This past couple of days I have had a bit of a writing block. Today I was thinking about what to write about, and I decided to write about something very important to me and probably most married, engaged or happily dating couples. Have you ever heard the phrase, "the first year of marriage is the hardest?" Yeah me too. But do I believe it? Not one bit. Honestly I don't think that Jared and I have had a difficult marriage at all. I wanted to share a few tips on why I think that we have had a really easy time being married. I thought that this information could be valuable to anyone looking to get married, or even couple who want a refresher on what it's like to be newlywed. I hope that some of this advice will be helpful. =)
Make time for each other. When you live together, and are around each other all the time it is so easy to just be roommates, and not so much a couple. Jared and I have a few shows a night that we both want to see, not one that he loves and one that I love, but ones we enjoy sitting and watching together! What's so great about this you may ask? Well first of all we get excited to spend time to each other each night and do something we are both enjoying. Secondly it strikes up conversation, and let's us have inside jokes. Which I really think brings any relationship closer.
Support and Compliment one another. I am big into DIY decorating. When I finish a repainting and glazing a dresser I love when he supports me, and lets me put it in the house where I want it. It means a lot to me when he can say yeah the bright blue dresser is awesome! Also, Jared plays guitar and I notice the songs he's working on, and struggling with so I can tell when he's getting better and can genuinely compliment his skills.
Take equal share in household duties. For some reason I was under the impression that it was my job to keep up the house, do the laundry, and it all fell on my shoulders. Here's the deal. We both work full time, we both want to relax at the end of the day right? So when it's time to pick up the house, ask for help. Otherwise if you're anything like me you feel resentment that you're doing it all, when all you have to do for help is ask.
Let it go. This is a big one for me. Sometimes it's okay to let it go. It's okay that the dishes aren't always done or that a couple things are left out by the door. For Jared sometimes he has to let it go that I don't always throw away my candy wrappers that I eat before bed.. or that I don't hang up my clothes every day after I wear them. Those things are small things in the big scheme, so just breathe in and let it go.
Pet Peeves. Let each other know what your Pet Peeves are. If there is something that drives you crazy, and it's going to irritate you every day let each other know! This will save a lot of arguments.
Say what you mean. Being upfront doesn't mean you're being rude. It's better to just say exactly what you mean instead of toy around. Usually this ends up in making small disagreements a big fight, because you weren't saying what you meant. I always get really silent when I am mad, and Jared asks if I'm okay and I used to just say yes, and then get all bent out of shape. Now I am working on saying exactly why I am mad, so we can deal with it right then.
Create Fun Lists. I think a lot of people try an do date nights every week. For Jared and I that wasn't exactly our thing, but we knew it was important to be excited to do activities together and get out of the house. We started to create seasonal bucket lists. Before winter started we wrote down a bunch of things we wanted to do. So that when Saturday rolled around we would pull out our list, and get ready to cross something off. We made one for this coming summer by emailing back and forth ideas and compiling a list. Some of the items are simple like hiking up to the lake, and some are crazy like fly somewhere random one weekend. But it gives us a list of things we can do together.
Hang out with friends. I think it's important to have a night out without one another. I believe the absence makes the heart grow fonder, but I also think it's important to obtain relationships with your friends. Go out to concerts, play poker, play bunco! It's all good, and it also creates more of a dialogue for you and your spouse. Things to talk about besides work.
Keep in touch throughout the day. Jared isn't a big texter, but we both are at computers all day long so we email throughout the day. Sometimes its only once of twice back and forth, but it seems to help us stay more actively involved with each other. When something bad happens at work we can vent right away or if I happen to find a deal online that I can't resist I can hurry and email him the link and get his opinion.
When you argue, express yourself and be done. Sometimes there isn't always a right and wrong. you can argue till your blue, and get madder than you've ever been but if you're not finding common ground. Is it really worth it to argue? Opinions need to be valued when arguing. Understanding is necessary, but even sometimes you can do your best to understand your significant other's opinion and just not agree. That's fine.
Start Projects Together. Whether it's gardening, taking out a wall, building a coffee table, painting the walls, redecorating a room.. Just do it together. It's a good relationship building tool to do something start to finish together. Brainstorm and Generate ideas, Agreeing on how to complete the project, buying and budgeting for it, and of course completing it all together. Plus then you'll be proud of something you did together. This is one of my favorites.
There ya go, those are my two cents on how to have a happy marriage/ relationship! Do you have tips that you'd add?