Finding the Positives in 16 Years of Marriage

The night I first asked out Emily, I was so nervous my constantly moving right foot dug a hole big enough to bury a giant treasure chest. When I finally got the courage to blurt out my request, a loud French man interrupted me and decided to talk to us both for over an hour about things that were far less interesting than the budding romance I was looking to start. 

The above event was the second time I had attempted to ask her out. The first time was interrupted by a mostly naked man covered in a far too small loincloth who was dancing in front of us.

The night I asked Emily to marry me, I was so nervous that I dropped the engagement ring and it almost bounced into an air vent.

On our wedding day, a rather nervous singer overdid some medication, which meant a person who was not a fan of driving in Toronto needed to take on that role and take directions from the geographically impaired leading to our reception being over an hour later. A reception where underneath my suit, I had a second one formed from the sweat of one of the hottest June days ever.

I once burned a planned romantic dinner because I was busy chasing a hopped-up-on gummy candies child who was armed with a marker focused on decorating our white walls. It was now frozen pizza with candles.

I haven't made it a locked-away secret that the last few years have been emotionally and mentally rough. This has impacted every aspect of my life, and it is one of the major reasons I'm not expecting the 'Husband of the Year' trophy to be won any time soon. But even if I'm well aware my struggles have negatively affected many relationships including the most important one ever, I also can look back on the previously mentioned events and know that despite the negatives each of them holds much more cherished and positive memories. 

It wasn't the perfect vision of asking a girl out, but she said yes. We went on a wonderful date to a Thai restaurant and a few weeks later I cooked her a romantic dinner on a beach. Those dates led to a marriage that today is now on its 16th anniversary.

The dancing naked man is one of those goofy stories we still laugh about, and a potential inspiration if I need to spice things up.

The ring wasn't lost, and more importantly, she said yes. We had a nice dinner and evening together as a newly engaged couple.

Our wedding was awesome and also a sign of how cool Emily has always been. I got to enter the ceremony to Star Wars score after showing one of the silliest home movies that I created with my best friends, then I also got to enter the reception to Stone Cold Steve Austin's theme music. The minor problems with the wedding get overwhelmed by what was one of the happiest days shared with the love of my life.

The surprise romantic dinner didn't go as planned, but we only had one child at the time, and no we have two.

As for this stretch where I feel I fail as a husband where I could bring up far too many negatives? Well, I suffocate them by focusing on the positives and cherished moments too.

We had a wonderful family trip to the Azores and Gettysburg.

We continue to prove we're a great team when parenting.

As a family, we discovered a new love and passion by performing in two musicals. we discovered a new love and passion by performing in two musicals.

We still make each other laugh and still love hearing about the other person's passions.

16 years of marriage is bound to have its ups and downs. But there is a reason we decided to get married, and when I choose to focus on those positives then I uncover many priceless gems.

I deeply and passionately love Emily. I love her quirky sense of humour. I love her dedication to her family. I love her sense of adventure. I love how people seem so comfortable with her that they start opening up to her. I love her compassion and big beating heart. I love the family we have created together. 

It is always easier to be appreciative and loving on those special occasions. The magic formula is to keep on looking for those wonderful moments and finding ways to create them every single day. I look forward to another year of marriage where I can put that to the test and create many more magical moments.

Happy 16th Anniversary, Emily. I love you.