10 Lessons from 10 Years of Marriage

On the Occasion of Our 10-Year Wedding Anniversary

This blog is about the pursuit of what matters most. My angle is to help you have more time and money to that end, as time and money are huge levers. But they are only levers. What matters more is what matters most. Today I am celebrating a key ingredient of what matters most to me: my marriage. Today is Sarah’s and my 10-year wedding anniversary.

Brian and Sarah, with Sarah holding flowers

Our Wedding Day: May 19, 2007

In commemoration of this occasion, I thought I’d share 10 lessons from 10 years of marriage. Many apply to any pursuit of what matters most. Here goes:

10. You can never spend too much time with those you love.

When you must go other places—as often you must—take them with you whenever possible.

9. The hardest struggles can be the most bonding, if you face them together.

That was our experience with infertility.

8. Travel like crazy if you like to travel.

Exploring the world together is awesome in the moment and creates great memories for years to come.

7. Listen well and respond.

Like when Sarah talked about wanting a porch swing for six years and then I immediately bought one. 🙂

6. Pursue the spiritual life together.

It is arguably the greatest adventure.

5. Laugh a lot.

Pun less, maybe, since the laughs tend to be one-sided. Or else pun twice as much to even the score?

4. Commit to the marriage.

Really commit—in your heart. It will work if you both commit.

3. Kids are way harder.


2. Kids are way better.
McAdam family outside near flowers

John, Sarah, Elizabeth, Michael, and me; Easter Sunday, 2017

1. When you tell her that you’re interested in her and she says, “I think you should plan for the worst,” don’t give up.

When you then date her, and she breaks up with you twice, still don’t give up (but do give her the silent treatment the second time—as a strategy, of course).

When after that she asks to get together to talk, make her wait . . . but not too long. When you talk and she says, “Let’s do this thing,” do that thing.

When you find yourself in Israel with her, propose. When the wedding bells chime, and forever thereafter, ask yourself how you got so lucky. Because you didn’t deserve her then, you don’t now, and you never will.

When you go on your honeymoon, don’t put your cell phone in your swimsuit pocket.

When kids don’t come, console her as she cries (and visit this fertility center). When going on dates is easy, date a lot (and as often as possible thereafter as well).

When kids do come, turn to stand side-by-side. There is perhaps no greater opportunity to better the world than through loving your kids together.

As they grow up, marvel. When they move away—and now I’m getting ahead of myself—rejoice . . . and weep.

And wake up early together. And drink coffee together. And grow hard of hearing together. And need her like you never did before because your health has failed whereas hers hasn’t. And pray to God you don’t die before her, or at least not too much, because she needs you, or so you tell yourself, and so she tells herself.

And in your final days, recall with her the first ten years, and all the years between. And count your many blessings. And tell her that you hope to spend the next life with her and that you love her. Tell her that you love her. Do it then. And do it today.

Question: What words of wisdom or encouragement can you share to help Sarah and me make the next 10 years the best that they can be? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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2 thoughts on “10 Lessons from 10 Years of Marriage

  1. Happy Anniversary to you and Sarah! May God continue to bless your marriage and your family.
    Here’s to the rest of your lives together.