Everyone warned us marriage is not going to be easy. For better or for worse. The good times and the bad. I was well aware that we’d have to work at it every single day. I’ll admit, I’m not perfect. And as much as I would disagree, Matt is the first to admit he’s not either.
Some of the best marriage advice I’ve received was from the marriage counselor we met with before we got married. He told me that a marriage is similar to a gold ring. Pure gold on it’s own is a soft metal and can easily be damaged. But when you combine other metals with the gold, it becomes stronger.
And I think that’s what’s truly beautiful about a marriage. It starts with two people who are just right for each other, but over the years, your experiences and the bumps along the way are what make you both grow into two people who are perfect for each other.
And so, with our third wedding anniversary approaching I thought I would share all the things that being married has taught me so far…
Men and women approach problems differently.
Women tend to deal with a problem by talking about it over and over again. Men tend to try to find a solution and then move on.
Sometimes I just need to vent. On those days, I’ve learned to warn Matt that I’m not ready to look for a solution, I just need him to listen.
Don’t underestimate the power of a 20 second hug.
I read online that a 20 second hug can do wonders for your relationship and your health, so I immediately told Matt I wanted to try it. The first few were a bit awkward, but now it’s become part of our evening routine and one of my favorite parts of the day.
It’s also one of the best cures for a bad mood.
Always take time to say hello.
Matt and I almost always spend the first part of our evening just catching up about our day. I love those chats because it makes me feel like I was part of Matt’s day even though I wasn’t there.
And don’t forget to say ‘thank you’.
There’s nothing better then coming home to a clean kitchen, empty dishwasher, or vacuumed floors. Anytime Matt surprises me with something like that I always make sure he knows I appreciate it because honestly, I want him to keep doing it 😉
Listen without interrupting.
Interrupting someone is basically saying that what they have to say is not as important as what you are about to. It’s rude, and if you do it too many times it kills the conversation. Don’t be that person.
Respecting each other is more then just being polite at home.
It’s talking about things before making big decisions, it’s not airing your dirty laundry in public, it’s asking yourself, ‘If he/she was to walk in right now, would he/she be okay with this?’
Focus on experiences, not things.
Once a year, Matt and I go somewhere we’ve never been before. Looking back, these trips have added more value to our relationship then a new set of coffee tables ever could.
Bettering yourself ultimately betters the relationship.
Matt and I are both the type of people who are constantly looking to better ourselves, and our hobbies are typically how we do that. Working on our hobbies is generally when we get our solo time, but I also think having some what of a life outside of your spouse is what keeps you interesting to each other.
Love yourself first.
Because if you don’t love yourself, how do you expect someone else to?
It’s the little things that count.
Matt and I are not very romantic. You likely won’t see either of us coming home with expensive gifts and we don’t really make grand gestures. But what we are is loyal, honest, and respectful towards each other and that means way more to me then red roses and a candle-lit dinner.
And finally, give up on the idea of perfect.
Matt didn’t marry perfect, he married me. And a marriage between two imperfect people will always be stronger then a marriage between two perfect ones.