Ten years ago I met a dude. It was a hot, humid evening on Capitol Hill. A mutual friend had invited us both to dinner. We dominated the conversation. Immediately hitting it off. It took me about 6 weeks, to see what was in front of me, but little did I know, that this dude, with gentle eyes, the cheeky smile, who could talk for hours about anything and everything, would change my life forever.
(us circa 2006 – a month or so after we started dating. Taken nearly ten years ago.)
Three years later we were married on a humid September afternoon surrounded by our amazing friends and family. It was the most perfect day. Everything I imagined my wedding would be.
But alas, marriage isn’t always easy. It’s not always pretty flowers and the most beautiful dress you’ll ever wear in your lifetime. There are lessons to be learned – it is, after all, a partnership, more so once a kiddo is in the picture. It’s a choice you make every day…to show up, to not be selfish, to play fair and to always be on the same team.
Seven lessons I’ve learned over the past seven years
- Communication is always key.
Talking. Telling him/her what you need. What’s bothering you. If you don’t talk, they don’t know.
- Know the other’s person’s love language.
We went to a “Strong bonds” retreat through the army earlier this summer and it was on love languages – it’s a powerful book and I highly recommend if you’ve never checked it out.
- Make each other laugh.
We don’t take ourselves too seriously (most of the time), we’re not afraid to laugh at ourselves, and we both have the same (sometimes dry) sense of humor (akin to puns. I love all things punny).
- Their family is your family too. And vice versa. Embrace them.
I’m very lucky to have married into a fantastic family; my in-laws have embraced me as one of their own. I’ve heard some wild stories in the mom’s group of about crazy, manipulative in-laws – and I’m so blessed that my in-laws are on the quirky (but well intentioned) side, not the drive-you-crazy and treat you like garbage side.
- Sometimes you have to put the other person first.
Hubs and I are really good about knowing when to put the other person’s needs first and our own needs second. Likewise, we’re really great about communicating what our needs are.
Many of the qualms in our marriage have come from one of us not listening. Listen – and even if the other person isn’t talking, pay attention to what they’re NOT saying.
- Make time for each other.
Turn off your phone. Turn off the tv. Can’t get a babysitter? Open up a bottle of wine and sit with each other. Give each other feet massages and just be together. Read a book together. Go to bed early. But make time for you.
Happy seven years love of my life. To all of these lessons and many more in the years ahead.