Married People Reveal The One Sentimental Tradition They Started With Their Spouse.
From hiding fake poo in each other's belongings, to taking a picture every year while holding the picture from the previous year, married couples share their favorite tradition they started with their spouse.
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I knew I loved her from the day we first got together. Ten years ago, about the third day into dating (we were 18) I didn't want to seem like I was rushing the love thing. So instead, because I have poor impulse control and just had to "tell" her, I squeezed her hand 3 times for I Love You. She didn't catch on until about two months in, and when she did, she hadn't realized how long I'd been doing it (three days into knowing her.)
We broke up two and a half years later. Her parents were controlling growing up and she wanted to experience more. I moved away.
Eight years later, I had some stuff of hers I always moved with me just in case I ran into her again. I dropped it off at her mom's when I moved back. She called me crying, that I'd kept it all this time. I had been married, divorced, through college and everything in between but always kept that box of her stuff, unopened. Pictures of us, some important heirlooms to her, etc.
We found each other again, and realized for years we kept trying to replace each other with someone else. She got her experiences; I grew up some.
On the first date after we found each other again I instinctively held her hand and squeezed it three times. The look she gave me terrified me at first, because it had been so long. She started to tear up and squeezed mine back.
So that's what we do now, all the time.
My husband and I have very different decor preferences about Christmas and after a couple of years of unhappy compromising, we decided to take turns being in charge of decorating every other year. Last year I had a very tasteful tree that I thought could go in a kitschy boutique store display that my husband said was boring.
I'm pretty sure we're gonna have a Batman tree this year.
Many years ago, we did our standard Thanksgiving with extended family on Thursday.
The next day, we were talking about how we wanted the food again, since most of the leftovers were at the host's house.
So we went to the grocery store, saw that all the Thanksgiving foods were now on sale to get rid of them, bought everything we needed, and prepared a fresh Thanksgiving dinner that Friday.
That was about 10 years ago. We still celebrate Second Thanksgiving every year, only now it's also with our kids.
When the time on the clock reads the date of your birthday, that's your birthday o'clock (so my birthday is 25 December and my birthday oclock is 12:25). My husband and I always used to try to catch each other's birthday o'clock and send a text or photo.
He died in November and I happen to look at the clock at his birthday o'clock almost every day. Always makes me lose my composure, but it was such a weird and funny tradition that it makes me smile a little bit too.
Not married anymore, but my ex wife and I started something when our boy was around 1 or 2. Every night, no matter what, at 7 pm technology goes off and we played games with our son. He's 7 now, but I still do it every night, and so does she and his step father. He loves it.
Our first year being married, Halloween of 1987, trick-or-treaters came to the door. We were completely unprepared. My wife opened the door to apologize for having no candy. I ran to the kitchen and grabbed the first thing I saw.
It's our tradition now that the first trick or treater every year gets a potato.
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Every Christmas we gift each other the most god-awful ugly Christmas ornament we can find. We've been doing it for about 3 years and our tree just gets crazier every year.
His mother said we are "desecrating the spirit of the Christmas tree."
We have a nightly, pre-bed snuggle time. We have different sleep schedules, so every night after I get ready for bed he gets in bed with me and we talk, sass each other, joke, and just have a check in. Then I roll over and go to sleep and he goes back out into the living room to do whatever he wants without keeping me awake. Usually lasts about 30 minutes. I hate when we are apart because it is honestly the best part of my day. It's how we keep connected when the rest of our lives can get hectic.
We videotape around 15 minutes of Christmas morning each year. Normally just the kids opening presents and a few other bits. Every Christmas Eve the whole family sits down and watches the videos. Kids that were babies are now young adults, we've lost grandparents that were there one year and not the next. Can be quite emotional but we all love it.
My wife and I (married for 17 years) never stopped keeping track of the anniversary of our first date. It has become a competition to see who will remember it first each year and has sometimes resulted in one of us waking up the other at midnight to say "Happy dating anniversary" to win for the year.
At some point in our relationship, I thought it would be funny to buy a fake turd and leave it somewhere for my wife (girlfriend at the time) to find.
I left it in her shoe one night, and she found it the next morning while getting dressed. Then she left it in my laptop bag, and I found it when I got to work.
Weve been exchanging this fake poo for years, hiding it in various unexpected places around the house.
We have never spoken about it with each other or acknowledged the existence of this tradition.
November 1st is Cupcake Day. A few months after we started dating, we had broken up. The day after Halloween, I convinced him to let me come over and talk. I brought leftover Halloween cupcakes and we ended up talking for hours and getting back together. Every November 1st since then, we've eaten cupcakes together. This year will be our 9th Cupcake Day.
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Our first Christmas living together we went out and got a tree, lights, ornaments and all that good stuff. We get the tree all decorated and that's when we realized we didn't get a star or angel to put on top. I grab one of my hats and put it on top. We do this every year now. It's been a different hat every year for six years.
Everywhere we travel together we buy one of those touristy frames with the name of the place on it, and we buy a magnet. Then we take a selfie. At home we have a wall of our travels with a piece of sheet metal in a frame for all the magnets, surrounded by our dorky frames and selfies. It's fun and colorful, and a great memory to look at and remember each trip.
Additionally, we travel once or twice a year internationally and we try and go somewhere new each time so we have lots of different styles of frames and backdrops for our pictures
Every Christmas, we make a blanket fort. It stays up until the new year. It's gotten bigger and more elaborate over the years, and now just takes up the whole of the living room.
We hang out in fluffy onesies and just act like kids, and play games and watch Disney/Ghibli movies, and snuggle.
First date was on a whim to a local restaurant where she wore sweats and I wore a t-shirt and jeans. We ordered an unhealthy meal of appetizers (like buffalo wings, loaded cheese fries, nachos, quesadillas) and milkshakes.
Every New Years Eve we celebrate by making similar appetizers, but now the kids are into it and each person gets to pick one appetizer they'd like and we all make them together and pig out before watching some other earlier time zone's new years celebration and get to bed by 10pm.
When my wife and I got married, we asked everyone to write notes to us and put them in envelopes numbered by table. Our tradition is to open one of those envelopes each year on our anniversary based on the table number. This year was our 7th anniversary, so we opened envelope 7.
It's something we look forward to each year. We don't remember who sat where, except for table 14 because those friends wrote all over the front. Sometimes people made a prediction of the future, sometimes it's about what's happening at the wedding, sometimes it is disappointing and bland. Either way, it's our fun thing that I recommend to everyone who is getting married.
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Whenever my wife takes off her wedding ring, like when she works on the car, she will wait until I'm around and I will put it back on for her. She does the same for me, it's a cute little tradition we have that I love.
Every second Friday my spouse has off of work (he works 9 out of every 10 week days). We get up, take the kid to school, go out to a wonderful breakfast at our favorite breakfast place, go over the upcoming business and projects of the house for the next 2 weeks at the restaurant (a mini scrum meeting if you're familiar), and then we go home and have lots of kinky and sometimes experimental sex. Finally a really good nap, and then we pick up the kid and take her for a bubble tea (her favorite).
Everything about those Fridays has kept our marriage really close and free of any resentment or ennui.
"I vermin you too."
At some point while we were dating, my wife drew a heart on something for me. Normally she's capable of drawing basic shapes, but for some reason this was awful—to the point that it looked like some sort of insect. We both laughed at it, and I off-handedly replied, "I vermin you too, dear."
You know those little jokes that make both people laugh uncontrollably, but baffle anyone who hears them later? This became one of them. I get her a cookie cake with "I Vermin You Too" on it each year for our anniversary, and it delights us both to no end (while baffling the bakery staff). It's great.
My wife wanted to go to one of those paint your own pottery places. I did not want to go, not really my thing. So we compromised and went to a paint your own pottery place.
Here I sit, big, bearded and tattooed, all thumbs with no artistic talent whatsoever. She gets a tile and informs me that this is one for us to do together, so I assume she doesn't care if it looks half like crap. She then says that our new thing is going to be making one of these tiles every year for our anniversary and that at some point we'll do something with them, like use them in our future house somewhere.
So there I sit, big, bearded and tattooed, all thumbs with no artistic talent, grinning like a little kid because deep down, I think it's a really cool idea.
When I was pregnant with our first child, my husband was organizing baby clothes and it was after midnight. It was quiet and we were excitedly anticipating the birth of our first child.
He kissed me and I said, "I love this time with you!"...meaning the quiet "us" time that would soon be a rarity. He smirked and cocked his head and said, "What? 12:53?! So do I!!
Ever since that night when either of us notice that the clock has turned to 12:53, we say "Happy 12:53!" And then we make out for a few minutes. If we are not together, we text it to each other. After 24 years together it has now become a thrill to try and be the first one to say it.
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This started when our kids were young, like about 5 and under, and there was no peace or privacy inside the house.
For Valentine's Day we'd put on our winter gear, go out in the backyard and lay in the snow, and share a bottle of champagne. I think we even managed to do it one year when the temperature hit -40. Added bonus: occasional northern light shows.
Our second New Year's Day morning together, hubs rolled over, poked me in my right eyeball with his finger (by accident the first time) and cheerfully proclaimed Happy New Year! Now he does this every single New Years.
One other one we have. His job is severely hazardous. I ride public transit to work in a rough part of town. On any given day one of us might not come home. When we moved in together it became kind of a rule/tradition neither of us leaves for the day without kissing the other goodbye. He's missed 2 days in 8 years. Both times he got a phone call and a verbal butt-whooping!
My wife and I started taking a picture every year on our anniversary. We started this tradition when we were dating/engaged. Each year we take a picture holding last year's picture. This one is the latest of us celebrating 1 year of marriage.
When my husband and I started dating we were both flat broke. I forget what it was but we had some small victory and decided to celebrate. We grabbed a bottle of Boone's Farm wine. Now whenever we have something to celebrate, new job, a pay raise, we grab a bottle and have a private party. It helps us remember how far we've come.
After voting we go to Fuddrucker's.
When we were dirt poor, our polling place was next to a Fuddrucker's. We never ate out, but we started to make an exception on voting days to reward ourselves for doing our civic duty.
Eventually we started making real money and bought a house in the suburbs. But we still go to Fuddrucker's after voting. No matter if it is a special election or a midterm. We have two daughters in school now and went to Fuddrucker's a couple of weeks ago because they had student body elections. For us it is about rewarding the behavior. We make voting something that we want to do.
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We've been together almost 15 years, and anytime we do something together new or out of the ordinary, we make a point to say "I love you" and tie it to what we're doing.
So when we went to see our first Broadway show together, it was "I love you at The Lion King!" When we went to Walt Disney World, it was "I love you at Disney!" When we got married, it was "I love you on our wedding day!"
Sometimes, if we feel really sappy, it might even be "I love you at the grocery store!" or "I love you at Wendy's!" or whatever. When we wrote our marriage vows, we added a section that said we promised to love each other at all times and in all places.
"I love you at _____!" is our way of calling attention to the fact that we're adventuring through life together, and to stop whatever we're doing once in a while, take it all in, and honor our marriage vows.
We go shopping on New Year's Eve and get all the junk food we want. Literally, hundreds of dollars worth of junk. Then, we set it all up on the kitchen table and go crazy. For the next 24 hours, it is pure gluttony.
By the time January 2nd rolls around, we don't want to look at anything "junky" making it super easy to eat healthier for a few weeks.
We have a game where we hide a ketchup packet.
One day we were at McD's and had an extra ketchup left over. I put it in my pocket and snuck it into her sunglasses holder in her car so the next time she opened it, it would fall on her. It worked, scared the crap out of her. That was a year and a half ago.
Ever since we've been going back and forth hiding it in different places to surprise the other one. Sometimes it's days between hidings, sometimes it's weeks. Some of my favorite spots are in her pillow case, in the toe of her slipper, inside her water bottle, and in her retainer case.
That we have key words/setences to get us out of/help with certain situations.
So if we're at a party and she's talking to someone and she introduces me in a certain way, I'll know that's code for 'these people are boring, save me' and I'll make an excuse for her to leave that conversation.
But it's evolved now and so we literally have tons of words/expressions for certain things. It's essentially a hidden language that we have.
One of my favorites is our code for, "This person's breath stinks, offer them a mint."
I always wanted a waffle maker, like the round kind that you flip around. While my wife and I were dating, when we would walk by the kitchen section of Walmart I said we should get a waffle maker.
She said, "We already have one, it's a Belgian waffle maker."
Literally a week later we're walking by the kitchen section again and I innocently say, "We should get a waffle maker!" completely oblivious that I said it last week. She immediately got upset and said we just talked about it last time. I started repeating it for years because I saw it agitated her.
Years of doing this later, my wife tried to pull a fast one on me. We walk by the waffle makers and she said, "Hey Katha, we should get a waffle maker!" and I looked at her funny and said, "But we already have one, a Belgian waffle maker."
She got very angry.
My wife is a doctor so she works late. Often, especially during the winter, she will come home after dark. She street parks her car, and our street isn't very well lit (quiet dead end). If I hear the beep of her car lock, I'll run to the window, where I keep a D Cell MagLite, and shine a "spotlight" on the sidewalk to light her way as she walks in. She will sometimes run around trying to "escape" the light. It's fun.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.