It was about this time last year that CD and I shared with you a potential opportunity to spread your wings in Big Sky country and fly. You willingly took it and ran with it, discovering a niche you were passionate about, excelling, far and above everyone's expectations. You even met an amazing girl along the way. Kudos.
And just like that you were gone from my life. Days turned to weeks, then weeks turned to months. The silence between us, to be honest, has been deafening. Then late Friday night the phone rang with monumental news of you. Seems there was a picture on Facebook of a glowing, beautiful bride standing next to a very handsome young man. Not surprisingly, it was you. Kudos.
I don't know where you are right now. Heck, I don't even know her name. What I do know is you've captured her heart and by the glow on your face, she's surely captured yours. Kudos.
As my wedding gift to you, I'd like to share a few select words of wisdom I've acquired through a litany of broken hearts, broken dreams and broken lives. Heartfelt words of advice, not from a wise old sage, but from your dad who has loved and lost far too many times. Sadly, your mother, my ex, will surely attest to that.
With all the strength that you can muster daily, develop a friendship with your beautiful bride worthy of a lifetime. Start with common interests, then her's and lastly, yours. Early morning two-mile walks, before life's reality slaps you squarely in the face, are an awesome way to start each day. Besides, they cost you nothing, yet they reap substantial rewards in longevity. Sharing a sun rise on a cool morning during a brisk walk, not only keeps you healthy, it welcomes each day afresh and anew, together.
Learn to cook her favorite meals so that you can occasionally surprise her after a long day at work. And by all means, learn to clean up your marvelous mess (I know you) before she sits down to dinner with you. Trust me, it's hard to digest a meal knowing the chaos that awaits in the kitchen afterwards.
If you can't find the time to clean on your own (she would be speechless if you could), master the art of housework, together. Pick a day, any day and divide the tasks equally. It will get done in half the time and you'll both be cognizant of the mess of your making. Of course, you could clean as you go, but who has time when you're madly in love? Wink.
Text her occasionally throughout the day with silly emojis, or possibly one or two distinct words of your making, that convey the random stirrings of your captured heart. She'll appreciate your thinking of her and reciprocate accordingly. "Let the games begin!"
Next, I'd encourage you to never let an entire day pass without telling her you love her in some form or fashion. Words are great, but actions are better. You're building an investment of a lifetime here, son. Love notes under pillows or in her car go a long way in saying she's forever in your heart and on your mind.
Flowers once a month, better still once a week, if you can afford it, sent to her place of work, tells her, along with a host of others, how special she is and how lucky you are. A small mixed bouquet with a personalized note will set you back 30 bucks, give or take. Don't sweat it. It's an investment well worth it in the long run.
Master the art of listening, really listening. If she ever says "she's fine," trust me, she's not. Somewhere over the course of an hour, maybe two, the walls will begin to crumble and she will open up to you if you'll just listen quietly, attentively and patiently.
Be proactive and service her car monthly. Don't wait till the service light comes on. Check her tires, as well as her oil. Oh, and while you're at it, service yours. Wash her car at least bi-weekly. That includes vacuuming, too. Treat her like the princess I know she is and I'll bet she will treat you like the prince I know you are. Trust me, it's fun being the prince. Oh la la.
At least once a week from now until the end of time, religiously create date night. Dress up by all means and spend the evening sharing your hopes, your dreams, your desires, your life, your love, phone-less. It doesn't have to be expensive, it just has to be one on one, aka memorable.
Now that date night is on the books, once a quarter, though once a month is better if you can, go away together. Share the highs and lows you've experienced of late and create a game plan for refreshing and renewing your mesmerizing relationship. Iron out any issues that may have come up, then bond, by making out in candlelight with wanton abandon.
Always communicate openly; her wants, her needs being met by you are paramount to insure your wants, your needs are met, too. Although, marriage is ideally a two-way street, sometimes she will go one way. Sometimes, so will you. Best you learn patience in those moments, because you'll need it to get you through those tumultuous times. Remember, marriage is a journey, most certainly, it's a breathtaking, captivating ride. Embrace it, breathe it, cherish it, together.
Give her space. You need yours too. Being apart occasionally, makes being together much more meaningful when you reconnect. The old saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder rings absolutely true when you're in love.
Memorize this next one, it's invaluable. Never go to bed angry and I mean, never. Even if takes all night, work through it. There is valor in saying, "I'm sorry and mean it." No matter what the world may say, chivalry is not dead. Forgiveness and understanding ultimately begins or ends with you.
Forever, and always, open doors for her. It is a sign of your utmost respect for her and conveys silently the grace and charm of the southern gentlemen I know you are, that you were raised to be.
Relationships ebb and flow so make time to play together, laugh together, have fun together. Be silly, play games, play to win, but occasionally play to lose. (Trust me on the last one) Remember, she's your best friend. That's what friends do.
Uh hmm. Always keep the bathroom door closed. You know what I mean, nuff said. There are some things, even in marriage, best left to the imagination.
By all means, do your best to live debt-free. This will require the both of you to be on the same page. Always, and I mean always pay cash for your wants. You'll find in life more times than not, the best memories you create are free. In that, you'll both find perpetual contentment. The stress of unnecessary debt is trouble you don't need when you're building a solid foundation, together.
Most certainly, get along with her parents, as well as the rest of her family. You may not always agree with them, but you can honor and respect them for who they are, her mom and dad and siblings. They've entrusted you to care for her, to love and cherish her. You have the genes to do that. I'm confident you'll do your part.
Lastly, remember the eternal source of your strength. May He who made you, guide you by day and protect you by night. Grounded firmly in this truth will carry you far beyond anything you can hope or imagine; and lay the necessary foundation to someday, if you so choose, raise up a happy family.
If you'd like to add additional words of wisdom that has made your marriage or relationship strong, I'd like to hear from you. Please leave your comments here or e-mail me.