7 Years Ago I Started a Family

Monday, April 8, 2013

Cue Tony! Toni! Tone! It's our anniversary!

Today hubster and I have been married for seven years. We've been celebrating for the past few days trying to relive our first few dates. This has been hilarious because in our old age we're forgetting things  and can't quite get the details right. (Did we have burgers or hotdogs when we had our first indoor picnic?)

For about six of the seven years we've been married I've had people constantly asking me "When are you two going to start a family?"

This question drives me crazy, and not just because I don't want kids. This question bothers me because it implies that a married couple isn't truly a family until they have kids. And I have to disagree.

No, we don't have kids, but we are still a family. We have traditions, great memories, and unconditional love for each other -- and that's what family is all about. I honestly think that more marriages would last longer if couples would see each other as family the moment they say "I do."

I'm obviously no expert. Seven years feels like a lot to me but is nothing compared to the 31 years my parents have been husband and wife or the 67 years my husband's grandparents have married. But I think I'm on to something.

My pastor once shared a story about a couple he was counseling as they struggled to deal with the wife's infidelity. The wife was unfaithful only once, but the husband was ready to call it quits (and understandably so). He just couldn't bring himself to forgive her. Ironically, at the end of one of their sessions the husband asked my pastor for rehabilitation recommendations for his brother who was addicted to alcohol and drugs. This man's brother had messed up time and time again, and even stolen money from him. But he forgave his brother each and every time. Why? "Because he's my family," the man answered. "Well, isn't your wife your family too?" my pastor asked.

Many of us remain dedicated to our families no matter how much they screw up. We love them in spite of their mistakes and imperfections. How strong would our marriages be if we did the same for our spouses? Now don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating that you stay in an abusive relationship or turn a blind eye to self-destructive behavior. But a spouse is a family member you chose to have. Shouldn't they receive the same grace and mercy you extend to the family members you didn't get to choose?

So don't ask me when I'm starting a family. I already have.

And now a few family photos!


  1. I love this, and as a "one and Done" mom, I totally sympathize with the pressure to have children. People are so nosy!!!

    Happy anniversary, Bowsers!

  2. Oh, and I wrote about this last year too. I heard through the grapevine that my mother-in-law openly grieved after reading my post! So I am sharing my post since I went and read yours!


  3. I love this post on so many levels. We are soul sisters. Thank you for writing it! And HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!!

  4. You two are too cute!! I love your perspective and you are so so right.

    Happy anniversary!!

  5. Happy Anniversary! Y'all are too cute. I am still on the fence about kids, but I totally agree with you that spouses are family. My southern beau and I aren't even married and he is already my family!

  6. Thanks for all the well wishes, everyone! And thanks for reading my post!

  7. You all are so adorable and your love for one another explodes through your pictures! Happy Anniversary!

  8. Lovely! My husband and I have no children, but we have been family for some 18 years now! He is more my family than many who are members of my family by virtue of birth. Blessings to you and your husband!

  9. Parenthood takes a tremendous amount of time and dedication. It isn't for all people. Some people just "accidentally" become parents without realizing this. If you don't want to put that kind of time and love into your own children, it is much better that you aren't parents. But that isn't to say that you can't show someone else's children some special love.

  10. Love this! I just got married on March 30th of this year, and we both went into our wedding ceremony thinking---we're about to be a family! My husband and I, along with our two little pets, constitute our FAMILY...and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

    The next time I'm asked "When are you going to start a family?", I'll hit them with the reply, "I already have one!".