Chris: Secrets to a Happy Marriage

MPP Note: I am currently honeymooning in Mexico! This is a scheduled guest post by Chris fromĀ My Money Mess for my Marriage Guest Series, while I am away. What a crazy engagement story they have! I guess it’s true what people say: when you know, you know. :) If you are a new visitor, welcome! Comments will be moderated when I return on 4/19. Enjoy!

I still remember our wedding day like it was yesterday. It all started about four months before on our first date, which was also the night we got engaged. Yes, we got engaged on our first date, which actually didn’t even start out as a date. Here’s the story:

My wife and I met when we were both working for our church. We’d worked together for about two years and had become good friends. Then things started to change a bit in January of 1986, a little flirting here, a little flirting there. At the time I wasn’t so sure if it was going to go beyond that or not. Then one night we went out with a bunch of friends for dinner after a church event. We were having a drink in the bar while we were waiting for our table and I heard some dance music coming from downstairs. I checked it out and there was a nice little dance floor down the stairs from the bar. I decided to ask my future wife to dance, still a little unsure of how serious the flirtations were. To make a long story short we were inseparable for the rest of the night. We talked about everything and anything. After everyone else went home and went to bed we went to Denny’s for coffee and to talk some more. It was one of the most amazing nights ever! We sometimes disagree and playfully bicker about who brought up marriage first that night. At this point it doesn’t matter one bit who said it first. The important part is that we spent the whole night talking and by the time I kissed her goodnight, we had decided we were going to get married!

I did not start that evening intending to get engaged and I don’t think she did either. We weren’t drunk. There was no ring, not even a proposal the way most people think of it. The only way I can begin to explain it is that we both “just knew” that it was what we wanted. About four months after that we tied the knot.

We had an outdoor wedding. It was a beautiful summer day. I was a nervous wreck and happy as heck at the same time. I remember waiting and waiting and waiting for it to start. While I was standing there with my best man waiting, I kept thinking “I really need a drink.” Almost as if on cue, one of my friends walks up with a paper bag and hands it to me. Inside is one big can of Foster’s beer. Just what I needed! Our photographer got some pictures of me with the big ole beer can before the wedding. I laugh every time I see them. When I go back over the wedding itself in my mind I don’t come up with much in the way of details, just the image of the beautiful woman I was marrying and the vague impression that I spent most of that day grinning ear to ear.

For us the secret to a happy marriage boils down to one huge word – communication. Life is full of ups and downs. You get hit with things you never expected out of the blue. You have to be able to talk about anything and everything with your spouse. Communication makes the highs just a little higher and I can honestly say was the only thing that got us through some of our lows. It’s hard to believe we’re coming up on our Silver Anniversary in a few months, but we are! That’s our story.

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