I was chatting with a friend the other day about marriage and how it requires work to make a good marriage good and how nobody really discusses the actual marriage part of getting married.
So, I'm here to open the discussion to begin talking about the marriage part of getting married. Now, I'm not an expert, or a therapist. I am a woman who has been married for 18 years (just celebrated that this weekend). I love my partner, my husband (Bob) and I love the marriage we have created. That's right, we created our marriage.
Bob and I put in the work, what does that mean you ask? Well that means a lot of what I like to call "adult conversations". Adult conversations for us are a opportunity to sit down and discuss to talk, it is not yelling and arguing and walking away mad. We are adults and we know that we need to talk in order to resolve our differences or to bring to the table anything that may be concerning us.
Now, it took us awhile to get to this point of not arguing, it took us years to understand each other and what works for us. I know that Bob simply does not yell or argue, it's just not who he is. I know that if he get's quiet...that's when I need to ask questions, I need to set aside time for us to grab a coffee and talk. And likewise he knows that if I'm having all the feelings and overwhelmed he needs to take a minute to talk with me to seek to understand what's going on.
But most of all, we know the benefits of simply talking to each other to seek to listen and understand each other.
I encourage you to set aside time to have adult conversations with your partner. These don't have to be just to settle a disagreement. These adult conversations are a wonderful tool to get ahead of things to discuss what you want your marriage to be and how to create it. To layout a plan for your marriage, a plan that you both know you want so that your expectations are said out loud so that you have an opportunity to meet them.
I encourage you to work on your marriage each and every day. There will be days that stink, days that just feel yucky...and you know what? That's totally normal! One bad day does not make a bad marriage. But, if you can recognize the bad day, if you can seek to understand why? To make the time to have an adult conversation about it. Then my friend you are moving in the right direction to creating your own version of a happy marriage.
My best friend recently sent me this article that said "marry the boring man" she also said it's a bit "spiritual" so take what you want from it.
I absolutely loved this post. It spoke to my heart, made me tear up and say YES!
My friends, read this article, share it with your teens. In today's world where "going viral" is the thing and also so dangerous it's important that we present them with alternatives.
Marriage 101 - it's all about respect
I'm 20 years into my relationship with my husband and I could not be happier with how things are going. I'm not talking about raising our kids or jobs, I'm talking about our relationship with each other.
We've grown up together and that was often times painful. It was hard to make mistakes and own them without feeling ashamed. It was hard to hear advice from my husband and really listen to it.
I am happy to say that we have reached a point where we can offer each other advice and we actually hear and listen to each other. We've learned to listen, even if you don't like what your hearing. To really hear what the other has to say and give them the basic respect as your partner to at least give them time to speak.
Heck I even seek out his advice. He's a really smart, ethical and level headed person; he always has been. I on the other hand am a bit more emotional, type A, jump first think later type of person. But...together we are an amazing team. I can motivate us and he can draw up the plan to make it work and together we get the work done.
So, in your own relationship offer respect to your partner and show that respect by listening to them, hearing what they are saying and really digesting their opinions and ideas. I'm not saying you have to act on it, just respect them enough to listen and hear.
The saying is true "absence makes the heart grow fonder" If you allow time to be missed your love will grow.
My husband doesn't travel for work often but he was gone last week, and I missed him...terribly. We have been together for over 20 years and when he returned home I told him that I recognize how nice it is to miss him, the fact that I sill like him is evident. You may laugh at that, but hey, let's face it, when your together for a long time, sometimes you can focus on the little everyday things that irritate you or you may complain about the simple small things, but, remove yourself for a week and you tend to miss the person.
Now, I'm not saying you should go away ofter (you hear me my dear husband?) But, a little trip here or there is good for the marriage.
Often times you'll hear an older gentleman tell a newlywed gentleman the secret to a happy marriage lays in the words "I'm sorry" or "your right". They will even tell them to apologize even if they don't know what they did wrong. I hear this advice given with a grin or a chuckle and it makes me smile. Because this advice should be given to both soon to be spouses.
Your going to make mistakes. There will be bumps in the road. Marriage is a huge learning curve. And along this road of marriage with the bumps your going to be the one that tis wrong and your going to be the one that has been wronged.
Both married partners need to realize the road to a happy marriage lies within the words "I'm sorry" or "I forgive you".
It's important to know that there is so much power in these simple words. Power given and received. Be quick to say I'm sorry when your wrong and be even quicker to accept an apology when one is given. My husband has a funny saying "your going to get over it eventually, it may as well be right now" and in the moment of a heated debate it may not seem appropriate but...it is. I mean it takes so much effort to carry around anger or a grudge, to conger the emotions to exude them onto or toward another takes actual effort. But, to forgive and to be happy, takes little effort.
Try something, I want you to smile right now...yes, trust me, just smile...and do you feel it? Do you feel the joy? See, being happy is easy.
I'm not saying you shouldn't be mad or ever get upset I'm just saying remember it's easier to forgive and move on. It's healthier to be happy.