Our Magic Formula

This is just a regular old day for most of you. For us, it’s our wedding anniversary AND our amazing friend, Tricia’s birthday AND the former Mr. and Mrs. Federline’s anniversary. That’s right, we got married on the same day as Britney Spears and Kevin Federline.

I’m happy to proclaim our marriage has surpassed the Federline’s.

Though, our courtship was brief, maybe questionably brief to some, we knew we were each other’s person.

It turns out it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I could get disgustingly sappy about why, but I want you to stick around.

As in all marriages, we have been through thick and thin and have survived. In fact, we have more than survived. Our marital bond is stronger than ever. Raising a child with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) is not easy by any means and I would be lying if I didn’t admit it adds an extra strain to our lives.

“Autism does one of two things, it drives families apart, or makes them stronger.”

Myers BJ, Mackintosh VH, Goin-Kochel RP. “My greatest joy and my greatest heart ache:” Parents’ own words on how having a child in the autism spectrum has affected their lives and their families’ lives. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. 2009;3:670-684. 

I’m incredibly grateful to say it has strengthened us. Of course, our marriage is not perfect by any means, but we try our best to be kind, supportive and present for one another.

We don’t follow some magic formula, but I think it’s a “formula” that can work for just about any couple.

It’s the simple things that keep our love alive:

1. We are SUPPORTIVE of one another. Somehow, when one of us is grouchy, down or just not feeling themselves, the other steps up to the plate and takes of over with the kids or just gives space.

2. HONESTY is the best policy, even if it hurts. We keep it real, but we do it kindly. Thank goodness after 15 years, we’ve learned how to approach each other.

3. We MAKE TIME for one another. Having a child with special needs, we don’t go out often (at least together), but we set aside time daily to have a few hours of grown up time. It’s crucial for our sanity.

4. We LISTEN to one another, even if we must pause a show…praise the higher powers for technology.

5. HUMOR is part of our everyday life. We can find the funny in just about everything and I strongly believe this is how we’ve gotten through our hardships

6. We ENJOY each other’s quirks. Whether it’s me not putting a single lid on tight enough (according to him), or him belching the word breasts as he burps, we get a kick out of each other.

7. Girl/Guy nights and GETAWAYS. As I mentioned before, we rarely “getaway” with each other due to our family life, but we recognize the need for to getaway. We encourage girl and guy nights, as well. It’s someone we desperately need.

8. As irritated as we may be, we are very careful not to put each other down, especially in front of our children. We choose our words wisely and try to direct all serious conversations out of LOVE AND KINDNESS.

9. Our similar beliefs and values are what we first had in common. We met at church, after all. Our SPIRITUALITY is a major part of our connection and lives.

10. INTIMACY. No need to explain…hopefully.

To Mark, Happy Anniversary, my love. As cliché as this may sound, the last 15 years have been the happiest years of my life. You are my best friend, my partner, my everything.

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