I know you will get all kinds of input on your marriage over the years, but I wanted to give you my few cents. Hopefully these words will keep you strong, faithful and respectful of one another and focused on what is important.

Starting from the outside, think of all the people you invited to your wedding and who you wanted to be there. Think of how many of them are priests, professional marriage counselors, or have been faithfully married longer than you have been alive. These are the people you can go to for advice. They may be qualified, experienced and able to actually help. There probably aren’t that many of them. And most likely, they will first ask if you talked to one another.

The rest, still have opinions. Single friends and family, the married ones who act single will all have thoughts and opinions. Beware especially of the cousin that tells you “all Bahamian men/women are no good” or the friends that tell you that “you can do better”. Chances are they are unhappy and cannot see the beauty in your relationship. Don’t share everything with everyone, good or bad. And recognize, that they do not know all the times he washed the clothes, or she rubbed your feet or either of you bought chocolate or flowers.

Also outside are all your past relationships. They all left you or you left them for a reason. The person you are with now, is in some ways the sum of all that experience, but at the same time, none of it. Do not compare them to your past and do not compare yourself to theirs.

Next, look to one another. See one another. You got married for a reason. It was probably not to have someone wash the dishes or build a house. Maybe she makes you laugh at the strangest things, maybe he always helps you to get centered. One day, you will be broke or unemployed or sick or injured. One day the dishes will be piled in the sink and your spouse will be asleep after a long day of work. One day you will have to move for a better opportunity or find yourself in the same place longer than expected. What matters is that you are with the person you committed your life to. And remember people don’t change, but they adapt. So, if he never freaks out, sometimes, he may seem cold depending on the situation. If she always freaks out, sometimes, she may seem to be overreacting. But you knew how it was already. Take it in stride, talk to one another, be honest.

Finally, look to yourself. Every day is a choice. You choose to go home at night and wake up together. You choose to welcome one another home with a smile. You choose to help one another achieve their goals. Find out how you measure love and be honest with yourself. Make it your job to find out how to love them the way they need. Just always choose love.

I love you guys. Enjoy one another.

Unca Leno.

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