5 Things I Learned About Being Married
This year will make 12 years of marriage for me. There is so much that I have learned and continue to learn to this day. Since this is the wedding season, I am going to share some of the lessons that I have learned in my marriage. We all have heard stories that range from one end to the other on the happiness to hate spectrum of marriage. I will say this, marriage is truly what you make it. Before entering into marriage make sure the two of you are on the same page.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Do you both want the same things out of life?
Have you made a plan together for how you want to live your life?
How many children do you want?
Where will you live?
Will this become a blended family? How are external relationships outside of your household?
There are many other questions to be asked so make sure if you are thinking about marriage or are already engaged, you make your own list of questions that you ask. These tips can also benefit already married couples too. In the past divorce rates have increased at a steady pace, but there are studies suggesting that it is now on a decline, which is great! This article in the New York Times goes into detail about the possible reasons and it’s very interesting, here is the link if you want to read it. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/02/upshot/the-divorce-surge-is-over-but-the-myth-lives-on.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1409232722000&bicmet=1419773522000&_r=4&abt=0002&abg=0
My goal is to give you some real talk that I wish I had going into my marriage, it would have saved me many tear and disappointments.
1. Manage Your Expectations And Enjoy The Ride
I can’t speak for the men, but I know as a woman many of us have expectations about being married. We have dreamt about this day for many years and have unknowingly also create unrealistic expectations of how our lives will change and how our husband will be. I’m not saying that it will not be fantastic, but what I am saying is that expecting your husband and your life after marriage to match up exactly with a perception in your mind is no good. Don’t waste time wishing things were different, enjoy what you have and live your life.
2. Don’t Let External Issues Inside Of Your Marriage
Really early in my marriage I had an in-law issue. My personality is one of resolution, meaning I had to resolve conflicts in my life because I don’t like open endings. Because I did not get my resolution, my in-law issues lasted for a very long time. Could I have been the bigger person and squashed it years prior? Yes. But, I didn’t for two reasons. One, I was not mentally capable of doing what it took to release that situation from my life. Two, I didn’t do anything wrong to create the situation, so I felt like it wasn’t my situation to resolve. The end result was years of me “proving my point” and creating unnecessary ripples in my marriage. I absolutely despise feeling like I’ve been punked or taken advantage of and I let my pride win. Once I realized that it wasn’t about me, but how my husband felt, I was able to let go of that situation in peace. The lesson here is that it’s not all about you all the time.
3. Stay On The Same Page By Creating A Plan Together And Consult Each Other Frequently
It’s so easy to develop different ambitions and goals as we live our lives, just make sure you communicate those things to your spouse. The goal is to go in the same direction together. Sometime’s, you will disagree on the method but the decision on the direction should be mutual. For example, once upon a time I was a real estate agent. I was not feeling healthcare so I went part-time and focused on learning something new. I funded my venture on a credit card and let’s just say when it was all said and done, $7,000 later and no houses sold my husband wasn’t too happy with the debt I had accumulated. Thankfully, this got resolved and I learned a valuable lesson in not making decisions that affect my household alone.
4. Date Each Other Often
Men want to be dated just like we do. Don’t forget to show your spouse some extra TLC and treat them to night out on a regular basis. This is something that I fell off of for many reasons. The bottom line is, it’s not about spending a lot of money, it’s about the time spent together and the memories you create. Once kids come into the picture this get’s a little more challenging. Find those sitters and head on out for some adult fun and conversation at least once per month.
5. Forgiveness Is A Must
If you are like me, trust and forgiveness issues are in the fabric of your life. Even now, I am still learning the art of trust and forgiveness. I’m going to tell you now in marriage there will be many mistakes made. Let me come back to expectations for a minute. Expectations are a strong belief that something will happen in the future. Standards are a form of measurement that we use to gauge what we call normal or typical behavior. Example of this would be that we expect our spouses to cook dinner every now and then, a standard would be that our spouses will be faithful.
These two concepts can easily appear the same but they are not. Uphold your standards and manage your expectations. There will be times when we fall short of expectation and forgiveness needs to happen. If you don’t know how, learn. We must forgive others as we are forgiven. Seek the help and support of someone who can given you constructive, factual information. Being able to forgive is crucial for a healthy marriage.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Write them down, I guarantee you will need them. I send joy and happiness to you are you embark on an awesome experience. If you need help in making the mental shifts, we are here to help! Hit reply and let’s talk about what you need.
I am rooting for your success!