When I got married, I thought that everyday was going to be a fairytale. I thought we would be waking up to breakfast in bed and candlelight dinners each night. Honestly, I don’t think I have ever had a candlelight dinner…ahem…Adrian. Marriage is not all about overly romanticized Hollywood versions of what we think life should look like. These are the 5 things that I have learned in 5 years of marriage.
Life can be boring, mundane and sometimes crappy. In marriage, it is good and bad. Fighting about who last emptied the dishwasher is not worth it. Pick and choose your battles.
If I am being completely honest, I struggle with forgiveness. I tend to hold grudges, like for a really long time. I am still bitter over the time my 3rd grade teacher made me skip recess. Past grudges slowly began to consume me. It wasn’t until recently that I said enough is enough! I need to move beyond. Don’t get me wrong, I still have not forgotten those past missteps, but I try to no longer allow them the mental headspace. I am learning to take things at face value. Do yourself a favor and learn to forgive. Not just your spouse but also anyone in your life that has somehow wronged you. Whether ill-intentioned or not. The only one who ends up hurt is you.
On my third date with my husband, we had a conversation about the future. I know, I know our 3rd date. Somehow, we just know! In this conversation, we were in 100% agreement. This particular topic was a non negotiable for me and he knew it. He assured me that we were on the same page. Until we weren’t…two years into our marriage. I was crushed. Beyond devastated was putting it mildly. I had drawn my line in the sand on our third date. How didn’t he understand this? Now I was expected to roll with the changes he was hurling at me. I was angry, hurt, and deeply wounded. Still to this day, it brings me a small pang of frustration. But in the end, I decided that I could either end my marriage or I could compromise. My friend, compromise is the key to a successful marriage. Having open, frequent and honest conversations about where your heart stands is so important. People change. You have to decide if that person is worth the change and worth the compromise.
When a couple first begins dating, they usually put their best foot forward. They want to make a good impression. I even went as far as pulling a Mrs. Mazel by waking up super early and putting on a full face of makeup before Adrian woke up. He had to think that I went to bed and woke up exactly the same. Now, he asks if I am feeling okay when I actually put makeup on! Often, couples become so comfortable with each other that all sorts of personal habits and bodily functions come out! Being your true self with the one you love makes your love only grow deeper.
My favorite piece of advice I have learned is that you and your spouse get the privilege to make your own rules. What works for the both of you does not have to work for anyone else. You shouldn’t apologize for finding what works in your home. You owe no one an explanation. Not even your parents! What might be right for one couple might not be right for your relationship. That, my friend, is 100% the privilege of being an adult. You are your own boss. You are the creator of your own happy marriage.
My bonus piece of advice is that sometimes marriage is not 50/50. Some days it is 80/20. You pick up the slack for your spouse for a bit and then they pick it up for you. However you slice it, marriage is about give and take. No one can ever give 100% to everyone all of the time. If someone tells you their marriage is fully equal, they are either delusional or they are lying. Sometimes, I can only give 20% and my loving husband has to pick up the rest. Other days, I pick up what he can not carry. Marriage is all about balance.
Despite only being married for 5 years, I have grown in ways I never thought possible. I am excited to see what the next 5, 10, 20 even 50 years can teach me. Happy Anniversary honey, I love you so much! Comment below with your top marriage advice. I am excited to hear more wisdom!