Really? Wood? Reflections on 5 Years of Marriage

mat and kim walzerFive years ago today it was -10 degrees in MN, and my wife (Kim Walzer) and I were standing on a beach in Jamaica having a “Jewish” wedding with 40 of our closest friends and family. Today we celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary, and while coincidentally her gift will involve the traditional theme (5 Years = Wood), that’s not meant to be a pun. Less than two weeks ago, Kim wrote a Top 10 of sorts to celebrate the first year of our daughter, Madeline’s, birthday. In honor of Kim, I offer you a list of reflective observations I’ve gained over the last five years of our marriage:

  1. Take a sigh of relief that you chose someone who shares the same values you do. This makes the hard times easier, and other times fun.
  2. When you get married, there’s no more “my family does it this way, and yours does it this way…” There’s now your way – make your relationship and family unique in a way that fits you.
  3. Kids change shit – whether it’s a dog, a first kid, or both. Enjoy and embrace the change – You may find you fall in love again.
  4. You can never appreciate your partner enough… remember to thank them, tell them you love them, and that you appreciate what they do – whatever that may be.
  5. Sometimes it’s good to go to bed angry – time to reflect and discuss whatever you were angry about with a fresh night’s sleep can be beneficial.
  6. Being happy is definitely more fun than being right.
  7. Learn to be flexible. It’s certainly cliché, but you do have an entire life together – is it really going to matter if the laundry waits a day or two?
  8. It’s OK to want time to yourself. Actually, it’s normal – take time to yourself, and encourage your partner to do the same.
  9. Schedule date nights – in addition to double-date nights. Life gets hectic and crazy. If you don’t find time for just you and your partner, you’ll fill it with something else, and one-on-one time is important.
  10. Have fun! Celebrate your successes together; new job, new baby, rocking a parenting moment – give each other high-fives even – who cares, no one’s watching!

Happy Anniversary, Sweety – Thank you for being a fantastically supportive, and loving wife!

Matt Walzer is a Philanthropy Officer for the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. He is a proud husband and loving father to a 1-year-old daughter, and 8-ish-year old dog. In his spare time he serves on the board of The Emily Program Foundation, plays baseball, and binge watches good TV shows.