Why the Little Things Matter Most in Marriage

It's the Little ThingsIt's the Little Things

As of this month, my husband and I have been married for fifteen years.

Fifteen years.

One. Five.

I haven't been able to stick with anything for more than a few months and yet my husband hasn't been able to shake me loose. And trust me, I'm pretty sure he's tried.

We've actually been together for 21 years but when I tell people I've been with my husband since I was fifteen years old they tend to look at me with a combination of horror and pity. I promise you, I'm not crazy and yes it is possible to meet the man you are going to spend the rest of your life with when you are a teenager.

Coincidentally, I have a 15-year-old daughter. The idea that she may meet some boy and stay with him the rest of her life, have his babies and generally settle down with some pubescent teen punk makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.

Hypocrisy. It is my middle name.

Related: 5 lessons learned from 18 years of marriage

But in all fairness, if you had told me that I'd have met the man I was going to choose to spend my life with at the ripe old age of fifteen and that he happened to be my father's best friend's son, I'd have laughed and laughed and laughed.

Until I met him, that is. Then it was no laughing matter.

Still, my husband and I, we have bucked the odds and have so far been lucky at love. Not like it's been perfect or anything. There have been some major issues in our marriage. There was the whole growing up thing to overcome. Because who you are at 15 is not who you are at 36. Then there were the unexpected special needs of our son. And then his death five years later. Not to mention the gossamer fine lines of family politics to navigate. (That's code for saying his family hasn't always been my biggest fans.)

There were some days both of us were ready to call it quits. There were arguments. And hurt feelings and frustration. There was growing up and healing and more forgiveness granted than either of us probably deserved. Marriage is not a mistake free zone and it took me years to finally figure out that no one can win if no one is keeping score.

Fifteen years of matrimony, some scars, a few bruises and we're still intact. Stronger even than when we started, all fresh faced and dewy hearted. The innocence of romance has been erased by time and pain and has been replaced with a steely determination and a sincere appreciation for who the other is, flaws and all. We no longer take for granted the fact that our love is unconquerable. We know it is fragile and as delicate as our youngest son's health; something to protect and cherish. Years of not doing so have made us fiercer in doing so now.

My daughter, flipping through our wedding albums, once asked her dad and I what made us know? How could we be sure we could love one another forever?

Related: 7 things I wish I knew about men before I got married

My husband prattled off some easy answer about knowing we were meant to be from the moment I first grew boobs. He has always been terribly romantic that way.

It's a tough question to answer. I just knew. It's hard to articulate other than to gush that I love the guy, flaws and all and I'm really glad I finally grew boobs. More difficult to define is why we choose to stay married when times get tough.

This past week I've been without reliable internet service. It's a hazard of living up in rural Canada, and combined with crappy customer service I've been bouncing between being highly aggravated, completely annoyed and over emotional. It's been a really fun week to be married to me.

But after watching my husband try and resolve my internet problem after I have so clearly failed at rectifying it myself, I finally figured out why being married to him is something I'm extremely glad I've chosen to do for so many years in a row.

The man can chew out a call centre employee like no man has before. He has my back. And he supports my internet addiction.

Sure, marriage is hard. But when your spouse puts his big deal oil field job on hold and goes out of his way while being 600 kilometres away from home to ensure you are getting what you need to be happy? That's when you know you've picked a good egg. What more can a girl really ask for?

Because in marriage, it's the little things that matter. Because those little things can erase giant things like an oversized man cave and a pit from hell.

- By Tanis Miller

For 7 little ways to have a happier relationship, visit Babble!

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Tanis MillerTanis Miller

When you hear of the Redneck Mommy, you might think deep South. But Tanis Miller is actually from Canada, where she blogs about a life sprinkled with both funny anecdotes and heartbreaking grief. Shortly after the death of one of her children, Miller turned to the internet to let out all of her feelings. And we're glad she did.


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