I got married twice. It’s not that I have two different wives. The truth is, I was happily married to a one wonderful woman I’ve ever met in my entire life.
We got married at the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok where we had a simple wedding. There were only five of us: me and my wife to-be, our two friends who acted as our witnesses, and the vice-consul who officiated our wedding.
When the ceremony was over, we went to a Sizzler restaurant to celebrate our wedding. In the afternoon, we went straight to the Thai immigration for me to get a dependent visa. My wife has a working visa and I don’t have yet.
So, a few months later, we decided to have another big wedding ceremony where we invited our friends and family members from the Philippines.
Now, let’s talk about wedding anniversary.
Women in general are good in remembering dates that are associated with special events. Well, I am not.
So, husband remember this: If there is a Seven Deadly Sins, I guess the eight is to forget your wedding anniversary. Therefore, never forget the date of your anniversary.
In addition, men by nature are not generally expressive with their spouses. However, wedding anniversary is a perfect opportunity to tell your wife how grateful you are as a husband.
Here are 10 simple, yet heartfelt ways to express your gratitude to your wife. Ideally, it would be great to say them often and not just during wedding anniversaries.
1. I love you and I am so proud of you
Give your wife flowers and tell her that you are proud of her. It’s not a cliché as long as you say it sincerely. You can also send sweet text messages or write a small note and paste on the mirror where she could see it right after she wakes up. It is a wonderful way to lift her spirit and self-confidence. Regardless of how many years have passed by in your marriage, it is never too late to say, “I love you and I am so proud of you.”
2. You’re beautiful inside and out
The social media and TV commercials often emphasize superficial beauty more than character and integrity. Hence, a paradigm shift is essential to redefine the true meaning of beauty. Needless to say, true beauty transcends physical appearance such as the skin color and make-up.
Inner beauty means love that radiates and caring. Tell your wife genuinely how beautiful person she is inside and out. Helen Keller once said: “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.”
3. You married the right man
This is exactly the very words I told my wife fourteen years ago when I was struggling to get an approval from her parents. Few years back, she was deeply troubled about our relationship. However, it is quite comforting and reassuring to hear those words specially when things are not going well.
I repeatedly say this phrase to my wife even until today. Of course, there are no perfect marriages. Say sorry when you make mistakes. When your wife becomes pessimistic, remind her you will always be there because she married the right man.
4. Thank you for being a Supermom
Learn to appreciate your wife even for simple things. For instance, I am grateful for my wife for preparing the snacks of our children before they go to school, for baking pizza, for cooking our favorite dish, and for teaching our kids do their homework before bedtime.
Moreover, her effort to give medicine and the sleepless nights she had when our children got sick is a great example of being a Supermom.
5. We shared the household responsibilities
Sad to say, domestic responsibilities becomes a major source of marital conflict. As husband, it would be great to help your wife in household chores. This will not diminishes your masculinity. Before I got married, I seldom cook. Now, I learned to manage the kitchen and cook or wash the dishes.
There are many ways to help your wife. You can hang and fold the clothes and even pick up the toys on the floor to make sure your house is tidy and clean. Your wife won’t start an argument if you’re helping her. Remember that the mood of your spouse will light up when your house is not mess up.
6. Let’s blow away the cob webs and chill out
Ask your wife out on a date or set time aside to do something she wants to do. Hang out and laugh together. You can take your wife for a dinner or have shopping at the mall. What we usually do is to have a Thai massage together once in a while. For some, going to a nearby beach or resort is another option for wedding anniversary.
Spend a quality time together even when you’re busy. It is a great form of investment to nurture your relationship. In addition, it is certainly a great way to express how you value your wife as a person.
7. You’re the best thing ever happened to me
Marriage certainly has ups and downs. However, one of the sweetest words you could ever tell your wife is, “You’re the best thing ever happened to me.” Many times I asked our two children like this: ” What’s the best thing ever happened to Daddy?” They would reply in chorus, “When you married Mommy!”
8. I wanna grow old with you
Every wedding anniversary is a great opportunity to tell your partner that no matter what happen you will grow together until the silver or golden anniversaries have passed by.
Sooner or later, you will have wrinkles and your health will decline but you will enjoy being a grandparent and whisper to you wife one morning, “Pass me my teeth, it’s time for my salad!”
9. Let’s talk about your day
Jim Brown in his book The Amer-I-can Program discusses the significant process of adjustment for couples. According to him, we often focus on the event and not the life after the wedding. So much time goes into planning the ceremony, showers, reception and honeymoon, but how much time do we devote to planning the life that follows? After the vows, the presents, and the honeymoon, reality sets in.
The couple soon realizes that marriage is not an ongoing celebration and there will be a great deal of stress and adjustments as couple afterwards. So, communication is essential in marriage. Whether she’s a full-time mom or working, never forget to ask simple questions like how’s your day. To be more connected as couple, give your spouse an opportunity to share other areas of her life such as her career and passions.
10. I always pray for you
Do not let other priorities crowd out what should be the most important aspect of your relationship. Your Christian faith is vital and nothing is more fulfilling as couple than to study the word of God together.
Always pray for your wife because it will make you realize how much of a treasure she is, the woman God gave you. When you let God guide your steps as couple and remain faithful till the end, more wedding celebrations will come.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” —Ephesians 5:25
So, greet your wife and celebrate your wedding anniversary.
JUN AMPARO is the author of OMG! OFW’s Money is Gone: Practical Tips on How to Be Wise with Your Hard-earned Money which was featured at GMA News Online. Being an OFW for over a decade, he’s aware about the common financial challenges of many Overseas Filipino Workers.
Jun is investing in mutual funds and stock market for over three- years and conducts financial literacy seminar.