Today my husband and I celebrate 10 years of marriage. 10 YEARS! EVERY time I say it I shake my head in disbelief. I know there are people who have been married for a lot longer than that, some are very close friends, so I know that it happens. But for me, it’s a testament to how time changes a person and how much a person’s perspective can change. If you would’ve met me 15 plus years ago and asked me about marriage, I would have yelled a resounding, “NO! ” I was not interested, I did not believe in it and for sure, I would NEVER marry. Yup, at that time there were two things I was very sure about – NO MORE CHILDREN and NO MARRIAGE! PERIOD.
I just didn’t believe marriage worked. I had just finally moved on mentally from all the baggage of a bad abusive relationship and even before that, I was blind-sided by my parents’ divorce after being married for 20 years, so you see…in my mind marriage was NOT an option.
But somehow I was swayed. And now, after 10 years of marriage, I’m glad I was. I was asked by a friend, “What’s the secret?” And here’s what I said:
- There is no secret. It is all a big game of trial and error. Choose wisely.
- Allow your ego to move out. Your spouse’s ego will eventually get lonely and leave too.
- Be available even when you wanna yell, get the FUCK out of my face.
- Practice being the bigger person. Backing down is not easy especially when you know you’re right. (kidding, marginally)
- Ask questions, yes, even uncomfortable ones. Growth is inevitable, likes and dislikes change.
- Take time for yourself and allow your spouse to do the same, it’s necessary.
- Be willing to talk it out. Even when you really don’t want to. Sometimes you have to step away and come back.
- Phone a friend. (I’m sure I’ll get pushback on this one) When things get sticky a close friend will tell you the truth. Whether that’s, “Girl you are dead wrong!” or “Yup, he’s a dumb ass!” sometimes just hearing it is enough.
- Don’t take for granted they know, say I love you and give praise when it’s due.
- Make time for each other. No one knows you better than you know each other, it’s nice to be in that type of company. Don’t lose sight of that with the hustle and bustle of your everyday grind.
There are so many tips I could share but these were the ones that were top of mind. As you can see it’s not all perfect, marriage takes work, lots of it. Every day is not filled with rainbows and unicorns, it’s about how you handle the days that aren’t. This ride is an on-going lesson, every day I learn something new and every day I learn that I am more patient and loving than I thought and he is too.
Here’s to 10 more (unless he drives me absolutely batty…jk)
Got a great tip for a long-lasting marriage, we’d love to hear it. Please share below.