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.
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.
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