Anniversaries: Great Opportunities for Marital Growth and Closeness, First Person

July 29, 2013 by Gary Davis  
Published in Marriage

Use your anniversary to build your marriage. It’s easy and fun. No, my wife didn’t make me write this.

As marriages progress, it is harder and harder to think of unique things to do to celebrate these most important days. Certainly early on, the typical “wine and roses” dinners; weekend getaways and, mini-vacations seem to fit the bill. As the marriage matures; as more and more things are accomplished, how is it possible to reflect the relationship? That is what I think we want to do; reflect the relationship.

One of the gifts that my wife and I have given to each other was a picture of us with our children. This wasn’t the only anniversary gift, but, it was a part of the package; it was a memory.

Over the last few years, as a part of that package I have given my wife a portrait of me and her parents. There was something very touching about her reaction. I have to admit I don’t know what made me think of it; it just came to me.

On our 25th anniversary we renewed our vows. We invited family and friends (of course advising people not to bring gifts), and got married again. There was something wonderful about doing that in front of our children. The ceremony was followed by a brief “honeymoon”.

Since that anniversary, we have celebrated each one with a major get together with friends and family. This celebration is held a couple of days before the actual anniversary date. We also have a scrapbook that is added to year by year.

An idea that we came up with near the beginning of our marriage was the “50 record”. We both wanted to be married 50 years so we tried to think of something that we could do that would help us both count off and keep track of that goal. What we came up with was visiting all 50 states. We started with the one we live in. We visit a state on our anniversary day. There is no “give” on this issue; we must be in a different state, not visited before, on our anniversary.

Another “50″ we have begun to accumulate, are 50 messages we are writing to ourselves in the future to be opened on our 50th anniversary. We have a safety-deposit box. In this box, we are leaving ourselves annual letters about what is going on; the hard issues; the joyful issues; what child is doing what; everything about our lives and the World. We spend a lot of time on this. We figure in a few years we’ll have plenty of time and won’t be able to get enough.

I did say that anniversary gifts should reflect the couple. That is what my wife we are reflecting with our “50 record”. It reflects our hope, dedication, loyalty, and, utter satisfaction.

Anniversaries are certainly important. I think they’re wonderful when they give the couple a way to celebrate their treasure; their life together.

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