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Our Secret to Staying Married for 14 Years

secret to staying married

August 22, 1998 – I walked down the aisle, holding back tears as I married my husband again. Yes, again – we had eloped 8 months prior, but nobody knew – it was our secret.

The Secret to Staying Married for 14 Years (Our Secret!)

Looking back at the last 14 years of marriage is emotional. We have been so blessed in so many ways, but it hasn’t been easy. Marriage is not easy, add 4 kids and you have chaos. It’s our chaos. It’s purposeful. It’s real. It’s love. It’s 14 years of marriage and counting.

So what’s our secret to staying married? SUCKY SELFIES! (just kidding – but here is a sucky selfie)


While we both are Christians and have built (and rebuilt) our marriage on our faith – without grace none of that would matter.  Even if you aren’t a Christian, this word can still make a difference in your marriage.

GRACE in the dictionary is defined as mercy; clemency; pardon, Grace defined in our marriage is unconditional love.

We all screw up. We all think and say bad things. By giving and receiving GRACE our marriage stays committed. We both know that no matter how many dishes are thrown (who throws dishes??), that at the end of the day, we can pick up the pieces and make a mosaic. Okay, I would make the mosaic and he would play video games – but you get the point.

COMMITMENT – with 4 kids, this word rings so true. No matter how bad things get, we took a vow and we are keeping it. We are committed to raising our children. We are committed to each other. We are committed to doing what’s right in the world. We are committed to living the best life possible – together.  

LAUGHTER is heard non-stop in this house. We laugh at everything. Sometimes it’s crying that then turns into laughter (opposed to laughter turning into crying). Kids drown a Barbie doll? We laugh. Whether it’s secret jokes or crap that life throws at us, laughter is therapeutic.

The Proposal

It was November 22, 1997. We had been dating a year and headed out to a nice dinner. As we drove to the restaurant in his Bitch’ Camaro – 1994 Camaro to be exact — I was too busy putting on make-up and not thinking about what was going on to notice that he was playing a song over and over on repeat the entire 30-minute ride.

We ate dinner, he acted weird – I thought he was sick.

After dinner, he got down on 1 knee – nervously showed me a ring and recited the lyrics to Want Ad by MXPX.  He then asked me to marry him. I was only 19, but that was just a number. He was my soulmate. I said yes. I really don’t think anyone we knew at the time thought we would make it. To them I stick out my tongue and say “You were wrong Suckas!”

Want Ad Lyrics by MXPX

I need the kind of girl that knows
A girl that likes to wear my clothes
Somone who always buys me coke
Someone who laughs at all my jokes

That’s the girl that i want to see
Fall in love with me
That’s the girl that i long to know oh
How i love her so..

I’m looking for a girl who writes me songs
And talks to Jesus all day long
And the way she does her hair
No one else can compare

That’s the girl that i want to see
Fall in love with me
That’s the girl that i long to know oh
How i love her so..

I’ll probably meet her at a show
And when I look at her i’ll know that
She’s the perfect one for me and with her
I will always be
The one for me

We always said we wanted to grow old together. While we are in our 30’s, as our kids age and our life changes — it’s so weird to actually be doing what we set out to do. Without grace and commitment, we’d be divorced and bitter.

Happy Anniversary Sean. I love you, even when you attempt to wear black socks with shorts (grace) and when you chew your fingernails (more grace) and when you wiggle your feet when you sleep and pass that weird trait down to EACH OF OUR 4 KIDS (grace and laughter). Here is your anniversary gift.

seans anniversary gift

What is Your Secret to Staying Married?