This past weekend, my husband and I celebrated our eighth anniversary. We had a lot of fun, and we enjoyed being together without having the kiddos for a few days thanks to my parents. It really was one of the best weekends we’ve had in a very long time.
We married in 2006. Two kids, lots of life experience, and eight years later, we are still happy and in love. We have little arguments here and there, and we are still learning about each other, but we are so happy. I can’t imagine life with anyone else.
A few things about marriage I’ve learned so far:
1. Love really isn’t about how you feel. Sometimes you feel less like giving your SO (i.e. significant other) a kiss and more like punching them in the face. Love is the decision to dedicate yourself to one person, to sacrifice for them, to support them, and to learn what they need from you to feel loved. When you find someone you can decide to love, and they decide to love you, it’s a beautiful thing.
2. You never really “know” your SO. People are not stagnant creatures. We change. We grow. We are constantly becoming different people. You may know who you marry, but if you don’t keep learning and pay attention to who they are becoming, you’ll find one day that you don’t know them at all. I am so grateful that my husband and I have never stopped learning who we are, both as individuals and as a couple.
3. Compromise in the every day little things is key. It took me a long time to understand that it would be better for everyone, myself included, if I just let go of my way of doing things once in a while. For instance, I’m a planner. I wanted my husband to be a planner. I wanted him to be precise with our schedule. That didn’t work for him and it caused some arguments. Eventually, it came to the point where I gave a little, became more relaxed, and understood that not every occassion or outing needs to be planned. In the process, I discovered I actually enjoy a little spontenaity. On the flip side, my husband learned where planning is important in our family. He now knows that it’s a good idea to let me in on it when he schedules a dinner or an outing with the guys. He is considerate of my time and also of the time we have as a family. We both had to compromise, and we are both better for it.
4. Never stay angry. We got this very good advice before we were married: never allow the day to end on a bad note. Even if the argument isn’t settled, agree to discuss it when everyone has had more time to think about it. Hug each other. Snuggle on the couch for a few minutes. Acknowledge that you still love each other. It’s hard to stay mad when you are snuggling up to your SO watching funny videos on YouTube.
These are just a few of the practical things I’ve learned to help life go a little more smoothly in marriage. Have you learned any practical tips over the years with your SO?