A Fall River man recently asked his friends and acquaintances on a social media outlet for help. His dilemma is a common one. We decided to give him a little help.

He wrote:

” I need help with an economical 10th anniversary idea. Keep in mind my wife’s birthday is 2 days before.”

We got you covered man………

There is some debate over the actual  ” proper gift ” associated with a 10 year anniversary. Many feel it is a gift of tin or aluminium. while the modern representation is a diamond…..


Don’t let funds or lack thereof make the decision for you.

When approaching your decennial day of marital bliss, you’re probably realizing – it’s been ten years of marriage and you’re still in love ……… Thank each other!!!!

Funky aromas,bad habits, mood swings, career chaos, and kid-tastrophes aside – YOU CHOSE to let your spouse love you exactly the way you are, exactly how only they know how to.

These days that is the exception not the rule. Now comes the easy stuff right?

Not so easy when two important dates to celebrate fall within a 72 hour period.

Between the financial responsibilities, and necessary though expensive big ticket purchases ie: A house, college funds, student debt,or  a new car, finding extra cash for such occasions might seem impossible..With drained bank accounts, and our children dependent on pesky things like clothing, food, and water – we often feel financially defeated with little reason or desire to celebrate.

So how does a monetarily challenged couple invest in each other on a shoestring budget?

First relax…… You’re still married. …

My guess is that chances are after 10 years of struggling, surviving, and loving, arguing, bickering, and making up…… They are to tired to divorce you. So let’s make it as special and wallet friendly as possible.

The Diamond anniversary is a daunting one for the one in charge of selecting and buying said diamond. Expectations, taste, size, color, cut, clarity – all factor in. Oh yeah, then that whole money issue slaps your selection back to reality. STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP.  Try a different approach. Set a new trend, or begin a new tradition.

If 10 years is where your union has brought you, It carries no more or less value with a gem or precious metal. Instead think of the next 5 or even 10 years as a challenge to set attainable and realistic financial goals. You’ve done the adult thing, you’ve done the foundation setting. Now to build that commemorative condo….

Select the diamond, setting, and wearable backdrop. Open an account “specifically for investing in each other.” Do the math. What you would need to save weekly monthly, and yearly in order to purchase the perfect solitaire. COMMIT to investing that amount NO MATTER WHAT.

  • Skip the extra coffee or fast food.
  • Collect cans or bottles.
  • Panhandle with handmade cardboard signs stating your cause.
  • Answer questions daily for a fee.

Before you realize it, you’ve created a habit that taps into your creative side of making extra cash, as well as gets the job done. You have put in actual “work” for the soul purpose of celebrating your spouse. One might find that far more impressive and meaningful than Googles suggestions.

Plus by the time your 5 or 10 year incremental investment pays off, you’ve successfully achieved another 5-10 years of holy matrimony –  finding yourself doubly exhausted and 2 times less likely to divorce…

Start Untraditional Traditions. Think outside the box, something specific to your relationship. Is there a place, or secret shared desire or memory that creates an urgency and joy in you both? Use it to start an anniversary tradition catered to the TWO OF YOU.

“Fine Wine”


A tin or aluminium tub, inexpensive at most dollar stores or craft stores. A bottle of her favorite wine, or his fave spirit adds a personalized touch to whatever you do on that special day. At the very least you’ll have a buzz – hopefully forgetting the diamond…. Also check out great deals on couples adventures wine tasting, museums and more with sites such as Living Social,  and Groupon.

“Student Spa”

Students everywhere,always need two things MONEY, and EXPERIENCE. Experience usually in the form of hours practicing their intended trade. if possible inquire to your area’s local cosmetology and massage schools. Explain what you are trying to do – preferably to the younger hopelessly romantic, and the over 35 , wedding bandless women as they are more apt to go the extra mile to make you look good just for trying.

*Each year captured*


Family portraits can become costly…. A handful of poses, backgrounds, and outfit changes. Nevermind the posed and forced “No we’re not constipated, we really do love each other.” captured by an inexperienced photographer.

However the idea of capturing your love, marriage, and commitment annually is still an incredible way to visually recollect the two of you as you change and grow, age, and forget, – year after year.

Hire a freelance photographer, or student to follow you and the hubby or wife around on your date night. Candid shots that actually SHOW your love in it’s purest form tell an actual story. You are far more likely to recall the events of the night and time period of your relationship, with a unintentionally captured forehead kiss or dinner disaster.

Enroll the help of family, friends, church, and community. Ask them to submit a funny, sweet, or favorite memory of your coupledom. Put the memories in a jar with the year sharpied, painted, even etched on it.  On your anniversary date, at no specific times throughout the night draw a random memory and discuss, laugh, cry, whatever you crazy kids do the more you age…. Someone else’s memories and view of you could give perspective, and validity to aspects or times you may have forgotten about. ENJOY THEM!!!!!!

To take things even a step further start traditions that start traditions….

Make yourselves a FATEBOOK. 

Still fall in love

( Design, buy, or craft a place to store a daily contribution to your future.)

We live in a very socially involved world, however our partner is not a deletable, blockable, deactivatable virtual partner. They are our TOP 8 all in one, Our best follower etc. TREAT THEM BETTER THAN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FRIENDS – We lose sight of how easily our attention is shifted from our actual future, to today’s  #firstworldproblems and Obama’s lunch.

If we can post statuses faithfully, or change our profile pics regularly for people who don’t pay our bills, or put up with our crap by loving all our imperfections – we can certainly keep our partner updated on how they make us feel, or give the extra assurance needed for a job. We easily comment, like, and share other peoples events, and unimportant or irrelevant memes and silliness. Somehow in the midst of all this sharing and caring we inadvertently sign out of chat with our partner.

Sometimes a compliment or special I love you tailored to their day is all they need to nail an interview, have more patience with the kids, or not burn your dinner……. Again…….

Secrets, sweetness, gentle easy and judgement, duty free sentences, pictures, quotes, etc. purposefully drafted, chronicled in a daily correspondence FOR JUST THE TWO OF YOU, is one of the best intimacy exercises a couple can practice. For relationship muscles and emotional strength.

(Put the book somewhere you’ll SEE IT, put it in the way of something necessary or important.

Want clean underwear? INVEST IN YOUR WIFE !

Want coffee? Now? Invest in your husband!

If you have to store your entry on something like Google Docs, Drive, Keep etc. When your busy days intersect, STOP…. Commit to 5 whole minutes in which to write those thoughts in YOUR FATEBOOK.

( If you like the results start a datebook for your kids, have them record some thoughts about their love lives early on. Viewing their own and their dates behaviour in writing, adds an introspective element to a difficult time for many teens.)

As busy as we are it should not have to be a chore to love our partners COMPLETELY. Gaining a stronger relationship is never a bad investment. Any time spent building up our partner is the equivalent of laminating  or framing those moments. Remember to update your Fatebook photo’s monthly. Try using this questionnaire every year on your wedding anniversary to help keep and organize the details of that year as well as a record of your marital and personal growth. HERE 

Your love story isnt about how many years you survived… It’s a gift to find a soulmate. All the moments you deliberately put effort into each others growth, all the second glances just because, the hugs because you actually know what the other NEEDS…. THAT is how you create your love story. That is worth celebrating.

Eliminated regret by attentiveness and intimacy uproot the vines of division that separate you. Instead EXPLORE THE VINEYARD TOGETHER –  The taste though aged, will be sweeter when you toast your Golden Anniversary.

  • Heather Cornell


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