Dear Readers, My husband and I celebrated our five year anniversary on Sunday (hard to believe this picture is from five years ago!) so much has happened since then! It got me thinking about milestones and where we were 5 years ago and where we are now and the lessons learned and things that I have taken away from the experience of being married.
So without further ado, here is a list of 10 things I have learned in 5 years.
- Go to bed angry. This is contrary to a lot of advice I got over the years– I think it’s best noted in this quote “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger” In five years, I have discovered “hashing it out RIGHT NOW” can actually do a lot more harm than good. Sometimes tabling it, and waiting till you have both calmed down can lead to a better result for the conflict.
- Connect every day. Yeah, I know seems simple.. but I am amazed at how many times I or he will come in and we launch right into “how was your day?” and don’t immediately kiss each other or hug each other or say, “I love you”- There is a great exercise I learned from Chelsea and Ryan Avery (here is her blog post about it)
- http://thenewwifestyle.com/4-ways-to-fall-asleep-more-in-love/But here is the gist, you provide 4 statements we would share with each other.
1. today, my favorite thing about you was…
2. today, my favorite thing about myself was…
3. today, i gave back by…
4. today, i am thankful for…
- Making each other laugh is important. There is nothing I enjoy more than knowing I “got” Jeremy and the reward is that belly laugh of his that comes from such a sincerely silly place that I cherish that NO one else gets to see him share.
- Make date night a real thing.. It doesn’t have to be lavish.. We do pizza and netflix a lot (but then again, we have been pinching pennies to get out of debt and now save for le petite bebe) but it’s time we set aside to say “Date night” a few have included but not limited to– “taking a walk around the block with the dog”, “Painting with a Twist”, “going to the movies and pretending it’s a first date” (that was a fun one.. (see this blog post for more details) https://jenniferhastonsays.wordpress.com//?s=date+night+with+a+stranger&search=Go
- No Name Calling or attacking the other person- I am an Irish woman with a temper and passions certainly flare.. but knowing how important it is to protect our relationship even when I am angry , we don’t name call even at our angriest.
- Be willing to try what the other person likes even if you DON’T. For example, wrestling.. I still don’t get it but watch it here and there so I can occasionally surprise my husband with the snippets I have gleaned and this lets him know I take an interest in what he likes. He, in turn, while not in love with theatre, will go see it and give it a chance. In addition, he came to a few Toastmasters Meetings (to learn about the world I love there) and wound up really enjoying it and excelling at it himself..
- Be nice to each other. Do things just because you know they like it.. For instance, I love it when he makes the bed. He hates it but knows how much I love it, and most days he gets up after I do so it makes sense for him to make it but he doesn’t always.. so when he does I love it.
- Surprise each other! * (this is one you can skip if you don’t like surprises) We happen to love them so it’s a great way to show how much we care. One of my love languages is small gifts so “surprising me with one” is a great way to show love.
- You are on the same team! Any time you are saying to yourself, “they don’t understand and they never will” stop yourself and say.. you know what, I married my partner and we are in this together.. I need to change my thinking and my approach! Something we say always is “We will always figure it out”! and we do.
- I know, I said 10.. but you know us folks from Louisiana, we love our lagniappe (something extra) – Work on your marriage/relationship/partnership- It’s a labor of love, but it is work.
No two relationships are the same, but I invite you to look at your relationship and see if there is anything that you might adopt from my list. The fun thing about that is you would be adding to your own existing awesome way of doing things.. There is no one way to have a great marriage, the fun is YOU BOTH get to design the relationship you want!
Think about it!