Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Talk-Time - When Marriages are Tested

Donna Alward is back at Pink Heart Society this month, talking about the trials and tribulations of being married after years and years.  PLUS she's got a GIVEAWAY for one lucky reader...

I was scrolling through a list of potential topics for today's blog when one jumped out at me and I thought "yes, I can write about that"! It was "how you keep the romance alive after 5, 10, 20 years of marriage". Now, I'm in my forties, I work, I have kids, and I KNOW my husband will say "Romance? Hah!". Those of you who've been married a while know that the, well, wilder "romance" years are often behind us when life gets a little heavier. But I can say this: a week ago we celebrated our 19th anniversary. And we're still going, and we still love each other, and I think I appreciate him more now than I did even five years ago. No, I KNOW I do.

Aren't we adorable?!
Marriages are always tested. There are times when it seems easier and then times when it's hard. When people are stressed for any number of reasons. It could be work. It could be health, or money, or just life in general. We've been together for over 23 years. I'd be lying if I said it's been all roses and sunshine since then.

But we're still here.

And lately I've heard about other couples splitting up and I simply thank God that we're still here.

Why do some relationships last and others not? I don't really know. I do know that the last year or so has been really, really rough. I've had a lot of work. A LOT. Deadlines on top of deadlines. And our kids are teenagers and ask any parent who is bringing up teens or has been through that war zone and they'll tell you IT IS NOT EASY. I love my kids and I'm proud of them and they are smart and wonderful and it's still a hard, hard job. I've found it very, very difficult. But know what? I feel like my husband and I are closer. I think when marriages are tested, when times get rough, it either brings couples together or pushes them apart. Have I mentioned how glad I am that it seems to have brought us together?

And when I say brought us together, I mean being in a place where we can rely on each other. That at the end of the day there's one person there, your rock, that will snuggle up to you under the covers and hold you close and tell you that you can get through anything together. And mean it.

One of the things we did last winter and that we'll be starting up again soon is Saturday morning breakfast. Our kids have a rehearsal in the mornings, and after we drop them off we frequently go for breakfast, just us. After years of never going on dates, it's something we really got to enjoy.

I'm also lightening my schedule a little this year, to help with both my stress level and my time commitments, so I can enjoy my family a little more.

I don't know what the magic ingredient is. I don't know why some couples make it through and others don't. I just know that as I get older, I get ever more thankful that he married me. I hope he feels the same way, even though I'm far from the perfect wife.

In the spirit of marital bliss (or partners or what not) go ahead and post something lovely in the comments - either advice for keeping that romance alive, or something you're grateful for in your significant other. Let's make it a real love-fest!

I'll choose one commenter to receive a kindle copy of Treasure on Lilac Lane, my new release on the 28th!

Find out more about Donna Alward and the rest of her Jewell Cove series at her website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. A testament to a strong, beautiful marriage, Donna! Happy Anniversary!

    I think your Saturday morning dates are a terrific idea. I know most of us love spontaneity in relationships, but the reality is, a lot of times you have to plan time to be just couple time. Congratulations!

    1. I figure we can get spontaneity back when we're kid free. Wonder if we'll be too old then to enjoy it? LOL

  2. Love your Saturday morning breakfasts! :)

  3. Lovely blog post, Donna! I've been married fourteen years, and I really think that laughter makes everything easier. We've had the usual troubles, some tragedy, some hardships, but we're always on each others' side and we always find a way to laugh. Marriage and family has truly been the most fun I've ever had.

  4. Lovely post. And me too on sneaking off for breakfast on a Saturday morning. Not every Saturday, but the ones we manage are appreciated :)

  5. Happy Anniversary and to many more! Saturday breakfast dates are a great idea and a way to start...

    Well I'm only married for coming 6 years and I already feel the strain at times. I remember reading a book and was really inspired. I can't find the exact quote but it has the meaning of not be have any expectations on our men and rejoice in a good man.

  6. Happy Happy Anniversary to you:) I will also be married in December for 19 years and we have two teenagers and I can confirm how arduous it is to manage a family with the busy lives we lead. Yes, every marriage has its ups and downs and rough periods, but through all these phases we always managed to stay together. I could never be angry with my husband even for a few hours because it destroys my serenity. He is my pillar of strength, best friend and the only person who truly understands me. He knows how to lift my spirits when I am down, shares his reasoning with me when I feel the world is against me and cracks me up with his silly jokes when I don't even want to laugh:) We have never broken up in the all the years of marriage, never considered separation and divorce is unthinkable when it comes down to how much we truly love each other. I am so grateful to have the man I have, who treats me like a queen, loves our children unconditionally and believes in the sanctity of marriage and everything that goes with it. We don't always find the time to go out on date nights, but we make time for one night breakaways where it is only us, where we can revel in each other and fall in love all over again. I found my emerald and I thank the Lord everyday for blessing me in abundance.

  7. I tried keeping things alive in my marriage but it didn't workout but I know one thing don't take each other for granted, and never stop saying the words I live you to each! carole fiore fiorecarole1954@yahoo.com

  8. I meant to say I love you to each other!

  9. Have really enjoyed your books.
    We have been married a little over 42 years and it has been interesting. I am so lucky I have the husband I do. I think patience and understanding are most important. Neither of us os perfect, but he is much closer than I am. Each stage of life and a marriage has its own special set of demands and pressures. We survived the teen years and now have grown children with their own families. I think our next stage of our marriage is retirement and that could be a challenge if we are not careful. We both need to remember to give each other space and to keep involved with activities we enjoy.

    1. Pat - I absolutely agree that each stage has its own special demands. When I think about retirement - I think that I'd better have a BIG garage where he can putter with tools or he'll drive me bananas! LOL