15 Years Married :: Helping Each Other Grow


My spouse and I celebrate 15 years of marriage this year. As I look back at our newly-wed faces, bright eyes, and big smiles, I realize we had no idea what a decade and a half of marriage would entail – moving to a new city, beginning our careers, having children, and nurturing a home. We have shared tender moments and rough spots and become the stronger through both.

Couple leaning on each other
Photo by Jacob Postuma on Unsplash

Over the years, we have learned things through trial and error, through forgiveness and trust, through joy and hope. Here are a few things we discovered.

  • It’s okay to outsource. As two working professionals, something had to give! Within a few months of marriage, we decided to improve our relationship by outsourcing the ironing to the local dry cleaners. Game changer.
  • It’s also okay to change your mind. Before we had kids, we were certain we would never purchase a pacifier, only use cloth diapers, and make all of our baby food from scratch. And then we had kids and experienced consecutive sleepless nights, and all of our principles went out the window. In came the pacifier, Huggies, and Gerber. They were fine. We were fine.
  • We try to listen with the risk of changing our minds. It’s been our marriage motto since the beginning, and it gives us permission to hear another point of view and to be challenged and stretched as we work out what we individually think and feel. This posture of listening is foundational for trust and respect.
  • We support each other. Whether one of us is anxious at work, wants to try something new, or is concerned about a person we love, we find ways to let the other know that we are in his or her corner, on the same team. We strive to give emotional support, thoughtful advice, or a listening ear.
  • We are generous together. We enjoy being philanthropic with church and charities and being hospitable to friends and family as a couple. We enjoy practicing gratitude, rounding up for the babysitter, and giving our time and energy for something beyond ourselves and our immediate family.
  • We prioritize important relationships. We schedule time with our extended family and friends, and we show our children the large support network of love that surrounds them. We travel, cook, laugh, and play games with friends and family across generations.
  • We also prioritize our relationship. This is, of course, difficult to do in a season of life with young kids and busy schedules. We are not perfect at this, but our date nights and daily check-ins keep us connected and the lines of communication open.
  • We enjoy each other. This may be the most important of all! We can be our genuine selves with one another: silly, serious, and everything in between. Whether it is the daily grind or dreaming of all the things we would like to do in the next 15 years, we enjoy doing life together.

All of this is a gift, we recognize; for all of it, we are thankful – difficult days included. We aspire to live those vows we said to one another 15 years ago: “to help each other grow into all that God has intended for us.” It takes work, to be sure, but the return on our investment is overwhelmingly worth it.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here