Today is my Anniversary! We are celebrating 8 years. I never thought we would get married, have a family and be together for 8 years. It has not been a cake walk but I can say being married is a major blessing in so many ways. Here are my 8 lessons I have learned over the past 8 years:
- Your childhood family traditions don’t have to be your family traditions. Whew, this one was a hard one for me. I grow up in a small family. It has always been me, my mom and dad. My husband calls us the Huggables. Totally different from the childhood my husband experienced. I did not realize how many “childhood traditions” that I was forcing on my new family. I was super stressed out when my traditions were not supported and when it did not go as planned. We literal had to sit down and write out what our traditions would be for our family. For example, my family celebrates Christmas at midnight. We open all of our gifts, have friends over, and eat and drink. As a blended family, this tradition did not always work out and it was hard for me to give up.
- Marriage is not all roses and chocolates. Marriage is work. Marriage is compromising. Marriage is being selfless at times. Marriage is unconditional love. Marriage is forgiveness. Marriage is letting shit go. I can go on and on but it is not the fairy tale that you read about in books.
- Keep a list of why you love your spouse. We are not perfect. We have heated arguments (that is the nice way of saying we may yell). Over the years I have tried to change my mindset. When we argue or when I am not feeling him I run through my list of reasons why I love him. I also blast “Best of Me” by Anthony Hamilton to try and make me stop being mad at him. Sometimes these tactics works and sometimes I am just mad. But hey I am trying and it works most of the time.
- Learn ways to communicate with your spouse. My husband and I were business partners before we became a couple and learned early on that our communication style was different. We agreed early on that the word FINE cannot be used when describing our feelings. If you don’t understand why think back to your last argument and how many ways you can use the word FINE. We also have a percentage system as a temperature check. It only works if we are super honest with each other. Anything under 80% and below we drop everything and talk about it. Here is an example: Cole will ask me at what percentage I am feeling about a certain situation. I may answer 90% and we may table the discussion or it really isn’t bothering me that much and we let it go. If I say anything under 80% we drop everything and have to talk about it right then. This has helped tremendously because I would usually say “I’m good” and then bottle up my feelings or thoughts and then blow up later.
- Accept your spouse for who they are and not who you want them to be. Another hard one for me. The things I love about my husband are also the things that get on my last nerves. He is a straight shooter and does not have much of a filter. He is super social and the life of the party. This is awesome some days and some days I want to scream. But guess what he isn’t going to change. He is also the one that writes poems on the bathroom mirror and warms my cold feet at night (these are things on my list of why I love him).
- Don’t take things personal. This is a lesson I have learned in marriage and being a parent. The actions of others usually do not have anything to do with you. I have learned to stop taking things personally.
- Women are the thermostat of the marriage. I am sure many people will disagree but this is why the saying Happy Wife, Happy Life is true. I have learned over the years that I set the tone of the house. If I am up yelling in the morning everyone is having a bad day. If I am rushing everyone and super frustrated guess what, everyone starts to get frustrated. I try hard to set a calm tone in the house. Meditation has helped a lot. I am still learning but I am getting much better.
- Lots of sex keeps everyone happy. I put this one down at the bottom in case my parents decided to read this post. Not much to say about this one but take my advice and go get you some.
We are not perfect and I am sure I will have many more lessons to learn. What lessons have you learned in your marriage?