Ten years of marriage are made of many special moments – happy, sad, fun and challenging. You grow up together and while doing so you learn a few valuable lessons that help establish and nurture the love and the life you created as a couple and as a family. These are the 10 lessons I learned.
- Breathing room – It’s the number one lesson I learned. When you first meet and fall in love the time spent together comes before EVERYTHING. But then life take over, running a household, running a career, children. And suddenly that “All by myself” song doesn’t sound so sad anymore. Give each other that breathing room, be your own person even if it’s just for an hour a week, claim that time for yourself and let your partner do the same. I get a very happy and relaxed man when he goes surfing for a few hours alone over the weekend. He in turn get’s a happy women when I spend a Saturday morning deep under the covers with a good book while he is outside with the kids (Yes ,reading in peace is my fun time, I’m boring like that, don’t judge).
- Perfect – no such thing (though I do love the Ed Sheeran song) this I learned over the past few years. In the world of social media we live in, it’s so easy to want to have the “picture perfect” life. We see glimpses of other people life through Instagram pictures and gushing romantic posts, but you never know what’s behind the filtered photo. Don’t expect to have the perfect romantic date every time you go out on your anniversary, don’t expect every romantic vacation to be filled with sweet embraces in front of a roaring fire. It’s more likely you’d fall asleep early in the quiet child free room and enjoy the peaceful sleep, and that’s OK. Waking up together and enjoying a quiet coffee together is just as romantic and it’s real!
- Silence is (not always) golden–If there is one thing that will keep a marriage going through the best and the worst of time it’s talking. And the more talking, the better (other than in the morning. Am NOT a morning person). That was a though lesson for me to learn. I was raised on the “just get over it” approach. Keep quiet and overcome. Only I didn’t “get over it”, not really, I just pushed down the anger until it erupted in a fit of scorching lava that would put the Pompeii volcano to shame. Talking was not my forte, it was a steep learning curve for me. Luckily I am married to a very stubborn guy who whenever I wanted to brush things under the rug wouldn’t let me.
Talk, don’t be a hero, don’t be the” long suffering” partner. Talk it out – this will save your marriage and improve it.
- Pick your battles – and boy ao boy that is one tough lesson to Implement. Remember what I said about talking?
Sometimes it really is OK to shut up. I can make lists that would run for pages of annoying things my partner does that drive me CRAZY. Things like how he NEVER loads his dishes into the dishwasher, always leaving them in the sink as if they would magically transport themselves into it, and (this one is my “favorite”) being extra chatty in the morning while knowing that, as previously stated,– I am NOT a morning person. I need quiet and 2 cups of coffee before I am ready for his upbeat personality in the morning. But after realizing that arguing about these things is equal to banging my head against the wall – fruitless and bound to leave you with a monster headache – I learned to breathe deep, and as the Disney song goes, “let it go.” When he talks, I meditate in my head, and when I load his dishes, I remind myself he is an amazing father and a damn good husband despite some of his aggravating habits. You win some you lose some.
- The little things – grand gestures are nice, but they tend to be rare and far between. I find it’s the little things that makes us happy and keep our relationship fresh and yes – romantic. I still melt when my guy brings me roses just because, for no reason or occasion other than making me happy. He still loves it when I go out of my way on a busy day to make/bake something he loves to eat. He is happy when I text him a funny, loving message in the middle of the day. I love that due to my being the crazy music fanatic, when he knows there’s a new song I get excited about, he would sit and look for the chords and learn how to play it on the guitar just for me. You get the idea right? It’s the little things you end up cherishing; it’s the small things that make a marriage.
Final 5 lessons in the next post. In the meantime tell me what are the lessons you learned n your relationship.