Wife of the Year

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Monday was mine and Chris’s seven year anniversary. Seven years. That’s a long time. My sweet, sweet friend, Sarah, came over and stayed with the kids so that Chris and I could go out to dinner. We went to a new place, ate fish tacos, and did what we always do… talked about our kids. It’s what we like to do. We can’t help it. It was a really great night, and I felt like a lucky girl to be so happily married.

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I was going to blog tonight about how much I love my husband and how happy we are and how each year gets better than the last, yadda, yadda, yadda. But as I sat down to write about 20 minutes ago, Chris came and sat down real close to me and leaned forward so that our foreheads were almost touching.

“It was our anniversary yesterday,” he said sweetly.

“Yep,” I replied.

“You didn’t even give me a card,” he said. He wasn’t accusing me, wasn’t snapping at me, wasn’t attacking me. It was just a simple statement. I was a little dumbfounded. I honestly didn’t think he even noticed when he got a card. And in all the hustle of traveling these past two weeks and Bean’s birthday party this weekend, I just completely forgot.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “Did that bother you?”

“It’s not the card,” he said. “But it was my anniversary, too.”

Chris had gotten me two dozen roses and one of the sweetest cards I’ve ever received. He took me out to dinner to a restaurant of my choice. And he was absolutely right. It was his anniversary, too.

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I’m not a needy person. At least, I don’t think I am. (Do needy people know they are needy?) (When I read this post to Chris before posting it, he said that he does consider me needy. But that he loves me and my needs anyway.) But as un-needy as I am, Chris is twice that. He rarely asks for anything, whether it’s in his personal, professional, or family life. He just doesn’t ask for much. He takes what he is given happily or he takes it and makes due.

Being married to a person who makes such few demands is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because Chris works to make our lives enough with what we have in front of us. He takes pride in his ability to provide for his family. He rarely complains or wallows in things, and instead picks up and moves forward. He is the definition of a strong person. But having a spouse who doesn’t demand a lot can also mean that if you’re not paying attention, they may not be getting everything they need from you.

In seven years, I have learned is that one thing that separates happily married people from unhappily married people is their fulfillment at home. When they come home, do they feel loved? But the love is actually the easiest part of marriage. The harder question to ask is do they feel valued? Respected? Needed? Appreciated?

I’d like to think that most days – more days than not, at least – Chris and I both feel those things. But occasionally, one or both of us drops the ball and we forget to make sure the other feels those things. This time, I dropped that ball. And on our anniversary, no less.

But, thankfully, in seven years, I’ve learned how to apologize in my marriage. So, here goes…

Dear Sweet, Sweet Chris,

Thank you for my beautiful cards and flowers. Thank you for my dinner and for still filling an entire meal with great conversation even after all these years. I am really sorry that I didn’t make you feel special or appreciated on our anniversary. We’ve been together so long, that sometimes I forget you aren’t inside my head and that you don’t just KNOW how important you are to me. I’ll work on that. After seven years of marriage, you continue to make each day better than the day before. I couldn’t imagine being any happier than I am, and I couldn’t imagine living this happy life with anyone other than you.

I love you like a fat kid loves cake.

~ Your Wifey

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16 Thoughts to “Wife of the Year”

  1. Happy anniversary! My husband is equally un-needy, and I definitely understand how it can be tough to figure out what he really does need. That you can talk about it, that he can come to you so freely and say what he needs to say is a sign of a strong marriage in my mind. You are very blessed.

  2. I so appreciate the way you guys open your marriage up to your readers. It is so refreshing to hear people share their honest, day to day triumphs and struggles as a married couple. Kudos to you guys for having plenty to talk about at dinner (isn’t that what we all aspire to be able to do one day when we’re old and gray?!) and blessings on your marriage!

  3. Oh, darn it. I’m crying now. I really appreciate you taking the time to recognize your feelings for Chris. Like you said, the secret to happy marriages are those where a couple feels fulfilled at home. My marriage, unfortunately, ended because I didn’t think my husband needed me (at all) and I never heard that I was appreciated. It’s not that simple, but that’s a good chunk of it. Anyway, you are blessed and I hope you have many more.

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  5. You know, in all this I really appreciate how Chris as able to calmly express to you his needs and help you learn. That is a true lesson. You can tell your spouse so much and be so kind in it. Happy Anniversary to you AND Chris.

  6. Thank you for being so open and honest. I really think you guys would do great at counseling engaged couples. Heck y’all would be great at counseling some married couples. You’re good at showing all sides of marriage without making it terrifying,

  7. Rachel @ The Ongoing Planner

    Thanks for posting about this. Dylan, my husband, is very like Chris in that he is very easy going and un-needy, but I do try to make sure he knows he is appreciated! Always a great reminder!

  8. jennifer

    i think it’s really neat that chris said, “it’s my anniversary too.” i don’t consider myself or my husband to be needy people really but sometimes i feel like we don’t feel the same things. i have just recently learned this; in fact, my husband and i are currently trying to conceive and have had a few months of failures and this month was another failure and while i quickly got over it and said, “pass me a glass of wine, i can have some now.” my husband had tears in his eyes and said, “i thought, i just thought that maybe i would know i was going to be a father by this father’s day.” which of course then made me teary but all the same, i never expected him to say, “it meant something to me too.” love all of your posts, they are always helpful at the right time!

  9. Lisa!!

    Simply love this post! Love the part about learning how to apologize. I’m at 1.5 years of marriage and I’m slowly learning that beautiful skill. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Chloe

    I almost teared up but I am at work and in public! So just ‘aw, that’s nice’ instead at the moment. I can relate to you, my husband is the same. I shall tell him how I appreciate him tonight because of your post 🙂 Thanks Katie.

  11. I love the way Chris handled this. He could have gotten angry or pouted or stuffed his emotions – all destructive decisions. Instead, he chose to approach you in love and honesty and thus the happy ending to the story. That makes me smile.

  12. Happy anniversary to both of you! You two are truly something to look up to when it comes to marriage. I agree so much that it does come down to fulfillment at home. And the thing I love about you two is that you are partners. You compliment each other so well and face things so maturely. I appreciate reading posts like these, and thank you so much for sharing with us.

  13. Awww. Such a great post. You made me smile 🙂

  14. Kari

    I think this is such a wonderful, wonderful post. My husband, too, is the un-needy type. Well, at least that’s what he appears to be from the outside, and that’s who I thought he was. He doesn’t ask for much, and although I try to be a wonderful wife to him, I didn’t realize until recently that there were still needs that he didn’t feel were being met. And, to be honest, I don’t even think he realized needs weren’t being met until it was too late and he was engulfed in an affair with a co-worker. Fellow readers, please please please be attentive to your spouse’s needs. Of course that’s not to say that all spouses who aren’t having all their needs met all the time are going to stray. But, let me tell you that it is possible. We were happily married, very happily married with a newborn when this happened earlier this year. Even happy spouses stray. As we are working through this incredibly tough time, I am so much more aware of his needs now than ever before, we are able to communicate those needs to each other more openly, just as Chris did in this story, and in that way we are better able to fulfill each other’s needs.

  15. Kat

    This is seriously one of my favorite posts to date I think…(well ok, the Bean and Gracie posts are definitely my favorite…but you know, as far as content, not just cuteness, goes). I often forget that it’s my husband’s anniversary too, or that V-day is for lovers, not just wives that expect flowers. (expect is a strong word)

  16. You’ve really got it right. You know your flaws and can admit when your wrong and that’s really admirable. If your husband is anything like mine, he would’ve told me I could make up for it in the bedroom! *blushes*

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