When people hear our story they usually say things like “aww, you guys are such couples goals” and “your story should be made into a movie” Well, they’re not wrong-Hollywood you’ve got a best seller Rom Com waiting in the wings here. We’re freaking adorable.
But in all honesty, our marriage has not been perfect by any means and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There have been plenty of slammed doors, yelling, tears and one broken dresser. What matters though, is how we work past and through all those bad times; learn from them and become better for not only each other but ourselves.
I’ve thought this over and gathered some of the best things we have learned through our marriage. We’ve been only married for 7 years but in those seven years, we have learned a lot about each other and what it’s like to have a never ending sleepover with your favorite weirdo. Spoiler alert, it’s awesome.
Go to bed angry. This is the BEST marriage advice we have ever gotten. Nothing will ever get resolved at 11 pm at night. Meaningless gibberish will flow from your mouth and usually it’s not constructive and then digs you farther into whatever hole you might already be in. It is so much better to take the loss, get some sleep even if it doesn’t come right away. Resurface again in the morning with a fresh take on whatever it was you were fighting about in the first place. Most of the time you realize, “well that was a dumb argument” or that you were just hangry. It’s a real thing people; make yourself a sandwich.
Have humor. Laughter is something we are not short of in our household. I married an extremely funny guy and would be lying if I said he doesn’t make me laugh on a daily basis. Honestly, it’s a cornerstone of our marriage because it’s what greatly attracted me to my husband. Humor is also how we deal with a lot of things in our marriage and in our family mostly because we find it healing. Nothing is better than a good face busting, belly laugh after a hard day of work or a really stressful situation you might be dealing with. Recently, Phillip’s dad was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. He is extremely close with his dad and it hit our family really hard. What does Phillip do? He calls up his dad and asks “Hey dad, hows your a** cancer today?” Now granted, he of course takes his dad’s health very seriously but dang if he didn’t make every single person laugh on that phone call. Life doesn’t have to be serious; it’s only serious if you choose to make it so. I’m not saying you have to be the next John Mulaney or Ellen Degeneres here, but humor makes life so much more fun and can always lighten a load.
Will it matter 80 years down the road? This is a question I ask myself a lot in our marriage. Whether it’s an argument, a decision we’re trying to make, will it matter 80 years down the road. Example: Phillip left his laundry on the floor and didn’t put it in the laundry hamper. Is this super annoying. YES, like-how hard is it to put it in the hamper. It’s a whopping 6 inches more; it’s not like I am asking you to run a marathon here every time you have dirty clothes. But, will getting on his case about it matter in 80 years? No. 80 years from now I know I am not going to give a crap about whether or not the laundry got into the hamper. Hopefully, I’m much more worried about what awesome classic car I’m going to drive that day (a girl can dream ok?) Worry and pick your battles over the things that matter; the things that will affect your life in the long run. Contemplate those big decisions that will affect your life 80 years down the road because those are the ones that actually matter. You’ll find yourself a much happier person and a lot less fighting going on…even if you do have to take a loss on those 6 inches and walk the clothes to the hamper yourself.
Learn each other’s love language. We all have different love languages whether you realize it or not. Learning what your spouse’s love language can be one of the singlehanded most helpful things in your entire marriage. Knowing what he or she needs to feel loved can help you avoid tension, create a lasting bond, and sprout so much happiness in a marriage; not to mention bring back all those fireworks and butterflies. Mine is Words of Affirmation and Phillip’s is Physical Touch. Knowing what he wants or needs to feel loved versus how I would like to be loved has changed our marriage so much and 100% for the better. I find myself creating fun and out of the box ways to show him I care for him; to let him know I love him. You can tell someone “I Love You” til the cows come home, but taking that time to show your partner you love them in their love language; it’s unbeatable and means so much more. You can learn what your love language is here!
Travel + Adventure together. This isn’t for the sheer fact of seeing the world and having photos of your travels. It’s actually to help prioritize and reassess your personal life. It’s so easy for us to be sucked into our normal everyday lives. Go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed, start over. We get caught up in the “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality and have to be the most successful and best at what we do and have. It wasn’t until we started really traveling that we realized- wow, none of that really matters. We have met some of the happiest people in the world that have nothing but the bare necessities. Getting to experience and immerse yourself in another culture makes you so grateful for the country we live in and the freedoms we enjoy everyday. Getting to experience them with your significant other just sweetens that so much more. There is a huge world out there to explore and learn from; and who better to learn it all with than your other half.
Wait to have kids. This is one I hesitated to share mostly because I know it can be controversial but heck, this is my blog and it’s what I believe…but hear me out. I’m not by any means saying people that have kids right away did it wrong. Some people just know they’re meant to be parents right away and good for you! How I see it is you’re only young and married alone without kids once. When you have kids they’re kinda stuck with you for like…18 YEARS. 18 years down the road you’re going to 18 years older and exhausted and that’s only if you have one! Those first few years of marriage are so important too; Phillip and I learned so much not only about each other in those first couple years but about ourselves. While you’re learning about your spouse and how you are as a married person (because trust me, you will change when you get married and for the better) take those years to adventure! Travel, do things you can’t easily do with children in tow. The right time to have kids will come and you will know when that is. Like I said before, it’s different for every single couple. Some people will know right away they’re ready…some people like us will keep saying maybe in 2 years…and here we are 7 years later. Someday we will have kids and it will be wonderful. But there is so much more we want to experience before we’re in charge of keeping small humans alive.
So, 7 years later I can honestly say our marriage has never been stronger and I have never been happier to have an everlasting sleepover with my favorite weirdo. I can only hope that years down the road we will continue to learn and grow as a couple and manage to keep our future children alive and out of trouble. If they’re anything like Phillip was as a child, his mother has informed me that I am, and I quote, “screwed”. Phillip denies nothing.
Hopefully our little roundup of advice has helped you too, and not all of it may apply to your marriage or partnership! Every single couple is different, this is just what has worked for us. Ending advice I can give you…whenever you feel like tension might be brewing, make a cheese plate. One, hangry is a real emotion that likes to disguise itself in mischievous ways. Two- cheese fixes everything.