Today is my 10 year anniversary. TEN YEARS people! This milestone seemed like forever away when I first got married, and now I’m here. I’m 28 years old, have 4 beautiful children, and a dang sexy husband. Life is good.
There are so many things I’ve learned along the way about marriage. Whether you’re old or young when you tie the knot, there is just so much to learn about having a happy, healthy marriage. I’m sure I’ll learn a ton more over the next 10 years, too! Here are 8 important things I’ve learned in these first 10 years of marriage.
1. You should have more dinner options up your sleeve than 1. boxed mac & cheese, 2. spaghetti sans meat, and 3. mad telephone ordering skills. Perhaps this one could be filed under “pay attention to your mother when she teaches you to cook.” Fortunately, my husband was always graceful and appreciative of my “skills” anyway. I’m sure he will always remember five years in when I decided that I should perhaps learn to actually cook. It was a good day.
2. Find something you both love to do together, and do it! It took nine years of marriage before we really found something we loved to do together (for us, it was wood working). And honestly, it changed my life and marriage for the better.
3. Find things you like to do separately, and give each other space to have some time to do it. This one took a long time for me to figure out. My husband always had lots of personal interests (even if they were from time to time just playing XBOX). For me, though, having been married so young, I think it really just took me a while to still figure out who the adult me was, and thus it took me longer to figure out what I liked to do separately from my new spouse. I was fine giving my husband time for himself, but when it was my turn, I simply had no idea what to do!
4. Learn each others love languages. Our first Christmas together, my husband didn’t get me anything. And, of course, because I hadn’t learned to appropriately express myself, I yelled at him like a crazy person. To me, gifts are a sign of love. To him, they’re totally unnecessary. Fun, but unnecessary. We were both frustrated and confused. Then we read The Five Love Languages and discovered that he’d much rather I clean something for him or write him a sweet note, because his love languages are “Acts of Service” and “Words of Affirmation.” My main love language is “Gifts” and so I get everyone a gift on their birthday/Christmas/whatever because that shows I love them (and obviously expect that my husband would show me “love” on Christmas by getting me a gift)! Once we learned each others love languages, we were able to show love in the way that the other best understands love. He gets me gifts, and I try to keep our bedroom clean for him 🙂
5. Trust him when he tells you you’re beautiful. Don’t brush it off. Don’t disagree. Say “thank you” and believe him. Knowing my husband finds me attractive is a huge confidence boost when I’m not feeling so pleased with my post four babies body.
6. Laugh. A lot. Have fun and be silly. Don’t be so serious. Laugh at yourself. Having FUN in marriage is so important. Don’t let life be boring. Play games, try a new activity (bowling, ice skating), have a living room dance party. Just make sure to laugh.
7. Learn about money, and decide how you will spend and save together. So many marriage issues seem to revolve around money. We used to be great at spending money….we were like professionals or something. At some point we really had to focus on what we wanted to do with our money. We learned to budget and STICK to a budget. We became intentional about when and what we spent our money. I really wish someone had shared a bit more money management advice before we got married.
8. Encourage one another in all areas of life. My husband is the most incredible source of encouragement (he’s a Words of Affirmation person, remember?). He always has some positives for me about anything I’m trying to do, learn, or accomplish. Knowing that my husband believes in me and wants me to succeed gives me so much more drive to do my best. Don’t neglect the positive effect encouraging words can have on your spouse and your marriage. Encourage each other a lot.
What things have you learned about marriage that you’d like to share?