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this is what 10 years of marriage looks like…

Cho Family Prom

Cho Family Prom

Cho Family Wedding

Cho Family

In 1996 (when I was 17), I met this guy that I thought was a total slacker. We went to his Senior Prom together as friends. I thought we'd date for a few months and then he'd go off to college and that would be it. After dating (for real) soon after the prom and having a long-distance relationship for most of our early adulthood, 10 years later, in 2006, we got married. And 10 years after that…here we are living in Los Angeles with our two girls. I know I cut out a lot of the in-between stuff because I don't want to bore you.

But I seriously never thought I'd date this guy, have him turn into my best friend, and then still be with him 20 years later. I'll try and keep this anniversary post short and not too sappy. But in celebration of my 10 year anniversary with my husband, Bob, today, here are 10 things I've learned in my 10 years of marriage:

1. The person that you are married to should make you want to be a better person. They should lift you up when you're low, make you laugh when you're having a bad day, make fun of you when you need to be made fun of, and believe in you more than anyone else.

2. Marriage is always a work in progress and you have to work at it to make it progress.

3. You'll never agree on everything. But you should see eye-to-eye on most things.

4. If your spouse had an annoying habit when you first started dating, chances are, they'll still have it 20, 30, 40 years later. And you just need to be okay with it. And love them for it. Or laugh at them for it.

5. You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run. (Ok, I borrowed that from Kenny Rogers, but it's true.)

6. Marriage is loving someone so incredibly much and more than anyone else. But it's also being annoyed and infuriated with them more than you could be with anyone else.

7. Having butterflies in your stomach is a good thing.

8. Make time for each other even when your kids feel like your new priority. Don't forget to keep nurturing the relationship that made those kids in the first place.

9. It's a good sign when you can be independent and do your own things separately, but you're stronger (and have more fun) when you're together.

10. If you can fart in front of your spouse and not feel embarrassed, you're on your way to eternal happiness.

{Wedding photo by Karen Wise, family photo by Katherine Rose}

22 comments

  1. I love this! I’m married to my high school sweetheart, too. It’s been amazing to watch my scrawny, slouchy, too-cool, sometimes lazy, high school/college boyfriend transform into this smart, confident, successful, ambitious and devoted man and husband.
    We’ve been together almost 11 years, married for almost 3. 😀 Congratulations to you!Hope you have many more years of happiness!

  2. I married my highschool boyfriend after 7 years of dating! We’re coming up on year 3 of marriage. Your post is so encouraging!

  3. I love this! I met my husband at 18 and we are now 26, expecting our first baby in December, matching to a residency program in March, and beginning a whole new chapter. It has been so fun to read your blog for the last several years and see your business and kiddos grow…it gives me hope and joy for our future even in the difficult journey of med school, residency, and fellowship. Congrats on 10 years and thank you for sharing your life…you definitely inspire others!!

  4. Golly! I’ve only been married for 5 years, but your points are so true! My husband and I were together almost 10 years before we got married, so thank you for being an inspiration that when you get it right it truly does just get better with every year! Congratulations Joy & Bob! And thank you for sharing your journey with us! XOXO

  5. Happy 10th Anniversary, Joy and Bob! I remember some of the posts from when you were planning your wedding. I actually ended up pointing my friend to your site afterward when she was planning her wedding! Me and the then bride-to-be are both Thai American while the groom-to-be is Korean American.:)
    Wishing you the happiest of anniversary celebration and many more fun-filled years of marriage!

  6. I really loved your piece. And I couldn’t agree more. I don’t have your experience, but I’ve been with my partner for like 8 years and we’re expecting baby number 3 so I couldn’t agree more. We’re not married, we’re French and it seems to me that marriage is not such a big milestone around here. Anyways for us and our families and like everybody there is no difference. Thank you for sharing. And congratulations to both of you. Here’s to 100 more years !

  7. Happy Anniversary! This was a great post full of wonderful advice. I am about a week away from my 2nd anniversary with my husband. It gets better each and every year. (We’ve been together for 6 years)

  8. My husband and I also celebrated 10 years recently, and I love this post so much! #10 made me laugh out loud. I love your honesty and positivity. Happy anniversary!

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