Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What 3.5 years of marriage has taught me.

I can't believe that C and I have been married for 3 and a half years. Time sure does fly by when you are having fun! I am so blessed that these 3.5 years have been so great. Like all couples, we have had our ups and downs, but we have gotten through them, together, side by side.

When I got married, I knew that I would learn things about us. I knew that marriage was a promise to learn about each other for the rest of our lives. I had no clue what marriage would actually teach me though. So, Ive made a list of the things I have learned about life, love, marriage, myself, etc.



* Remodeling is not for married couples.  C and I worked quite a bit on remodeling our guest room recently. We learned really quick that it wasn't something we would do again. We tried putting up crown molding together, and someone walked away with a busted lip. Pure accident of course, but it was the thing that sealed the deal for me. 

* Chores aren't split equally.  Maybe it is just me, but I figured that when I got married, C would take care of everything outside without complaining, and I would do the same inside. Boy was I wrong. C and I share all chores, and they aren't split the traditional way. I mean, C does dishes. And sometimes I work outside. Things won't work out the traditional way, each couple will figure out what works best for them. 

Anniversary plans don't have to be extravagant. I assumed we would always do something glamorous for our anniversary, but that first year, we picked apples and pumpkins, then went to lunch. Nothing fancy here. I have learned that as we grow as a couple, our plans change. That first year, taking a cruise wouldn't have been as beneficial as the day we spent together was. And when we have kids, I know that a week long cruise will be out of the question. The plans don't have to be extravagant, but the time you spend together celebrating your special day will be.

* Laughter truly is the best medicine. Before I got married, I wasn't very goofy. I didn't laugh often. When I got married, living together was an adjustment. Before I could have a dance party and not worry about anyone laughing at my awful dance moves. Obviously living with someone means that you aren't alone, and they will laugh at you. At first, I was offended, but I soon learned to embrace the fun and the laughter. To me one of the keys to a successful marriage is laughter. You have to be able to not only laugh at yourself, but laugh with each other as well. Life is fun. Enjoy it. 

* Compromise. Joining 2 lifestyles can get a bit messy. For example. I bend down, take my socks off, and put them in the hamper. C on the other hand, moon walks out of his socks and leaves them there. At first, this drove me nuts. I would yell at him all the time for leaving his socks laying around. Soon we learned the art of compromise. I quit yelling, and moved the hamper into our room. He can continue to moon walk out of his socks, as long as he puts them in the hamper. 

* Fighting will happen, so learn to fight fair. Ups and downs will happen. Fights will occur and things will be said that shouldn't be said. At least until you learn to fight fair. We have learned that fighting fair is key. Each couple will be different. Each couple will have different "rules" for fighting. Remember when your spouse loses, so do you.  

* Going to bed angry will happen too. I'm guilty of getting mad before bed over something silly, and it causing a huge fight resulting in going to bed angry. It isn't that we don't care to fix the problem. It is because we are tired, and we are going to get to the point where we don't fight fair. Usually when we go to bed angry, we wake up in a much better mood and we can resolve any issue we have in no time. Sometimes sleeping on it can allow you to see something in a whole new light. 

* Your spouse will become your best friend. That is if they aren't already. You will spend hours every day with this person, and they will be the one you can talk to about anything. That is the way it is supposed to be. C and I were friends before we got married,, but I quickly learned after we got married that he was my best friend. When we moved from GA to TN, we didn't know anyone but family, so we only had each other. It has been such a blessing to know that C will always be there for me to talk about anything, to cheer me on when I need it, to be that shoulder I need to cry on, and so much more. He is my best friend. He always will be.

* Being sexy is okay. Whoa, shocker! I never felt like I was sexy, and I certainly never embraced it. Now that I am married, I have learned that being sexy is okay. Obviously, I don't go around dressing sexy for anyone, but for my husband, yes. God created sex and it is a beautiful thing when shared in a marriage. It is a beautiful gift, and embracing that gift, as long as you embrace it within your marriage, is a good thing. 

* Keep God in the center of your marriage is key. God created marriage, and I strongly believe when you enter a marriage, it is you, your spouse, and God. I am a firm believer in my faith. It is important that each person grown their relationship with God, but it is equally as important for a couple to grown their relationship with God. There is so much out there that talks negatively about marriage, so married couples have it hard. We have so many things working against us. Satan doesn't want happy marriages, so he will do anything to destroy them. Having a marriage with a strong relationship with God wont protect you from attacks, but it will help you get through them. I believe it is key for married couples to pray for their marriage, their spouse, and for themselves on a daily basis. Keeping God in the center of our marriage has helped us overcome some pretty serious attacks and we know we wouldn't have survived them if we weren't keeping God in the center of our marriage. 

If I could give an engaged couple one bit of advice, that isn't on this list, it would be this. : Consider moving away from family. Not 10 hours away, but maybe 2. Allow you and your spouse to really grow that first year of marriage without the pressure of trying to please family. You can still visit, but you are blending 2 lifestyles which will be hard enough as it is. Trying to blend you, your spouse, and both family's lifestyle will be near impossible. Take that time to really figure out how to make thing work between you two first. Learn to lean on each other for everything. Then if you haven't fallen in love with your new place, move back. Taking that time for just you and your spouse will be worth it.

What has marriage taught you? What is your best peice of advice for an engaged couple?





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