My husband, James Andrews, wrote this in honor of our wedding anniversary.
Today my wife Sherrelle and I are celebrating 18 years of marriage. Whoa! Where did the time go!! I know without a shadow of a doubt that marrying her was the single most important decision I have made in my life. Have we had problems you ask? Absolutely, our marriage has endured its share of ups and downs. Has it made us stronger? YES. I can say that at 18 years today we are a solid unit and work in total unison. I didn’t say in total agreement, I said “in unison.” I know that my approach and look at things is totally different at times than my wife’s. It is operating in this difference and respecting each other’s unique perspective that help us make wise family decisions.
One thing that we are completely on the same page about is the fact that without a spiritual relationship our marriage means nothing. We give Jesus Christ the glory, honor and praise for guiding us daily. This “relationship” is more than just attending church but it’s about a filter in which we view life’s challenges on a daily basis–and there are SO MANY daily challenges to filter.
As an entrepreneur my wife is an “investor” in my company by providing the backbone support for the family. There is ABSOLUTELY no way that I would be able to run a successful business, manage employees and maintain two offices if Sherrelle wasn’t operating as COO of the Andrews Family. That trust I have in her managing the details which include but are in no way limited to: Paying the bills, planning vacations, managing the school calendar, researching things for us to do on weekends, and so on, and so on, and on. My wife’s ability to organize all the other functions of my life allow me to focus on running the company and simply having the room to create visions and for that she is a huge investor in my company. I cherish the role she plays and really try do my best to support her role.
Lastly, my wife is my emotional cheerleader and confidant. It is here where I need and depend on her so much. The way I look at life, business, friends, family can be so out of wack that without my wife giving me a proper grounding and sometimes additional viewpoint I would completely make several “bonehead decisions.” I confer with Sherrelle on so many decisions and trust her intution. I know and respect a “woman’s intuition” and my wife has the best “Spidey Sense” in the business.
Some of you reading this may not be married yet and considering marriage one day. Maybe you have been married in the past, it ended badly and you are tainted by the whole experience. Perhaps you are in a marriage and are trying to figure out how to get out. Whatever your situation I have this to say to you: Marriage is A MARATHON, NOT A RACE. In plain speak it means that you have to CHOOSE to be married not expect some “oooeey goooey” feeling to take over your body on a daily basis. Our media obsessed culture has many of us totally confused on what real love looks like and most importantly what it takes to survive. So many men I know have a “jacked up” view of sex because of a lust filled culture and pornography. Lastly couples in general lack the commitment to sustainable marriages because of the popular “He/She is not making ME HAPPY” mentality that permeates the way we view marriage. By true confession I’m not a marriage counselor or trained therapist. However (and unfortunately) at 18 years of marriage I’m a member of this rare fraternity of people who make it past 7-10 years of marriage. Here are a few tips that might help you on your journey of marriage.
7 Tips To Staying Married
- Fellas Take The Sword: This means at times (like 90%) you need to “fall on the sword” in an argument for the sake of your marriage. I promise you this will save you a lot of heartache, time and pain. BE the peacemaker. Yes EVEN when she’s dead wrong.
- Eat Dinner At Home As A Family: I noticed that our marriage and relationship as a family changed for the better when we actually committed to a consistent family dinner time at the table. It may last only 30 minutes but it is the best time to connect with your wife and family
- Shut It Down: Try and turn off electronics and just soak up your wife. I am still working on this in true confession which tells you how long it actually takes. The fact that I work in Social Media and my wife is a blogger doesn’t help.
- Find A Shared Passion: My wife and I have recently realized we share a passion for health/fitness. Sherrelle has done a Clean Program Cleanse with me for 21 days and I most recently took up Kettlebells at her suggestion and we work out in the mornings together.
- Snuggle Up: Every time you come to bed you don’t have to hit a “home run.” Practice the art of some good ol’ spoonin which in the end leads to even bigger fireworks.
- Care About Things She Cares About: Guess what, life is not just about YOU. Get into her life and be bummed or be happy about the things that move her emotionally. Women are driven by the details of the day. Be authentically involved in her daily details.
- Wise Counsel: You need to keep a few men around you that have some wisdom and have been married several years. If your mentor’s advice to you is “Go get you a chick on the side” RUN IMMEDIATELY and find a new mentor, he’s not your guy homie!
There are so many tips that I could share but I just wanted to get this blog post off my chest. I hope that you find some of what I’m sharing helpful. As we celebrated our marriage today I felt so blessed and humbled that we have made it this far. DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION for us and we truly practice that. I would be nothing if I couldn’t at least help a few marriages make it. It’s really tough out there and I want nothing else but to see marriages survive. Again without God I would not even be able to write this post and celebrate this marriage. My best to you. Let me know what tips you have. – James Andrews
P.S. You may also like reading 15 years Ago We Said “I Do”