As you already know, we only celebrate milestone birthdays with big parties in our family. We don’t want our children to have unrealistic expectations about how people should celebrate them. Over the course of our marriage, however, Harold and I have developed a habit of not celebrating our wedding anniversary with much fanfare either.
Don’t get me wrong; we aren’t taking each other for granted. Our marriage is not loveless and we haven’t fallen out of love. Yes, we’re both middle-aged, but our sex life is still very healthy, thanks. In fact, we have two perfectly good reasons for not celebrating our wedding anniversary.
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We Love Each Other Intentionally
By many standards, Harold and I got married young. It was Memorial Day Weekend 2002; I was 25 and he was 24. After having dated on again and off again in college, we entered marriage knowing that we were made for each other. What we didn’t know was how to love each other properly.
Early in our marriage, Harold expressed love through gifts. That came to a screeching halt 5 years in when he gave me the ugliest gold, ruby, and emerald flower shaped pendant for Christmas. Just. Stop. It. Dude.We spend every day of marriage, not just our anniversary, intentionally and purposefully loving each other the way we need to be loved most. Click To Tweet
In our late 20s we learned about The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman through our church’s marriage ministry. This book has been the most helpful resource helping us improve how we express love in our marriage.
Chapman proposes that there are five actions a person may interpret as love. The one that is most impactful is considered your primary love language. Harold’s primary Love Language is Physical Touch. Mine are equally Quality Time and Words of Affirmation. I’m terribly complex; my poor husband. What we found is gifts – jewelry, fancy dinners, expensive trips – don’t particularly move either of us. So we don’t do that.
We spend every day of marriage, not just our anniversary, intentionally and purposefully loving each other the way we need to be loved most.
We’ve Made a Long-Term Commitment
While we don’t take big fancy trips for our anniversary, for the past three years we have traveled on our anniversary. Where have we gone, you ask? To a track meet. That’s right, we spend our wedding anniversary at a track meet nearly every year.
Alexandra is a competitive sprinter and 6 time Junior Olympic medalist. Her goal is to represent Team USA in the Olympics like her idol Allyson Felix. We live in Kentucky and the competition level for track at her age isn’t very high. She often has to run against much older girls to be challenged. So we travel to meets where she can be competitive, and often times beat. There are several meets in Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida that occur over the Memorial Day and provide that level of competition for her.From the moment children are born we as parents begin the process of raising adults. Click To Tweet
I hear you thinking, and no we are not putting our children before our marriage. From the moment children are born we as parents begin the process of raising adults. We’ve collectively made the choice to invest this time into Alexandra’s dream and we look forward to getting our time with each other back later. This interim goal for her long-term success is very fulfilling for us in marriage and parenting.
So, that’s it in a nutshell. We love each other intentionally every day and we’ve committed to an interim goal for Alexandra’s success and future. And each year we’re able to both those things is celebration enough.