I have come to learn that marriage is not about one choice on your wedding day. Anyone can say “yes” to another person when you’re both gussied up and high on life surrounded by your friends and family at a huge party. It takes dedication, love, self-sacrifice and humility to say “yes” every single day. The latter of those is a huge part of a successful, cohesive marriage – swallowing my pride, admitting I’m wrong and apologizing is crazy difficult for this headstrong cowgirl. However, I know in the big picture that I’ve got to make conscious choices to be a great teammate to the Ninja/Yak Judge. Marriage isn’t easy, as I’ve said multiple times, and it’s a lot harder if you’ve got selfishness in the center.
It would be super easy to go through a marriage and choose to put yourself first or not choose to support your spouse. Hence, here are real-life examples of how couples should choose their partner:
- Choose to engage in concerted prayer and pursuit of faith with your partner. I can’t stress this one enough – we pray before almost every meal and we constantly talk about who is on our prayer list. We are constantly striving to become better Christians and have a stronger marriage through our faith. ” What God has joined together, let no one separate.” — Mark 10:9
- Choose to put your partner as the first priority in your life. Not behind your career, parents or hobbies. That person chose to spend the rest of his/her life hitched to your caboose, respect that decision and expect the same respect in return. When I am done for the day at work – that’s it, I’m done. I put the computer away and settle in for a night of banter, sports, planning, outdoor work etc. with the Ninja and leave work in the office. Try it!
- Choose to put down the damn phone and just be with each other. I had no idea how easily social media, email and sports scores can detract from our relationship until we went to Europe and didn’t have wi-fi or cell service all the time. We talked at every meal, we didn’t spend the trip snapchatting to our friends, we weren’t constantly checking Facebook. We were 100% focused on having fun with each other and it was GLORIOUS. I can’t think of another 5-week span of time in our marriage where we have been so in sync. The outside world can pull you apart – don’t let it. Choose to put down the damn phone.
I have so much fun with this man
Choose to be positive with each other. It’s really easy to complain about your day or start ranting about the most recent idiotic thing that Donald Trump said immediately when the other one walks in the door at the end of the day. But you can’t just use your partner as a sounding board or rant fielder. You’ve got to choose to share positive things with each other or at least limit yourself to only talking about work or the negative things for 10 minutes and then moving on with your day.
- Choose to be the supporting actor [occasionally] and expect the same in return. The Ninja/Yak Judge and I are both very goal-driven, headstrong and enterprising people and that requires letting him be the lead role every once in a while and vice versa. For example, I am spending our anniversary at the National Western Stock Show yak show [again] this year. And that’s fine – I get to be with him, go out to a great steak dinner and talk to some really great yak owners. However, next week the Yak Judge will be joining me at the annual Cattle Industry Convention in San Diego, even though he has tons of work to do with his company. Give and take. Compromise.
- Choose yourself. I’m sure this one raises a flag considering the whole article is about choosing your partner but hear me out. Every once in awhile I have a crappy day or even week. Something breaks at the ranch, I screw up a project or plans go awry. When that happens I need to get on a horse and be left alone. I need to not worry about what I’m cooking for supper, whether the laundry is ready for the Ninja’s next work trip or if I remembered to buy dog food. I have to choose to engage in some “me” time so that I can not be a cranky heifer towards my husband. In order to avoid high temperatures and an unnecessary blow up, I’ve got to blow off some steam. In a way I am choosing to improve our daily demeanor by giving myself some free time.
|Enjoying each other’s company in London
I’m not perfect. Neither is the Yak Judge. But we have had a fantastic five years – even as I write this I am overwhelmed at how truly kick-ass our life is, which I won’t apologize for at all. I have occasionally seen a falling star across our pasture and when prompted by superstition to selfishly wish for something: I cannot think of anything. We are at a place where we have our faith, a strong marriage, our dream ranch, great careers and loving, supportive friends and family. And most importantly, we have each other. That’s all I need and that is such a tremendous feeling. To wake up and spend every day achieving life goals with the one I have chosen for life and be so truly happy about our lives. Is it stupid to be this happy? I don’t even care.
Today, I chose to be a mushy wife who is spending her anniversary at a yak show. Which is not a bad way to spend an anniversary, since it makes for a good story. So when I told the Ninja I was leaving for work, happy anniversary and that he was my favorite person, I also made a choice not to smother him when he said “You’re in my top five.”
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~