I found an old anniversary card from my dear husband today. The first few lines of his hand written note read:
"I have had the best journey with my best friend! Sometimes I want to push you down the stairs, but then I know I would just pick you up."
One day when my boys come to me and ask "mom what is the secret to your long and happy marriage to dad?" I'll respond "well son, your dad didn't push me down the stairs".
We love and respect each other, we are really good communicators, we typically agree on issues regarding finances, raising the kids and how to spend our weekends and vacations. We have similar goals for our life together and we support the other when it comes to chasing after dreams and achieving personal goals. We allow each other "me time" and we truly enjoy being together. However, despite all of that, sometimes it just comes down to choosing not to push the other down the stairs.
More generally speaking, for those who don't have stairs or violent tendencies, I'm talking about restraint. Choosing not to do something that you may really want to do, for the sake of your marriage. Giving up a fight, conceding, dealing with irritating habits, having grace for mistakes, forgiving without holding a grudge.
When it all comes down to it, sometimes it is the things you choose NOT to do that allow your marriage to endure. Not giving up when it gets tough, not checking out when it would be so easy, not letting the pressures and lures of life distract you from the promise you made to love until the end of time.