How to Strengthen and Support a Marriage?

Noemi J. Mullins

Anniversaries offer a chance to look back at where you’ve come from and understand where you’re going. These are also great times to reflect on your journey and adjust the compass.

My husband and I are nearing our second wedding anniversary. I’ve taken some time to reflect on the first two years. Our relationship and communication have improved, and we have overcome new challenges together. Reflecting on this, I thought, “How can we celebrate this milestone in a way which truly honors ourselves, our marriage, and our husband?”

Traditional Wedding Anniversary Symbols

The traditional anniversary symbols represent each year’s milestone. Cotton is the traditional symbol for the second year. The symbol for the first anniversary is paper. Paper? Cotton? What does this have to do about marriage? The more important the milestones are, the more valuable the representations. Anniversaries begin around the tenth year mark and are represented by delicate fabrics, precious metals, or jewels. An earlier year is marked with simpler symbols and materials.

I looked at the cotton plant to understand the significance of the second-year symbol. The cotton plant needs lots of sun, consistent rain, and long growth periods without frost. Once the cotton has been harvested, it is spun into yarn and then woven to make a soft, durable fabric used in clothing, tents, book bindings, and even marriage.

What does marriage have to do with cotton?

Recently, I came across the blog “What Are the Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts By Year?” When searching for ideas about second anniversary gifts around cotton, Truly Experiences was the best source. Truly Experiences is a blog that shares traditional anniversary gifts according to anniversary year and offers insight into the tradition.

Cotton is durable and versatile. It has the qualities of a second-year marriage. A cotton gift means that your marriage must be strong even in difficult changes. This will help you grow closer, and your lives will become interwoven, like interwoven cotton fibres.

Weaving the fibres of our relationship

I found the above explanation of the relationship between marriage and cotton very interesting. We have weaved the fibres that strengthened our relationship in the first two years. These first two years have been when we have become more familiar with each other. We have also faced challenges and discovered new ways to navigate the world together.

When I think about how our marriage has woven our lives together over the past two years, two things spring to my mind:

First a woven blanket. Our marriage bond will strengthen, and our relationship will provide warmth and comfort, like a warm blanket. Weave blankets that are well-constructed and made with love and skill are strong and durable. The blanket that covers our marriage is my greatest comfort, and it provides me with great warmth and comfort.

Handmade blankets are unique and can be woven with many fibers, patterns, colors, and other materials, just like marriages.

A basket is the second important woven object. The basket organizes your items so you have something to carry with you. You will always find what you need. My marriage is my constant companion and I know that I can count upon it. Our marriage nest is similar to a bird’s nest. It serves as a place where we can return to for rest and nourishment. Birds create their nests using one fiber at a given time. This can take several days depending on how large the bird is. Handwoven baskets can take up to months to make! These crafts are similar to a marriage and require skill and time to be appropriate for their purpose.

What are the colors and patterns used to weave a marriage?

The marriage blanket, nest or basket is about returning to our vows often. These vows are displayed prominently in our home and serve as a guide for our marriage, especially during times of loss. They provide direction, guide us through difficult times, and help us stand on our values. Vows are a reflection of how we want to live our lives as individuals and together. They reflect our love, beliefs, goals, passions, traditions, routines and rituals.

Our bond has been tested by career changes, the COVID-19 cycle and major home renovations. These are all challenges that have tested the woven threads! Our blanket and basket are made from all our experiences. These symbols are a reminder of our love and the gift that is marriage. Retrospectively, it becomes clear that the trials have created the bonds of our marriage as beautifully and skillfully as the joyful moments.

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