My husband Blake and I have been together for 20 years in 2020 and will celebrate our 20th high school reunion in the spring. We weren’t exactly high school sweethearts, in fact we only got together because we had both been, for lack of a better word, dumped shortly before our senior prom. It was convenient. It didn’t hurt that I had pegged him as the cutest boy at the school on my first day as a new student my junior year. Our prom date was carefully orchestrated by our friend group right down to voting us king and queen and we’ve been inseparable every since.
Here in southern MS it’s not rare to get married young, but it is increasingly rare to make it through the first few years. Reflecting on the past 18 years of marriage I’ve tried to pin point how we’ve been able to hang in for so long. Here’s what I’ve come up with.
First of all, he’s a good person and I really love him a lot. I got lucky. I know everyone isn’t lucky and everyone isn’t good people. I’ll never sit in judgement of anyone doing what they need to do for their personal health and well being. So, I got lucky I picked a good one. But, I cannot chalk the entire two decades up to luck. We work hard, we don’t give up, and we’ve realized that nothing bad ever lasts very long for us and we’re better facing things together.
Blake and I know our strengths and weaknesses and have learned to work that to our advantage. He’s an excellent cook. Like, 5 stars every day regardless of if he’s cooking jambalaya or rack of lamb. Everything he cooks is delicious. Me, on the other hand, not so much. The running joke at our house is that every recipe I try out always turns out tasting and looking like the exact same thing. Chicken and broccoli. Always chicken and broccoli. So, he cooks 99% of the the time. We don’t get hung up on the fact that he does the majority of that chore or that perhaps I should do some cooking since I’m the ‘lady of the house.’ Neither of us are very organized or enjoy cleaning so we outsource most of that and that works for us as well.
We also run a business together that requires a lot more of my time, energy, and focus than his most days. We haven’t always worked together but now that we do we have to be really intentional about not ‘talking shop’ all of the time. Between focusing on our two kids and our business it would be easy to forget to just be a couple every once in a while. We do love to travel and that’s something we enjoy doing together. We make it a point to head out of town for a night or a week a few times a year but it’s what we do in the meantime that matters just as much. Recently we plowed through 6 seasons of The Blacklist on Netflix. Just something simple as a show to watch together at night time keeps us connected and gives us something new to discuss other than work or the kids or whatever.
I honestly think the most important things that keeps our relationship healthy is that we just respect each other and encourage each other to fearlessly pursue our dreams. Recently I’ve been inspired to create an online community for women to build friendships, self worth, and confidence. He applied to trademark She, Confident within days of me sharing my ideas with him. There are things Blake likes to do as well, most recently pork rinds and lavender farming. I say fry on, B.B. and plant that lavender one row at a
time til you get it right.
Things haven’t always been easy for us. He’s seen me at my best and loved me through my worst. I’m certain there are more trials to come but there’s not anyone else I’d rather face them with than him.