My wonderful husband Robin and I recently celebrated 7 years of marriage! I can’t believe how quickly this anniversary has come and gone. It seems like just yesterday we were in Scotland and England celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary! We’ve been together more than 8 years now, and I’m constantly in awe of how smooth our marriage is. This article was actually Robin’s idea to write because we discussed how we think we can attribute our happiness and peacefulness in our relationship to a few lessons we’ve learned along the way.
I’d love to hear what lessons you’ve learned from being married and what you think is the key to a happy, healthy, and respectful relationship in the comments!
Recognize That Arguing Is Pointless
Robin and I don’t fight, and we never really have. We get along extremely well, in part because we are so similar and we want the same things in life, but also because if something bothers one of us, we just put it all out there and talk about it honestly. When we met, we instantly felt a deep connection, and that love and respect for each other has only grown over the years, which is why we listen to each other’s points of view, and we decide on the best course of action for the two, together. Whether we are deciding about what to eat for dinner, who will do the dishes when to visit family members, or how much to invest into our retirement portfolio, we are just totally honest and upfront with one another. By talking things out without getting upset, we avoid arguing. I can’t even think of a time he’s made me upset over the years. This wouldn’t work if we weren’t both determined to keep things calm and talk things out.
Always Remember You’re On The Same Team
Remember that in marriage and any other romantic relationship, you’re on the same team. It’s not me vs. Robin or Robin vs. me; it’s us vs. everything else in the world. We put one another first, and we never compromise on this. If you keep in mind the fact that you’re both on the same team, you’ll realize that not only is arguing or fighting totally pointless but that two people who love each other unconditionally are completely unstoppable and can make anything work if they work at it together.
Be There For Each Other No Matter What
There hasn’t been a single time in our relationship that I’ve ever felt he’s let me down. When I recently got into a car accident and had to go to the hospital, Robin dropped everything he was doing to come and help at the accident scene because I was so devastated and moderately injured that I couldn’t think clearly. He drove me to the hospital, talked to the doctors for me, and made sure I could just focus on starting to recover. When he woke up in the middle of the night upon our return from our honeymoon with an awful stomach flu, I stayed up all night and took care of him around the clock for the next few days. We know that we can always depend upon one another, and it’s more comforting than anything else in the world. Even when things get difficult in our lives, we know that we will always have each other.
Always Be Honest With Each Other
Going back to the first point of never arguing, we are always honest with each other. By being direct, kindly, of course, and honest with each other, we know where the other stands on things, which makes navigating life together so much easier. We recently watched a movie where a married couple was fighting in one of the scenes. Robin commented the lines of “They wouldn’t be fighting if he’d just tell her why he’s upset” (the movie character was hiding that he’d been fired from his job, and he was taking his stress out on his wife). It made me realize that we would never hide anything big or small from the other person, and we’d never lie to each other.
Be Willing to Adapt & Be Flexible
Part of being honest and not fighting is being flexible. I’ve heard friends get into big fights with their significant others over such little things as what to have for dinner or what to do over the weekend, and a lot of it could be avoided by being flexible or compromising. Sometimes I don’t want what Robin wants, or he doesn’t want what I want, but his happiness is more important than what I want, and he says the same about keeping me happy. If he has strong feelings about something or is really excited about something, he will tell me, and I am happy to do what he wants because he does the same for me when I’m really set on something.
A small example is sometimes we can’t decide what to eat. My favorite type of food is Japanese, and Robin loves really spicy Indian food. Sometimes, we will pick up or cook two types of food. Sometimes we will have Japanese one day and Indian the next. Other times, we recognize that we both really love Asian food, and we try a new Asian place or recipe as a compromise. By applying this to topics like planning vacations, decorating our home, visiting friends and family, spending and saving our money, and other things that come up in our lives, we stay happy.
Make Decisions Together
When he received a job offer in Connecticut earlier this year, a place neither of us had ever been and couldn’t visit before deciding to accept or not because of pandemic travel restrictions, we weren’t sure what to make of it. He initially didn’t take it seriously because it seemed too good to be true, but we sat down together, looked at his job offer, and made a pros & cons list about what moving to a new part of the country could look like for us. I was very excited about a new adventure but a little nervous about leaving behind the only home I’ve ever known. At the same time, he was hesitant about leaving a stable albeit “dead-end” job for something new somewhere unknown that was quite a detour from his normal work. By making up a pros and cons list and creating a mock budget based on a different salary for both of us, new cost of living, etc., we decided to move together.
I’ve heard of so many people who drop bombshells on their partners that they’re moving their family somewhere with no input from their spouse, taking out massive amounts of student debt to go back to school, buying a brand new sports car, thereby draining their savings without talking to their spouse about it first, or inviting their parents to move in with them and their spouse without consulting their partner first, and that’s never something either of us would do. This is just my opinion (this is my blog, after all, haha), but a healthy relationship involves equal input and consideration from both parties in all important things. That’s not to say we ask each other’s opinions on absolutely everything, but if it’s something I’d want him to talk to me about before doing it, I talk with him about it and vice versa. No one else’s opinions really matter.
Never Forget to Make Time For Each Other
We both agree that this is one of the most important things we’ve done throughout our marriage. Every day, we spend time together making or eating dinner together, going for a walk and exercising. At least twice a week, we go out and do something fun after work, like seeing a movie, going hiking somewhere new, shopping, or making an evening of trying a new restaurant. Then, once each weekend, we plan an entire day where we just spend the whole day together without distractions. Sometimes these days consist of us doing chores and projects around the house in the morning while listening to music and going to a museum in the afternoon. Sometimes we will take a day trip together and visit a new place, other times, we stay home and play video or board games, watch movies, and plan out the upcoming week. No matter what’s going on in our lives, I look forward to and am comforted by the time we spend together, just the two of us.
What have you learned from your relationships? Let me know in the comments below!
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