Today is our wedding anniversary! My how time has flown. Three years ago I woke up to the calming sounds of rain tapping on the window, slipped into my white gown, and walked down an aisle to marry my best friend. I spent so much time wondering and anticipating what marriage would be like before I said 'I do.' As I look back now, it's just one of those things you can prepare only so much for, and then the rest you just have to figure out along the way. You learn and relearn, and just keep learning.
I'm not going to sit here telling you I have it all together, cause that would just be ridiculous. And the things that I have learned, and have worked for me, aren't necessarily going to be the same for you. Every person is different, making each marriage unique. But I can share a few things I have learned in the last three years with you that has helped create a happy and healthy marriage that I continue to love working hard in!
1) Communicate Expectations. Being aware of what I am expecting, and whether I have communicated that expectation has helped Karl and I reach friendlier resolutions to many of the frustrations we deal with. We have often found that many of our misunderstandings have expectations in the root of them that we did not verbalize. Communication is so powerful and finding a rhythm of communicating well to your spouse is like adding oil to bike chains. It rides and sounds so much better.
2) It's Not 50/50. Marriage involves two people, and like all relationships it requires give and take. Marriage is a wonderful gift, but you gotta put the work into it. And when I mean put in the work, I mean 100% - heck 110%. I learned that if I want to build a happy and healthy marriage, I can't get away with meeting half way only giving 50% and taking 100%. No, you get back what you put into it your marriage. Give 100%
3) Make It a Priority. A good and happy marriage doesn't just happen over night, it happens over time. Tiime that is prioritized and invested well. Karl and I go over our schedules together every week and set aside a date night. Sometimes it's as simple as a movie night in, or an evening bike ride. Regardless, we plan time to be together uninterrupted. We know that we need to be intentional about our friendship and relationship, and that can only happen if we make time to be together, continue to get to know one another, and be honest with our feelings, thoughts, and goals.
Marriage is a pretty incredible journey, that requires incredible love and commitment. Our three years together has been nothing like I imagined, but it sure has been wonderful. I hope some of the lessons I've learned in my short time can help you continue build a happy and healthy relationship with your loved one.