1. Roll with the Punches. When your husband is in the military, this is 1,000 times more important. Like the fall trip we planned to New Hampshire this month. Which was cancelled a month prior by a training Steve was selected for. And rescheduled when he was taken out of it. And cancelled when he was put back in, to be rescheduled when he was taken out. And most recently, cancelled again. You can’t make this stuff up. Plane ticket to spend Christmas with your wife’s family in her hometown? Let’s send you for training. Pregnant wife? Deployment. Gainfully employed wife? Let’s move you twice in a year. Oh, by the way, you might be gone for these four 10-30 day training ops before Christmas, but we’re not sure. (Our current situation). Be grateful for the time you have together, but roll with the punches when you have to. It’s not his fault he’s not there. He certainly wants to be there!
2. Don’t Keep Secrets. We just don’t. And something we’ve learned is that there are no secrets when you share an Amazon Prime account. We get email alerts for anything we order, so within minutes, the other knows what is on the way to the house. We Amazon Prime a lot of stuff – it’s just so handy. Steve’s most recent purchase is a muscle roller (gym problems), and I ordered a replacement glasses strap because Mitchell chewed his up… like a dog. Luckily the things are cheap. This proved to be funny during Steve’s most recent deployment when he found himself asking, “what could we possibly need this for?” Of course we needed a five pound bag of gummy sharks as cupcake toppers for Mitchell’s birthday party. (I promise, we really are very practical spenders!) Online purchases may seem like a trivial example of marital sharing, but if it’s really all out on the table for us and I think my husband knows me better than I know myself sometimes. Maybe most of the time.
3. For the Husband: Dessert Fixes All Things. Ask my husband. Come home from the store with a cheesecake and all is forgiven. Keeping it simple because this one needs little further explanation. Oh, and if you cook every once in awhile (or most of the time like mine does), you will stand out among her friends’ husbands and she will love you for it. Especially when you’re a better cook than she is. I’m not ashamed to admit it.
4. Think Before you Speak. Ever said thing you wish you could take back as it’s literally coming out of your mouth? And think before you send Domino’s pizza confirmation emails to your husband, who has been craving pizza or something other than an MRE for months, but is stuck in a combat zone. I have a bad habit of sending those annoying emails to the hubby’s email, because who wants more junk mail in their inbox? He does! I didn’t even think about it when I did this a few times during his first deployment, and six years later he is still giving me a hard time about checking his email for the first time and having my exact pizza orders (down to the lava cakes) there for him to read about. As he ate more two month old care package beef jerky and pop-tarts for the hundredth time.
5. Patience Makes Perfect. And while we’re on the topic of patience, I’m convinced that my husband comes just behind Jesus on Kourtney’s list of most patient people. Y’all, I’m not the best at this. I get stressed out by a pile of laundry on the floor (I’m improving!). But my husband teaches me everyday how to be patient, because I somehow annoy myself more than I do him! I’m not sure how that is even possible!
6. Don’t Keep Score. This piece of advice is straight from the hubby. It’s a good one, and honestly I didn’t even think of it because we just don’t do it. I did the dishes the last four times. I cooked dinner all week. Do you ever fold the laundry? (He’s great about washing and drying the laundry folks, it’s like pulling teeth to get him to fold them). But he’s an amazing cook and does a whole lot of grocery shopping. Some weeks he’s loaded to the max and doesn’t do anything – and I do everything. Some weeks it’s completely the other way around. Some years he spends the majority of it deployed wishing with all of his might that he could do bath time and bedtime and maybe even hang that pile of cute little shirts on the mini-hangers in their closets. Meanwhile I’m exhausted to the max because I’ve literally been doing it all for six months wishing with all of my might that he could help. Nobody has it harder during deployments, and if I really had to pick, I think it’s definitely him. It’s a team effort, y’all. When you keep score nobody wins.
A throwback picture for you today! Yes, that is us about ten months into our marriage. And yes, that is our big goofy Zoe at just a few months old! We were young and in love, and by the grace of God, we’re not quite as young and still very much in love. Since we just celebrated our sixth anniversary this week, we thought we’d put together a few things we’ve learned along the way so far.. a few at our expense. Enjoy!
So that’s a wrap on a few things we picked up in our first six years. Anything I’m missing? It’s fun it sit back and see how things have changed, and I can only imagine what this list will look like at twelve years!