So a lot of you who know me know that I am married to a really good guy, and have been for a long time. We have two teenagers at home, and the truth of the matter is— it’s been a hard year.

My husband has been going through his own career changes that over time have understandably really bogged him down. Simultaneously, even though my career is off the hook, I have been graduating our oldest daughter from high school while bracing myself for what’s coming— the end of an era of mothering after 18 years. The shift that this is causing in my marriage is really significant because as the time commitment and the fulfillment level from being parents starts to take up less and less of my life, I have started to see my partner and relationship in a different light.

Absolutely, it’s so much easier to have teenagers than to have toddlers. It’s easier and we have more time for ourselves and for each other. Also, we are not broke the way we were when we had these kids 18 years ago. But he and I have had to have some candid conversations with each other recently about the fact that we need to make being friends and being playmates with each other a higher priority especially now that parenting is falling away and something needs to emerge to takeouts place.

The sad reality is, in our way, we do for each other and have done for each other things that we don’t appreciate anymore because they become background noise after a period of time. As a relationship expert, am I proud to admit that out loud? No, not particularly. Yet, it’s the God’s honest truth, and it’s on me to do something about it. So, as I am out on vacation this week, my husband and I are actually going to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary by renewing our wedding vows with our children alongside us. I know for some of you 20 isn’t as significant as 25, but for us, it’s the right time. It’s all about doubling down, and recommitting. Because when you’re in a relationship and you’re partnered with someone good who is also trying to make things thrive, you do need to differentiate between what’s theres to work on, and what’s yours to work on. You do need to learn some communication skills. But also, let me tell you the secret that’s gotten me through the last 20 years. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Double down, and recommit. Refuse to give up.

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