The best part of marriage

Tradition considers crystal the proper gift for a 15th anniversary.

My wife and I agreed to celebrate ours with beer.

We’re not big drinkers anymore. The combination of age and children makes staying out late and consuming alcohol less and less enticing. The later you’re up or the more drink you’ve consumed, the earlier the children wake and the needier they become.

We’re not teetotallers either. In recent years, we’ve discovered a shared interest in trying new beers. With the recent growth in craft beers, microbreweries and gastropubs around the region, there are plenty of exciting places to go check out and enjoy a brew or two.

I know they say gentlemen prefer blondes, but I fancy a red ale when we’re out, especially after I allot myself one fairly heavy porter. My wife does enjoy blonde ales, though, mixed in with a variety of ciders.

When we’re out, we always sample the other person’s drink. I’ll usually warn her when she won’t like something I’ve ordered, and she’ll tell me when I’ll think the drink is too sweet. We’ll try two or three with a good meal.

The key isn’t that we’re out drinking with the kids at home. The key is we’re out together with the kids at home, enjoying one another’s company.

Statistics show the average marriage that ends in divorce happens around the eight-year mark after the nuptials. It turns out the so-called seven-year itch really does bring an end to some couples. While divorce rates haven’t hit 50 percent in the U.S. yet, many people do seem to wink while saying the “till death do us part” line.

I’m proud we’ve made it past that and into the mid-teens of our wedded bliss. I’m absolutely convinced it’s because we work on our marriage together.

When you’re young and in lust, it’s easy to overlook the flaws we all have. Once you get past the honeymoon phase, it’s easy to think about the ways you wish your spouse would change. Eventually, though, you start to find ways you should change yourself to better suit your spouse.

That’s why it’s been so important for us to find things we enjoy doing together. Whenever we do get a date out every few months, we’ll talk about where we want to go. My wife inevitably rolls her eyes when I say I don’t care where we go, as long as I get to go with her.

Our trips to various places trying different hops keeps a spring in my step. Our life together remains an adventure I’m anxious to continue, from our near-daily walks around our neighborhood to bigger trips to interesting cities. She remains the most important person in my life and on the top tier of what I value most — God, my family and truth, in that order.

Young couples should heed the advice: Find something you enjoy doing together. Maybe it’s hiking. Maybe it’s breweries. Maybe it’s cross-stitching. Whatever it is, keep doing it as a couple, and you’ll be able to honestly say how much you enjoy being married.

David Trinko is managing editor of The Lima News, a division of AIM Media Midwest.

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