Married Life after 20 years – what does it look like?



Whether you’re dreaming about marriage or in one, the thought crosses everyone’s mind at some point – “what does a marriage look like after 20 years?” We’ve all seen both sides of the coin with our parent’s generation – both unhappy couples and blissfully in love couples. And also (I know a coin doesn’t have 3 sides), couples that seem to be both annoyed with each other yet still each other’s person.

Recently, I sent an email to a friend of mine to congratulate her on her 20th wedding anniversary. I asked her what love looked like after such a long time, and she replied so beautifully:

“My husband is my best friend, my greatest support, my biggest comfort, my strongest motivation, my truest smile, my deepest love, my favorite, my forever. He has me. Entirely.”

The true gift of marriage is a love that deepens over time. It’s pretty similar to a good wine. Young wines are fruity and fresh, and the taste is simple but lovely. A wine that’s aged with care, is far more complex. You know those wine reviews where they say things like “this wine tastes like rich red berries, with a hint of chocolate, coffee, and notes of French Oak”. Well, love within a marriage develops in that way too. It’s quite fun to write a future relationship wine review with your partner! Here’s one a friend shared with me:

“Cabernet de OurLove is a full-bodied, rich and delicious love. Aged in [insert street name] over 20 years, this love has a complex flavor that has never-ending surprises. One will find hints of kisses, notes of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and a base layer of general silliness. Its subtle aroma is reminiscent of candle-lit dinners, mountain hikes, old books, and someone’s non-stop snoring. Cabernet de OurLove is a perfect accompaniment to picnics on the beach, Sunday Barbecues, and pasta that keeps getting overcooked because we’re making out in the kitchen.”

In many cases, the fresh fruitiness of a young married couple is not the same after 20 years. But it’s not something that disappears, it’s something that transforms. Think how you feel excited about a new friend compared to how you feel about your oldest friend that you’ve known since you were a child. It can be like that but x 100. 

What happens in marriage over two decades is that it’s inevitable for both you and your partner to change. In fact, you’ll change many many times. Think back to how different you were 20 years ago and how many phases you went through! Remember that ridiculous hairstyle? That young-minded vow you made to your rebellious teenage self? It’s quite fun to think back on and imagine what phases the future holds for you and your partner.

As you both grow and experience life, if you stay connected and experience the world together you will grow in a similar direction. You and your partner are individuals though and it’s OK for you to develop in your own directions too. But these transformations are something to celebrate in one another and they will be things you will look back on joyfully as a couple. It’s all part of a shared life.

I once read this lovely quote: 

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”

Remember to set goals together and to make quality time and date nights a priority so you enjoy a meaningful and fulfilling marriage.

Here are some fun products I’ve come across for your marriage journey:

A beautiful journal to write down the reasons you love each other:

A game of conversation starters for nostalgic couples:

Cute soulmate mugs:

Anniversary Picture frame – there’s one for each year of marriage and it’s a lovely idea to build your collection with a photo for each year.

Keeping your love alive over the years can be challenging at times. That’s the reality of marriage and the vows that you made to each other. But sticking together over the years will make you truly each other’s person. Sometimes beautiful things take time.

Leave a comment below and let us know what marriage looks like after 20 years to you or what you most look forward to when you make it to 20 years of marriage.

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