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I’m no expert here but I have learned a few things about marriage since becoming a wifey in 2012. Like many things, I probably wasn’t the best at it at first – I still have my shortcomings but let’s be honest I’m practically perfect at it now 😉 LOL. Learning from some great couples around us and really stepping back and looking at the whole picture has helped me gain a lot of perspective on what it takes to build a marriage. It’s definitely not easy – it’s constant work, work from both sides. And for us we’ve had time to just grow together because we haven’t expanded the family just yet (Oh that will be a learning curve! A welcomed learning curve 🙂 ).
So with Valentine’s Day two weeks away, and our five year wedding anniversary coming up, I had the urge to chat marriage lessons and love. Nope I don’t hold all the secrets and every relationship is different but this is my experience.
Being stubborn stops being cute after a while
I’d like to start with this one because I used to love my stubbornness. In fact, I kinda used to boast about it. While I haven’t lost my strong, independent, sassy nature, I now understand the difference between not willing to admit when I’m wrong and standing up for something I believe to be right.
Time together is a priority
Let me be corny for a bit and say without a doubt, my husband is my best friend. If I get free time to be with him, I take it. I heard the other day the average couple spends about eight minutes a day being “romantic.” That’s a tiny bit. So I’m constantly reminding myself to be fully present when I’m with him during date nights or just hanging out on the couch. No phones, just us.
Time apart is essential too
Have you guys seen “Eat, Pray, Love” with Julia Roberts? There’s a scene where her best friend’s husband remarks she used to look like her ex-husband but now she looks like her new boyfriend, played by James Franco – that moment always resonated with me. I love being “we” but I love being “me” too. My individuality is what attracted my husband to me (and vice versa) and I’ve learned to work hard at never losing that. For me it’s been about having girls’ trips, working on my passions (like this blog), and having regular “me” time reading books or taking a workout class. It’s a win-win because after we do things apart, he’s the first person I want to tell everything to.
You either win together or you lose together
When we have a disagreement, it’s not about who wins or loses, it’s about figuring out the problem and solving it – preferably as quickly as possible. This one is a lot easier said than done because I can hold a grudge with the best of them but it’s definitely something I’ve learned (and continue to work at). Having an argument linger is the worst way to carry through the day so I try to avoid it. Not only is my day completely off, I’m constantly thinking about it and that does me no good. So when arguments happen (and they should) deal with it, truly deal with it, and work at not getting to that point again.
Be their biggest fan
As humans we’re constantly evolving, growing and learning so it’s part of life that we’ll go through phases or lifestyle changes. Maybe one day they decide to learn how to play piano, or they want to go back to school, or maybe for the first time ever start going to the gym! I’ve learned that if we can afford it and it’s good for his soul and our marriage, then I’ve got to be there rooting him on and maybe even buy one of those “#1” foam fingers (I kid, but not really) because I’ve got to be his biggest fan. I need to be his greatest support, no one else.
My marriage isn’t perfect and I don’t believe I have the perfect man (though I think he’s pretty perfect for me) but thankfully we both continue to work at it every day (okay 95% of the time) and sometimes I think that’s the biggest lesson of them all.
Alright married peeps or long-term lovers, hit me with your best advice! I always love hearing from other couples and how they manage to stay in healthy and happy relationships.
Until next time!