Monday, June 9, 2014

Top 10 Things I've Learned in One Year of Marriage

Monday, June 9, 2014
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Nobody's marriage is perfect. It's never going to be, and that's okay.  But you can learn and grow and make your marriage grow each and every day. Now, some of these things I need to listen to my own advice and do better at. But marriage, much like life, is a work in progress.

10. It's okay to fight.

John is fond of saying that if you never fight or argue, someone's lying. The key is not to not fight but to resolve the issues, and the root if the problem and forgive quickly.

9. Date Nights are important.

Date nights are too difficult for us right now since we don't have kids, but they are still greatly cherished.  It's just great to return to the feelings of when you first got together. It adds a little romance in your life that can sometimes be lacking in the day to day routine. Even if your just going to a movie.

8. Go to bed at the same time.

You will never stop learning about your significant other.  You'll both change and grow and you have a lifetime to catch up on. Going to bed at the same time leaves an opportunity for pillow talk. For some reason in this before bed sleepy state, deeper conversation seem to happen. In these moments you'll learn a lot about each other. .. just don't be mad if they fall asleep in the middle of a sentence.

7. Talk good behind his or her back

Talking positive about your husband or wife in public will definitely help at home. By focusing on the positive,  not only will other people not bring up negative things about your significant other and dig up buried issues and it will help you not to feel so negative about them when things do go wrong. Think about it: if you complain about your significant other all day, when you go home you'll already be annoyed at them before they have even done anything because you've been dwelling on the negative all day. Whereas if you talk positively about your significant other then when you get home you'll be less likely to snap because you've been dwelling on the positive.
6. Limit Nagging

I've learned that I nag. Alot. When I realized this I made an effort not to and I learned something.  Nagging is not reminding your significant other to do something, but reminding them to do it in an irritated tone and/or harsh words. You don't know what is going on in their heads so, it is inaccurate to suppose just because they haven't done something yet means they are not going to or forgot. When you do want to remind them to do something be sure you're not accusing them. Saying "you haven't done this yet, why not?" sounds a lot less pleasant than "honey, are you still planing on doing xyz today?" But of course, watch your tone as well.

5. The implementation of "fun money" will stop a lot of arguments.

Basically fun money is money each person gets each month to do whatever they want with and the other person cannot say anything about it.  You can also save up for something big. This is great for things that you don't need but want and may otherwise be fought over. The amount can be however much you can afford per month. This practice has helped us tremendously.

4. Show Gratitude.

This is really important but is over looked alot. We take our significant others for granted.  We forget to thank them for the small and large things that they do on a daily basis. If you want to show your gratitude by giving gifts on ocassion, that's great but a simple thank you hug and smile will work wonders as well. It feels good to feel appreciated. When John and I noticed that we were both lacking in the appreciation department we made a conscious effort to show more appreciation to each other and it's made all the difference. 

3. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Respect your significant other at home and in private. Respect their decisions,  even if you don't agree (save if they are doing something illegal!  Ha). Just all in all treat each other with respect. 

2. Communication is key.

Sometimes I find this hard as I don't quite know how to communicate what I'm feeling but it really does help to get it all out in the open. Communication involves listening as well as talking.  It also involves how you communicate ( preferably in a loving tone) and communicating positive feelings (all those I love yous).

1. Understand that you are different people. 

This may seem obvious but hear me out. It is vitally important to your marriage to understand that you and your significant other are different people with different personalities, character traits,  habits,  experiences, etc. Realize that you will approach things differently,  different things will bother you and your life will be a lot easier when you acknowledge and respect that.

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