Yep, it has been 12 years to the day since my beloved husband and i said, “I do.”
How has it been? Well, it has been up and down, it had its highs and lows, as well as laughs and tears. So pretty much a normal marriage 😉
Any wise words after that number of years? i’m not sure i have wise words but i can share some of what i have learnt.
1) Marry someone who makes you laugh. This is most helpful during the stressful times, the times he/she makes you so mad you wanna … (you fill in the blank here), also great during the times when you are sad, or simply crying over a sad movie (yep, that’s me). Plus being able to laugh at hard times is so essential to surviving those times.
2) Fight fair. Never used past sore points (you were supposed to have forgiven and forgotten that last time), never pick on their weaknesses or belittle the other person. Stay on topic. One thing is not related to another – at least not when a couple is fighting. Be clear what you want – do you just want to be heard? Or do you want to see specific actions taken?
3) Communicate clearly. Make sure you close that feedback loop when talking to each other so you are both on the same page. Feedback loop? Well, for me that just means repeating back to the person what you are hearing from him/her. You will be surprised how you can be hearing one thing and the other person really means something different.
4) Close both eyes. Especially in matters of who leaves what chaos behind them and who does or does not clean up after themselves. Don’t even bring up the matter of the toilet seat. Some things are just not worth fighting about. You married the person so accept the person wholly; the good, the ugly and the wonderful.
5) If you have children, always present a united front. Never undermined your partner’s authority if he/she has already addressed an issue with your child, even if you do not agree with what he/she has done. You can talk with your partner later, out of earshot of the kids. This will give your kids security, knowing that mummy and daddy are one unit and they don’t have to worry about things collapsing. See here for a bit more details.
6) Everybody needs alone time. Respect that. You do not have to do everything together all of the time. (This was a hard one for me to learn.) Teach your children to have alone time / down-time, there is no need to go go go all the time. You can never give of yourself to another person if you are not wholly satisfied or complete in yourself. You have heard, “A happy mummy is a good mummy.”? Well, same goes for the daddy and even the kids.
7) Love and Marriage are hard things to do. But so worth it. Yes, marriage needs work and love causes pain. But they will also brings joy and happiness. See the following article for where i draw my strength and inspiration from… You Never Marry the Right Person | RELEVANT Magazine.
There are many other little things i have experienced and learnt from in the last 12 years, many of which apply to our specific circumstances but i think the above 7 points pretty much covers most of them.
What about you? Do you have anything else to add about marriage, love and staying married?
i leave you with this picture… taken a year before our wedding… (why not from our wedding day? Cos we don’t have one of just us alone and facing the camera… hahha…)