Thirteen years ago today
… in the wee hours of the early morning …
the King of Free knelt on one knee in what was then my parents’ kitchen
(it’s technically their bathroom now, but that seems much less romantic so we’ll go with what was once instead of what is now)
and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him, to be his wife.
I stood there for a few minutes speechless, breathlessly in love …
and if I’m completely honest a little terrified.
Not because he’s not wonderful (he is indeed wonderful, always has been).
Forever is just a very long time.
Once I mustered up enough courage to make my mouth say the word yes (the response already in my heart), I knew there was no turning back.
And it’s been 13 years since that pivotal moment. That’s right, the Royal Couple is officially entering their awkward early teenage years.
Amusingly enough, I’d like to think that we’ve already gone through a few awkward stages, especially when it comes to our finances.
You see, I used to think that a hot marriage began in the bedroom, but in reality it begins with a joint checking account.
I used to think that a joyful marriage revolved around well-financed date nights and quiet weekends away, when in all reality those things are nice but will only get you so far.
Quite honestly, I used to think that marriage should revolve around happiness, but if you’ve been married for any length of time, no matter how short, you quickly realize that happiness (as it exists in sheer emotion) is fleeting and temporary.
Just like a journey to get out of debt, marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires daily discipline, self-control and intentionality. It’s filled with great joys and great sorrows, moments that ignite your soul, and, let’s be honest, moments that completely and utterly suck (the life out of you).
We’re not perfect. In fact, we’ve screwed up to the tune of six digits of debt and all of the emotional baggage that goes along with that kind of darkness. And while getting out of debt (about five months to go!) hasn’t transformed us into some sort of plastic superhero couple who never fights, it has incredibly strengthened who we are both as individuals and as a pair.
We’ve found marital peace through debt slaying. And as boring as it sounds, financial unity is sexy.
I can’t even fathom what the next 13 years have in store for us.
Find out how Cherie and her family paid off over $127K of debt in under four years in her new book Slaying the Debt Dragon .