On September 2nd my husband and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary. We have been together now for a total of 12 years! It is crazy to think about how fast time has gone and to think back to when we first started dating. I don’t think either of us realized the wild ride that we were starting on with each other. (Even though he did tell me that I was the girl he was going to marry after three months of us dating, hahahaha). Not only have we been through college together, since we met the first week of classes my freshman year, but we have been through sicknesses, vacations, the birth of our son, the loss of another child, and many other crazy wonderful things together. We have been through different jobs and lay-offs, being together everyday and not seeing each other enough. Through all of this our marriage has above all gotten stronger. Even though we mess up sometimes and things get kind of messy we still come out on top.
Since we have been together 12 years and we have been through a lot in our time as a couple I have some words of wisdom for those of you just starting out. (Can you tell I have been to a few weddings this summer.)
Always come back to talk it out. This is a big one that has gotten us through. We are both very stubborn and sometimes we say all sorts of things and then just try and get away from each other. But in the end we always come back after we have calmed down and talked through the issue with a more level head. Sometimes you just need to freak out on each other first in order to be able to more calmly talk about it.
Always remember that everyone’s day can be stressful. This one is a big one that we are continuing to learn. Even though you might have had a stressful day doesn’t mean that your partners day was any less stressful. Sometimes just remembering that will help make you both more compassionate toward each other.
You are both on the same team. Stop competing with each other, whether it is trying to outdo each other with something good or bad. You are always on the same team. Trying to always be better than each other is just headed for disaster. You should be each others cheerleaders instead of getting jealous of the good things that happen for your partner. The flip side of this is always trying to one up each other with how bad you have it. This kind of competing just brings in negativity into your relationship and is never any good for anyone. Everyone’s day and the things they do are different but you are both working toward the same goal in the end.
Forgive always and then let it go. Even if you are so mad at each other and holding a grudge is a lot easier, forgive them anyway. BUT, when you forgive them make sure to let it go. Do not hold any mistake above your partners head for the rest of your lives. It is better for both of you to just forgive and let go. You don’t have to forget about it but bringing it up all the time just creates more resentment toward each other and will not make or keep a healthy relationship.
Do not think that what you do is better then what your partner does. No matter what always remember that you are equal. One of you may make more money and the other one spend more time raising the kids. However, that does not make what one of you does better than what the other one does. It just makes it different. Each thing has its challenges but in the end if you both did the same thing your lives would not grow.
Try and plan a date night at least once a month. Having a date night is important. It reminds you why you started dating each other in the first place. In reality you should never stop dating your partner. Keeping that spark alive is what makes things fun and exciting. Sometimes you need to just mix it up.
Most importantly, communication is key. If you have signed up to do the death till us part thing, you have to communicate. If you have been together as long as we have, nothing is off limits either. We have definitely seen each other at our worst and we still love and like each other. Even though some topics are hard to talk about they need to be discussed because that is the only way you know for sure that you guys are on the same page. Most of the time problems start to occur when things are not talked about. So give each other a break and talk about the hard stuff and the fun stuff before things are too big to deal with.
I hope that when you find your special someone that you are as happy as we are. We definitely have our days when things are not as great as we would like them to be but we have always pushed past the hard stuff and that is the most important part.