- It’s not always all about him
Sorry Ramos! Early on in a marriage there can be a tendency to put your spouse on a pedestal and make your happiness revolve around their happiness. But marriage is a partnership – while each person is important no one is the most important all the time. While I love Ramos is it is not sum total of my life to make him happy – there are more people in our lives that just him. Sometimes it is all about him, but not always.
- It’s not all about me
I think I was quite selfish early on in marriage – my happiness was so important. Over time other emotions has become the focus – contentment, joy. Sometimes you have to compromise on dreams and plans. This has gotten easier from we have had kids – often it ends up really be all about them! Yes, I am important in the marriage, but on the scale of things no one person’s plans or happiness rates above the other’s
- Forgive quickly or drive yourself mad
Both of us mess up and we will again. The degree varies (Obviously him much more than me 🙂 only joking!) but if you want a marriage to work, like any relationship, you have to forgive and move on. Otherwise you get stuck in an angry fighting place which sucks for everyone.
- It’s the ordinary stuff that is special, not the special stuff
Maybe this has to do more with love languages than anything – hubby is not great at grand gestures, rather he says I love you by getting my car cleaned. Yesterday was our anniversary (or our ‘versary as Jenny calls it) – our planned lunch got cancelled by a burst pipe at home so hubby rushed off to fixed the pipe. Nothing says I love you like emergency plumbing! If you are always looking for the sweeping gesture I loves you, you miss out on the whispered everyday ones.
- Don’t compare your marriage to other people’s
Maybe not the best one to add when sharing advice on what I have learnt from marriage – but not everyone’s marriage is the same. Different people and different personalities are involved so the relationships are not the same. I read all the advice on the ‘date night’ and struggle to think when the last time we had one is – but it is ok as our marriage functions differently. I would find it stressful to have a date night each week/ month! What works for you may not work for another couple – don’t feel bad about it.
- Don’t talk bad about your spouse to other people
Not one I have learnt from my own marriage but have watched it in others. Try to not bad talk your spouse to other people, even if they have been an idiot. What you share about your spouse to others can come back to influence your relationship for good or for bad. As far as possible be a cheerleader. I’m not talking about getting counsel or wise advice but the type of talk with a friend who will add fuel to the fire will not help in the long term, even if it feels good to vent.
- You are stronger when you work as a team
This one is simple – have you ever seen the push me pull you from Dr Dolittle?
Life is so much easier when you are working in the same direction, and much less exhausting!
- There is still much to learn
Although you think you know the person you marry you do not know they person they are becoming. Life changes you, age and experiences all change you are. So don’t think you have gotten you marriage or your spouse pegged. There is room to grow and new things to learn.
- Keep Jesus in your marriage
Honestly there were some days in the last nine years that I think either of us could have just called quits. Love and feelings are not enough to hold a marriage together – they change and are not constant. But we keep going back to the commitment we made before God. Yes, I’m sure we will face tough times in the future, just as we have in the past, but quitting is not an option. It may feel like it at the time, but often we come out stronger on the other end.
What are the key things that you have learnt from your marriage?