I’d be lying if I said that marriage was easy. It certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for the ones willing to risk it all who are brave enough to open their hearts to someone else on a level they have never done before.
Finding that person you’re to share the rest of your life with is beautiful and so incredible, and I wouldn’t trade my marriage or my spouse for anything or anyone.
One thing I think I should point out, and you’ve all seen it, is that social media portrays a picture perfect marriage. One without struggle, heartbreak, disagreements, messiness and hard times. It’s unrealistic and I’m here to set the record straight. Struggles are legitimate and very real. It’s important that everyone has a realistic picture of what marriage is really like.
With that said, here are 6 lessons I’ve learned in my six years of marriage. Lessons that are great and informative and others that are difficult. Either way, regardless of the lesson, they’re important to share.
Date Nights are Planned
Gone are the days when we can have spontaneous moments and date nights. We used to be able to just go out to dinner or leave on a mini road-trip with little or no thought, but now every plan we make, has to be thoroughly discussed and oftentimes planned out days or weeks ahead of time. When we started adding children into the mix, we had to strongly consider if eating out was worth the mess and chaotic scene we would experience at the restaurant. When we want to go away for the weekend, our truck looks as though we’re moving because of all the things we must pack to accommodate our children and our dogs.
Date night includes scheduling out a few days or weeks and ensuring we have a babysitter or family member available to watch our son.
Every moment has to be planned. Spontaneity doesn’t exist anymore for us, so it’s important to make time for each other.
Parenting Adds New Dynamics into Marriage
It’s challenging to be a parent, and there are days my husband and I wonder if we’re failing as parents. Some days I want to lock myself in the closet just to get some quiet time, but the stresses, successes, challenges and triumphs make our marriage that much stronger, yet weaker depending on the day and the season.
We disagree from time to time when it comes to parenting. We get worn down, frustrated and zapped of all energy, which can take a toll on a marriage. There are other times when parenting makes our marriage so much more beautiful, interesting and so full of love that it makes it all worth it. We learn crucial lessons as parents and as spouses to one another.
Finances Become a Heated Argument (at times)
I’m in charge of our finances as far as budget and paying our bills, and as our family grows, budgeting became more challenging. Do you guys have any idea how expensive diapers are? Holy crap, they’re expensive!
With us both working full-time as well as working on our books and running a business on the side, and being parents, it’s important that we sit down and discuss our finances monthly.
When we work together and both have an understanding of our finances, it really allows us to be on the same page and team.
Give Each Other a Break
Work together to give each other a break from time to time. By letting your spouse sleep in on the weekend or help taking on some household chores allowing them to relax and gives them a much needed mental health day.
I always encourage my husband to go out with his friends every few weeks. I know he needs the break from parenting and spousal responsibilities, and he knows that I need the same, so we work together to make this work for us both.
We actually encourage each other to take some time if we need it, even if it’s just a few minutes to enjoy a hot cup of coffee in the morning or escaping to do some hard work for a few hours. We both enjoy a bit of peace without our children, and that’s perfectly OK!
Support and Be there for Each Other Regardless of the Season
One thing we do really well within our marriage is support each other. We have gone through a lot in the 6 years we’ve been married and almost 9 years of being together: loss of a parent, cancer diagnosis of another parent, surgeries, career changes, moves, infertility and infant loss. We’ve been through enough to break us, yet we have been supportive and been there for each other throughout it all.
My husband is my #1 fan. I’m not just saying that! He truly is so encouraging, supportive, and motivating, and I try to be those things for him as well.
We aren’t perfect and we still lose our tempers and argue at times, but we’re a work in progress. We are grateful to have each other and to have such supportive spouses.
Have an Open Line of Communication and Speak Your Mind
We are both guilty of speaking our minds. Sometimes we do this before thinking about what we’re saying, so there are times when we say things we really didn’t think through first that may be hurtful. We encourage each other to communicate and speak our minds whether it means discussing tough topics, serious topics or light-hearted topics.
Rather than bottling up what’s on my mind and then having it boil up inside of me resulting in an argument that probably wasn’t necessary in the first place, I’m able to avoid it through openly discussing it. I encourage him to do the same! When we’re upset or stressed, I want us to be able to come to each other and talk things out. That’s an incredibly important part of a marriage.
Our marriage is far from perfect, but it’s pretty darn perfect for us. We’ve learned a lot in our six years of marriage that have truly made us stronger. We’ve had our fair share of arguments and challenges, but they’ve only helped us grow closer and learn to work together more!
We continue to work, every day, at strengthening our marriage, planning our future together and regularly discussing our finances, our children and life in general. I’m truly fortunate to be married to my spouse, and I’m looking forward to all that the future has to hold for us!