A letter to my future daughter-in-laws on their wedding day.
Dear Future Mrs. Dean,
First off, welcome to the family. I know we’re a wild bunch, a little bit quirky, but if you’ve stolen my son’s heart, I know you have a little quirky in you too.
As you prepare to walk down the aisle, I want you to know a few things:
- The man who stands at the end of the aisle will be the same tomorrow as he is today. He is flawed. Marriage won’t change his habits or preferences. Love it or hate it, it’s likely here to stay. Too often, we go into marriage thinking it will be dreamy or easy. While wedding prep feels hard, the hard part is the work you have to put in each day to be the best half you can be for your mate.
- The man you chose is a great man. And he needs to hear it, often. His dad and I have been working on building him up for the past 20-30 years and it’s up to you to continue the tradition. He needs to know you respect him, you love him, you have his back and you can’t wait to walk through each stage of life with him. Remind him of this daily.
- Pick your fights. This took a long time for me to learn, and frankly I’m still learning it. Some things aren’t worth getting into it over. The fact he likes wearing socks with sandals or “forgets” to put clothes in the hamper are small things. Don’t let the 10% of things that drive you crazy take away from the 90% of him that is awesome.
- Have fun. Take date nights away. Eat ice cream for dinner, just because. Make a bucket list together. Too often work, life, relationships and parenting takes over and we forget about the carefree fun we had when it was just dating. Try to remember to just have fun sometimes. Break out of the daily routine and mix it up.
- I’m sorry for my part. Nature vs. nurture. Nature: Some of your husband’s crazy is just passed genetically thru DNA. Good and bad came along. Nurture: I also know that we made plenty of mistakes raising these boys. Patience, time management, competitiveness, and more. We probably pushed too hard in some areas and not enough in others. So I apologize now for the flaws we’ve created.
Your marriage is going to be what you make it – what you put into it. Garbage in, garbage out. Awesome in, awesome out.
Make sure God has a high place in your marriage. You’ll turn to Him more than you expect on this journey. Love each other fiercely and choose each other first always. Before kids. Before your parents. Before hobbies. Before friends.
The walk down the aisle today is so symbolic. You’ll head down by yourselves and then after you say “I do” you’ll walk the path together. Hand in hand. You against the world.
Welcome new Mrs. Dean!
Your ‘favorite’ MIL