I got married at the wee age of 20. I was one month away from being 21, so now as I am looking my 31st birthday in the face in the next couple of months – I am also staring down another life milestone: TEN years of marriage.
It is honestly hard to believe. I, like most, can look back on the passage of time and ask: Where did it go? How did ten years pass so quickly? There is no answer truly. Time passes. Then more time passes – and then, here we are looking at ten years of marriage in the books. We are two of millions of people that hit this very same moment. So what we could say about it is really no different than someone else, but for my own documenting sake – and just maybe the idea that someone can benefit from this – well – that’s enough for me to want to write it down. I have
begged pleaded coerced bribed forced sweetly asked my husband to contribute his thoughts as well since both of us are in this together. Maybe that should be the obvious number one? Anythewhoo-
In a combined effort, here are ten things we each have learned in the last ten years of marriage. In no particular order....
1. You are not married to the same person from your wedding day.
I wrote an entire post about this here. It took a long time to learn this, and once I realized it, it made life a little simpler. He and I are both different than we were before – and that’s okay. Growth is a part of progress and you can’t have progress without it. We have learned and relearned a few things about one another over the years, and simply ask the other to stay committed to that learning process.
2. Kids will change things.
Yes, these lovely little beings that are the culmination of your joint venture will test even the best marriages. Lack of sleep, time devoted to babies, differences in parenting… all of this can guide that pretty little marriage train off its original track if you let it. However, they can enhance your relationship in other ways too, so don’t let the tough outweigh the fun.
3. Show him you love him.
In the same way that women need to be shown love – find what his love language is and make sure to show him you love him.
4. Don’t forget to date.
This is so much easier said than done. In the season of life we are in now – work, school, activities, and kids take over many of our spare moments. And let’s be honest…if I am not doing those thing – this mama is sleeping. So, finding time to still date is not always easy, but the time alone is worth it. It may be an at home date, or a night on the town. Either way – finding that face to face time is critical.
5. Adapt and overcome.
This may or may not be the motto of the Marine Corps which was a huge part of our early marriage, but it really does make sense in the long run too. My husband is great about taking out the garbage, but lo-and-behold the man cannot replace the trash bag to save his life. In 10 years, replacing the trash bag before I get there with a mess of stuff in my hands has happened on a few glorious rare occasions. I have accepted the fact that if I see him taking out the trash – I better run and go get a new bag to fill it with. I can’t change him or his antics apparently (this is not without desperate measures of trying) I have just learned how to adapt and overcome. He will say the same with my many quirks too!
6. Don’t fall asleep on the couch every night.
Okay, maybe this one is just for me to learn. Y’all… I can sleep anywhere, but he prefers for it to be in our bed. So, if you are like me and somewhat narcoleptic, try to place yourself in your own bed before cashing out at 9 p.m. every night. Note to self.
7. Show interest in his hobby.
My husband loves to duck hunt. So much so that he built his own boat just for that purpose. I don’t care anything about duck hunting, but I care about him.
8. Encourage him.
We sometimes think women are the only ones who need encouragement, but men need it too. I want him to know I support him and am his biggest fan.
9. Say nothing.
This is so very hard and so worth it if you can figure out how to. I am a pro at the snarky/sarcastic comments, but our marriage works so much better when I say nothing. Learning to hold my tongue is a trait I hope to grasp better in our marriage.
10. Love hard.
Love when it’s easy. Love when it’s tough. Love when it’s fun. Love when it’s messy. Love him and love hard.
1.Don't wake her up, just let her be.
2.Pick your battles.
3.Guys and girls really do think differently.
4.She needs to be touched and talked to everyday. Don't neglect her. She needs it more than you. Compliment her often- not just her looks, but also for the many things she does for the house and family.
5.If she says, "I'm fine." She's definitely not fine.
6.She needs the security: physically, emotionally, and financially. Work hard at work, but work harder at home being a husband and a father.
7.Let her buy stuff for the house, it makes her happy.
8.Paint the walls if she asks.
9.Do some of the chores without her asking.
10.Do the same things you did when you were trying to get her.
I wish it weren’t so obvious who is the talker in the family…..but that’s life. I end on his points because I kind of like his better! We didn’t consult one another on these, and it is a little miracle that we might just be in the same ballpark with a couple of them!
All in all, marriage takes work and compromise. I am so happy I get to “work” with my best friend.
I love you Caleb! Thank you for entertaining this idea with me. Happy 10th!