20 years ago I married my Best Friend.
I always wondered what it would be like to hit one of those Anniversary milestones, and this feels like one, although some have said, “20? That’s nothing! Try 50!” Hahaha. I will love that, too.
I imagined how much we’d still like each other at 20 years into a relationship.
Would we still be happy? Could there be trials so great we might drift apart? Maybe we’d experience so much success that we might go in search of distractions that just come over time?
As a young 22 year old I imagined quite a bit could happen over 20 years of being married to the person, whom, at the time I considered my best friend. And it’s true, she still is, even more than before, my best friend 20 years in.
I have listed 5 Promises that keep a marriage strong over 20 years from my perspective, there are certainly more that could be added to this and perhaps will be a part of future books: “The Promise To The Family” or even “The Promise Of Marriage” (books I’ve been asked to write, which is a wonderful compliment). Today, these must be shared for those looking for an idea on how to strengthen their own relationship within this most sacred institution.
5 Promises of a Strong Marriage
1 ~ Follow Through – She knows a cup full of nugget ice brings me great joy, so that always seems to end up in my cup holder when we go for a drive. I know she wants a back rub after a long day with the kids, so that’s what she gets. But just because I know that about her, and she knows the former about me, means nothing if we don’t follow through with that knowledge (although simply a sin of omission), it means a great deal to the person you love to gift them what you know they love.
Your Follow Through is the power of your word matched by the action of your deeds.
2 ~ Laughter – Slamming on the brakes going 55 mph, the sign screamed something my wife always wants to stop and see: Gems & Antiques! 35 minutes later we were scheming as to how to get out of the shack housing what the owner claimed,”…is the final piece of Kryptonite found on earth, which almost ruined Superman. Weighs 250 lbs. Worth $2 Million, I’ll take $100,000. Cash only.” We have laughed about this for more than a week now after our visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Georgia, although he did convince us to buy the sack of sand Indiana Jones used at the beginning of the movie, which required us to trade him our rental car and take an uber to airport 😉
Laughing together until you cry is usually always better than other things that make each other cry.
3 ~ Forgiveness – The kids asked Daddy to hang a swing from the ceiling in their room. After the 4th ride, my child unexpectedly began flying across the room, crashing into the dresser, as screws ripped from the white textured drywall ceiling. As child lay crying and confused, me wiping my brow of sweat from another failed effort to properly find a stud in the ceiling from which to hang the swing, instead resorting to putting 12 bolts I figured would hold, Tami looked at me, and I at her. I could see forgiveness in her eyes… to which I uttered, “I’m sorry I didn’t find the stud…and neither did you.” To which she laughed, hugged me, forgave me, and fixed the swing herself.
Forgiveness of each other’s weaknesses and faults is a learned skill, and can be our companionship’s greatest strength.
4 ~ Attentiveness – Family is hungry, Daddy working, Mommy notices and makes the meal. Dishes piled to the sky, as if a bomb of flour and cookie sheets exploded in the kitchen, he notices and cleans it up. Child appears defeated, Mommy disappears, only to be found hours later having consulted and comforted the saddened teen. Alarm goes off, no matter the hour sleep finally came the night before, Daddy quietly sneaks out the door to keep his beloved sleeping and gets the kids fed, dressed, and off to school in time.
Noticing, observing, caring, and stepping in for one another through inventiveness ultimately creates the home team family through attentiveness.
5 ~ Security – Lock the doors at night * Carry bear spray on the hike * Fill the car with gas before the trip * Keep chapstick always for an untimely dried up lip * Kneel together and pray * Put money in the IRA & 401K * Always promote that your heart’s already taken * Show up with love, a smile, a together adventure, and bring home the bacon.
Be it financial, physical, or worldly uncertainty, keep your promise to each other, to God, and faith in one another’s ingenuity; and even when the earth closes down due to pandemics and global impurity, there is one way to stay certain: you have a marriage built on trust & each other’s security.
Your Promise Prompt This Week:
What would you add to the above? I’d love to know how you’ve made your relationships strong, and kept The Promise to the love of your life.
Happy 20th Anniversary Tami. Yes, we celebrated the day it was, but also pretty much celebrate it every day, too. Looking through photos from when we were married, it is amazing to see how little you’ve changed & beautiful you’ve remained. Equally, I am sorry I now look like I could be your grandpa.
Love you. jason
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
~ Jason Hewlett
* The Promise Institute Co-Founder
* Promise Culture Keynote Speaker
* Speaker Hall of Fame
Author of “The Promise To The One”