My husband and I are celebrating our five year anniversary. In some ways it seems new. Like we got married yesterday. And in other ways, knowing him feels like knowing every last word to my favorite song.
I love him.
But the seven year itch is coming, or so they say.
I’m a bit of a skeptic because I believe the honeymoon isn’t over until you say it’s over. If you embrace everyday, every year, with the excitement of newlyweds and combine the time-tested trust of each passing anniversary, your love only grows stronger with time.
This anniversary, Joseph and I thought of 5 things that have helped us keep the romance alive:
1. Remember what it felt like to fall in love
“I can still remember the moment I fell in love with Joseph. We had driven together to a friend’s party. Played games. Ate snacks. Talked to friends. When the party ended and it was time to go home, I wasn’t sad because I got to leave with him. He made me feel safe. He played along with my wild antics. And always looked for ways to help others. Those were some of the qualities that first attracted me to him. And you know what? He has those same amazing qualities today! Joseph and I often reminisce on those very first feelings of young love and find ourselves falling in love all over again. It’s one of the reasons why, every anniversary, I order a photo book for us to reflect on our last year together. It’s the intentional act of remembering that reminds us to live in the love that we share, not to be disillusioned by the problems of life.” – Ashley
2. Be the first to apologize and quick to forgive
“Thankfully my wife and I are perfect so we don’t really have to do this very often, but for other imperfect people, you’ll find that one of you might say something or do something inconsiderate at some point. God designed marriage as a safe, secure, permanent arrangement. But sometimes we can mistake that security for a consequence free zone. If you want to keep your honeymoon going, longer than the haters think is possible, you’ll fess up when you mess up and forgive as readily as Christ forgave us.” – Joseph
Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
3. Think the best of each other
“In our Sunday school class for young marrieds, we listened to a sermon on 1 Corinthians 13. Verse 7 says “Love trusts all things”(NIV) or “Love believes all things” (ESV). So what does it mean for love to believe all things? It means to make the most generous assumptions about your spouse. When you’re dating it’s easy to gloss over the imperfections, but if you’re not careful, a year later, many of those same people find themselves asking – ‘How did I marry that?’ This is something we can guard against by protecting our opinions of one another. Attitude is a self perpetuating beast. If you feed it negativity, it will produce more negativity. If you make an effort to think positively of your spouse, that cycle can build on itself too. And you’ll find yourself blissfully staring at your spouse with the same lovey dovey eyes you had for them when you were dating.” – Joseph
4. Have fun together
“It’s easy to focus on a to do list when you’re both busy people, and, yes, part of life is doing the dishes and picking weeds, but one thing that’s been important in our marriage is working together and playing together! If all of our time together is spent checking items off the to do list and our free time is spent pursuing individual hobbies or off with friends, our marriage would become a passionless system of efficiency. I don’t know about your honeymoon, but we definitely made time for fun on ours!” – Joseph
5. Keep the big picture
“In my opinion, nothing is more attractive than finding someone who encourages you spiritually. We’ve seen too many marriages revolve around happiness and dissolve when that happiness isn’t fulfilled. From the moment we made our vows, Joseph and I decided our marriage would be about more than the two of us. We aspire to have the kind of marriage God designed and outlined in His Word- a faithful, lasting covenant between a husband and a wife that reflects God’s unifying, everlasting, intimate love for His church! And you know what? We’ve discovered that following God’s good design for marriage and sexuality is an act of worship that glorifies God and blesses us with deeper intimacy in return. Double win!“ – Ashley