I started this blog for my children. I do like to use it as a scrapbook, but I also intended this blog as a way for my children to really know their mom. I know so many people who have lost their parents and would treasure having their mothers' words and ideas on paper. So, in honor of my third wedding anniversary, here is my advice to my children on how to have a happy marriage.
If you were a fly on the wall in our home, you would see that Joey and I are truly happy. Of course, we occasionally disagree or get irriated with one another, but I am so thankful to be his wife. Yes, I know that we are only three years into this marriage thing. We have a long way to go, but I also know that I have never had one day of doubt about my choice to become Emily Glasgow. So, to my children, here is my advice on how to have a happy marriage. These are not in any order, except for number 1 is the most important.
1. Marry a Christian. Without that, you will never have the marriage that you want. Make sure that your family is growing in Christ, involved in a church, and giving your money, time, and talents to the Lord.
2. Have a joint bank account. It makes you feel like a team and there are not any secrets. I know so many couples who fight over finances. Your dad and I do not because we are both involved with the money in our house. I don't like when one person is in charge of the money. I like working together.
3. Make sure that your dating and engagement times are long enough--at least a year, but I would prefer 2:) Why rush such a big decision? Sure, it may work out if you meet someone, get engaged, and marry within 6 months. I know some very happy couples who have gone that route, but the chances are not as great. You want to see your potential spouse through every season of life. Does she hate football season but you love it? Does he have totally different ideas on what a family Christmas celebration should look like? These are things that may seem like no big deal, but could ultimately create tension. Once you have seen them, you can make the decision if they are deal breakers or not.
4. Discuss the BIG things before you even get serious in a dating relationship. This seems weird, but it is so important. I'm not talking about the first date, but you should know the answers to deep questions by at least the 5th date. That way, you are not too emotionally invested if you see red flags. I remember your dad and I talking about how we wanted to educate our children (big topic) on the second date. We also discussed faith, any debt, past relationships, expectations out of marriage, etc. very early on.
5. Compliment your spouse frequently. I think your dad is handsome, brilliant, and a wonderful father. I tell him so daily. I also thank him for what he does for our family daily. I think that we often say uplifting things to our friends but overlook and take for granted the people who mean the most to us. It may just be in a text, but I always want your dad to know what he means to our family and to me. Do this for your spouse--even on the days he/she is on your nerves.
6. Think of things that you can do to make his/her day better. It doesn't have to be big, but always be mindful of your spouse and realize that small things make someone feel special. Do things "just because." Your dad just booked me a day at the spa for no reason. A week later, it still makes me smile just thinking about how sweet that was. This week, your dad mentioned that he always drank Barq's root beer as a little boy when we were on a trip. So, I made sure to pick some up for him the next time that I went to the store. Little things--but things that show your spouse that you listen and care are so important.
7. Sons, send your wives flowers even if they tell you not to waste the money on them. Trust me, they still want them!
8. Never walk down the aisle to someone who is "good enough." Walk down the aisle thinking, "Wow, I can't believe that this person is marrying me!"