toss it. God does the same. He wants your marriage to beat the odds, but it will require self-sacrifice, self-reflection and hard work. You can do it. You can change. (yes, you-not just your spouse)
SIX: WE LAUGH. AND FREQUENTLY BUST A MOVE.
No explanation needed. Just dance. And RAP.
I could write sub-topics to each of these; write about communication, honesty, MONEY & budgeting, parenting, grace, forgiveness, etc but it starts with genuinely being each other’s number one fan. Equally.
I love being married to Josh. Even on the days we can’t stand each other, I love being married to him. We surround ourselves with people who are for us, and for our marriage (also important) and we dig in and choose each other every. single. day. Cheers to the marriage soldiers reading this and pressing on. I hope the rap makes you smile. I’m proud of you. You are making a difference.
L.O.V.E. Anniversary Rap
(lyrics to rap found in description of video on YouTube)
Disclaimer Time: Josh and I are not marriage counselors nor do we claim that our marriage is the blueprint for every couple. We know that every marriage, and situation is different. This is what has worked for us. Thanks for reading friends.