This is a brief aside from my never-ending recaps. (They will end. Soon. I promise.)
Today (April Fool’s Day) is actually the dating anniversary of the Cannons. Today marks seven years of us, and I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on our marriage a bit.
I remember reading somewhere when I was younger that the best sign of a good relationship is that your partner makes you a better person. I’ve always remembered that, but never really applied it to my own relationship until recently.
I would say that our relationship hasn’t changed much since we got married, and in many ways that would be true. But in one big way, it has. I finally learned a lesson that Mr. Cannon has known all along. It is the best thing about our relationship, and what makes me know how lucky I am to have him in my life. It is also incredibly simple, and I can pretty much guarantee that you have heard it before. It is, after all, the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or, more simply, treat other the way you want to be treated. Or, more religiously, love your neighbor as yourself. It’s pretty prevalent in society.
I always thought I understood this basic rule, but I didn’t. I have always treated other people in a fair manner, and am even nice for the most part. I try not to be judgmental. I generally give other people the benefit of a doubt. I try to see the best in everyone. And I would like others to do that for me. But let’s be hones—I don’t just want to be treated fairly, or nicely. I want to be treated better, in a way I probably don’t deserve. I want to be given breaks. I want my life to be easy. Don’t we all?
I learned from Mr. Cannon that the secret to a great marriage and a great life isn’t just treating people the way they deserve to be treated, but better. When I stay up too late doing stupid crap and want to sleep in, Mr. Cannon doesn’t guilt me about how it’s my own fault that I’m so tired and make me get up. He closes the door and lets me sleep in and takes care of the kids until I get up. If I forget to do something I said I would do, he doesn’t make me feel bad about it, he just helps fix the problem. If I screw up, he doesn’t throw it in my face, even if it was something that was completely my fault that I should have foreseen. He picks up my slack, and helps me every day. He goes out of the way to make my life better, and even when I’m at my absolute worst, he somehow sees the very best in me. And because he does these things for me, I have learned to do them for him.
He is patient. He is kind. He is love. And I am so lucky to have him in my life. He hasn’t just given me a better life—he’s made me a better person, one who is more thoughtful, supportive, patient, and kind.
It’s funny how I went my entire life thinking I understood a concept, only to realize I didn’t really get it. I guess it just goes to show that there is always more to learn. And there is no one I’d rather learn with than the amazing guy I married.
Thanks for treating me better than I deserve and teaching me I should have been doing the same the whole time. It’s only been a year and a half, so I’m certainly no marriage expert, but I have a feeling that this will be one of the “tips to a successful marriage” I’ll pull out when people ask me for our secret when we’re 80.
What about you—do you have a “secret” to a great marriage?