Friday, November 10, 2017

10 years, 10 lessons learned

 I'm still amazed it's been TEN years since I said yes to this guy.  Time flies, especially when you're busy building a life with someone you love.  I'd never claim to be an expert on marriage or the like, but I've learned a lot these past ten years.  Many lessons learned had to do with my own internal battles while others were lessons we had to learn together.  But with ten years under our marriage belt, I thought I share a few of the things we have grown to understand a deeper meaning of.

1. Communication is Key

It's a pretty obvious lesson, right?  You're married so you should probably talk to each other.  But if we are being honest...which we are, let's talk about what I mean.  Talk about EVERYTHING with the person you're sharing your life with.  I know it's not always easy to pour your heart out to someone in fear of being judged but in this case we aren't talking about someone, we're talking about THAT someone.  The someone you chose to share everything with.  So share it!! I've learned to not hold back when it comes to sharing a piece of my mind.  Of course I think it through first because the objective isn't to hurt the other person's feelings but it IS to share what it is that's on your mind. If that means you write it all down first as to figure out what it is you really are wanting to say, then do that first.  I'm pretty blunt when it comes to my words and there's no doubt I've hurt other's feeling because of it.  When there's something on my mind that's been bugging me I write out what I want to say before I say it.  I figure out what can be left out, as to not hurt my hubby's feelings, and then we talk about it.  And we talk about it until we feel it's resolved.  It's makes our time together more pleasant because we aren't hiding what we want to say to each other.

2. Share the Load

Thankfully I married someone who shares the same ideals with me when it comes to gender roles...meaning we don't believe there are any.  I help him with what he needs help with and the same goes for him.  No one says that's your job in our house!  We help one another out.  Whether that applies to making dinner or patching holes in the walls.  We share the load...whatever it may be and we don't hesitate to ask for help.  It's a small part of what makes our days run a bit smoother.

3. Accept the Unchangeable

There's no doubt we all have our ideas of what would make a perfect spouse.  But I hope we all have understood that there's no such thing.  For instance, my perfect spouse would put his shoes away where they belong...hint hint. But what I've come to learn is that I can't change something in someone else.  I can encourage and uplift the other person in something I wish to see but the nagging and putting down doesn't do anyone any good.  I would feel like dirt if I was constantly reminded that I don't do things the way the other person prefers.  Accepting that there are things I can't change makes our day to day happier.  I can always encourage or ask kindly but I've tried to move past the 'ugh I wish you would just...' words because those are hurtful.  They bring awareness to the fact that we aren't doing what the other person WISHES we would do.

4. Listen

We all have ears so we should use them.  It can be really hard to sit down and really hash out a problem.  Sometimes our problems don't make sense to the other person but when we listen it means we care.  I've had to learn to shut my mouth and just listen.  To not give advice or criticism but to just listen and be the person he has come to to share.

5. Be a Friend

Aside from being the one they love, they also chose to marry you because you're a friend.  No doubt Mike is my best friend.  I go to him about anything because I know he sees me as the same, a nonjudgemental friend.  A friend is someone who supports you in your endeavors, is honest with you, gives you encouragement, and is there for you no matter what.  Being that kind of friend isn't always easy but if there's no friendship, there's no love either.

 6. Learn to Apologize

I mean, if we are being honest, we all know the wife is always right. Ha ha ha.  Ok in all seriousness, it's really hard sometimes to say you're sorry...even if it's not your fault.  But things resolve much quicker and easier if you apologize to one another.  It doesn't even have to be admitting to be wrong either!  But, I've learned that usually...even if I'm right I may have reacted wrongly or I didn't listen to his side.  And those all require an honest apology.  "I'm sorry for the way I reacted." "I'm sorry I said..." "I apologize for not seeing your side." These all help to resolve feelings that shouldn't be present when trying to resolve issues.

7. Compromise

It's key.  Not one person is a winner or loser in a marriage.  If I don't want to do something or go somewhere, we compromise.  If he doesn't want to eat there or watch that, we compromise.  That means I don't always get my way and that's ok because in the end, I love him and as much as I want to be happy I want him to be happy too.  Sometimes that means taking turns choosing and if that makes us both happy, then it's a win.

8. Date Night

Before we were married and living under one roof we dated to get to know each other.  Today the same applies.  We both have changed over the years.  Our stresses and daily life have changed.  Dating each other brings back those feelings of getting to know each other better.  Sure we talk about the kids and the business and the day to day things that need to be done around the house, but we also try to rekindle the love and feelings we had when we started dating.  He opens the door for me, I hold his hand, we have a fun night alone and happy feelings grow.

9. No one is Perfect

Pretty self explanatory on this one.  We are well aware that we, ourselves, aren't perfect but I've noticed that when I've realized that perfection isn't expected from the other person I'm much more accepting of the other person.  We're not over zealous in what we wish would be done.  We're more lenient on time and expectations.  Perfection is what makes us most unhappy because there's just no such thing in a marriage.

10. Sex IS Important

There, I said it.  And seriously for years I was the last person on earth who would ever admit to it.  But the last year, yes ONE YEAR, has opened my eyes.  Maybe it had to do with turning thirty or maybe my hormones decided to actually do what they were supposed to but I've been enjoying being intimate with my husband.  I'm getting real here people!! I used to hate sex and I'm covering my face in shame.  Now I say that out loud and it makes  me want to cry.  What a special thing we have the opportunity to share with our spouse and I'm over here saying no thanks! Well all that has changed now because my mindset has changed.  When we are alone I'm able to look over at my hubby and see the man I want to show my love to.  And I want him to feel that kind of love the way he best understands it...which for most men, is physically.  When we spend that time together I know that he knows that I love and appreciate him.  That I'm still physically attracted to  him and that our love is more than just verbally saying it.  I've also come to understand that communication is just as important in bed.  Talk about what you like and dislike and listen to the other person so both of you can enjoy the experience.  It's taken way too long for me to get to this point and gosh I hope I'm not the only one who's been there.  When kids come along and the days are endless it's rough to even feel like physically showing your love but I've made it a priority.  Why?  Because we are a happier couple when we've shown each other that kind of love.  We smile more, laugh more, hug more, joke more, and are all around just MORE in love with each other.  Gosh I would love to dive more deeply into this but I'll just leave it at that.

Marriage isn't always sunshine and rainbows.  And even though I've written out all these lessons learned, I'm still learning everyday.  I'm still having to relearn what I just wrote down.  But that's the great thing about marriage.  This person loves you and accepts you for all the good and bad.  So when we grow and improve ourselves, more love and acceptance is given. Here's to ten years Mike!  Grateful for everyday with you!!

1 comment:

Leesa H said...

Very good advice! I’m glad you’re happy with Mike. He’s a good guy!