Today is our TWO YEAR anniversary. In some ways, it feels like I've been married to Jason forever. In other ways, it feels like we just got back from our honeymoon yesterday. I guess that's a good thing, right?
A lot has happened in two years, and in some ways, I think these have been the fastest paced years of my life. Through all of the transition, craziness, and just living life together, I've learned a few things. And when I say "a few" I really mean a few because I don't presume to know very much about marriage, especially compared to others. In fact, I'm sure years from now, I'll look back on this and laugh, but oh well. Here it goes:
Twenty-two Things I've Learned in Two Years of Marriage
- Sometimes dinner will be bad. Not the company, just the food. Dinner fails happen. No one is Super Wife. Or Super Husband for that matter (if your husband cooks, mine doesn't).
- The first few months (or years) can be tough. That's okay. Two sinners under one roof makes for some arguments, fights, and days where you look at your spouse and think, "What in the world are they doing?!?"
- Praying together, talking about hard things, and LOTS AND LOTS of communication and compromise makes those tough days (in #2) better.
- Although Jason is definitely the leader in our home (both because it's biblical AND I'd rather him be in charge), sometimes the most helpful thing I can do for him is take the reigns for a little while so he can rest from all of the responsibility.
- Don't forget to kiss everyday. Sometimes we'll look at each other on a busy day and say, "Have we kissed today?" Even if we know we have, we make sure to go ahead and kiss again :)
- Sometimes your spouse will let you down, and you'll let them down. When that happens, make sure you express what's wrong. And when you're the one who's let them down, own it, apologize, and then both move on. No one is perfect.
- You become one another's "pre-doctor". Anytime one of you is sick, or you think you need to have the doctor check something out, you usually run it past your spouse. That makes for some awkward moments that you can laugh about later.
- You're not the same couple you were when you were dating. You know everything about that person, and the "mystery" that you had when you were dating is [mostly] gone. But in return, you get SO MUCH MORE! Learning and knowing things about your spouse that they don't even realize is so much more fun than wondering "Where is this relationship going?" or arguing about what time he'll be at your apartment to pick you up for a date.
- Asking hard questions leads to amazing conversations. Sometimes not good or fun conversations, but necessary and really awesome ones. Don't shy away from the hard stuff.
- Buying a house together will result in rearranging furniture 5,398,987 different ways. Wives, that's our job. Husbands, just go with it. Also, if you have wood floors make sure you get those little velvet sliders before the rearranging begins.
- Being each others biggest fan is one of the most consistent ways to show love to your spouse. Take their side (even when you may not agree) when they complain about things. Cheer them on when they're struggling. Cry with them. Rejoice with them. Be the one in the t-shirt with their face on it at the finish line cheering the LOUDEST!
- Weddings are great. I'm totally a fan. I loved our wedding day so much. I loved planning our wedding. But Jason and I have had a lot of great days since our wedding. Your wedding day is the beginning, but once everyone goes home, you'll have each other. Let your wedding day be something you build on, not something that defines your marriage.
- Be silly together. If you're not typically a silly person, let your spouse be that one person in the world that you share your silliness with. If you are a charismatic, outgoing, and naturally a funny person with everyone (like my husband), make sure you reserve some of that charisma just for your spouse. Make them laugh a little more than everyone else.
- Trust each other. That seems pretty obvious, but sometimes it's the hardest thing to do. I don't mean trust in a "where are you going, who are you with, what are you doing" kind of trust. Obviously, it's important to trust your spouse in that way too. But it's important to trust that they're doing things a certain way for a reason, and that they have your best interest in mind when they do anything. It might not be the way you'd do it, but remember that usually there's more than one way to get a job done.
- Praise one another for your natural, God-given gifts and talents. Recognize when your spouse can do something you can't do, or can do something better than you can.
- Say what you think when it's good. If you look at your husband taking the garbage out and think, "Wow, I'm so glad I don't have to do that right now, I'm thankful for him," then say it.
- Don't always say what you're thinking when it's negative. If you're woken up in the morning by your wife and you think to yourself, "Could she walk any louder? It sounds like an elephant is walking down the hallway!" don't say that. That's a lighthearted example, but in all seriousness, many times our negative thoughts toward our spouse (and we all have them) will pass in a matter of minutes or hours. Most of the time, it's good to wait it out and see if the pass. If they don't, maybe that's a hard conversation to have to figure out why those feelings are there, but for the most part, negative feelings are emotional and unnecessary, and they hurt the other person more than it makes you feel good. Learn to hold your tongue.
- Find common hobbies. This is an easy one for Jason and me because we've always liked so many of the same things. But I know that the same isn't true for everyone, so find something you like doing together. It can be as simple as taking a walk together once a week around your neighborhood.
- Appreciate and participate in your spouse's hobbies. This one is harder, but equally important.
- Pray with each other. Pray for each other.
- Learn together. No one has this whole marriage thing figured out, but a lot of people have a lot of wisdom to share. Surround yourselves with couples who are a little farther along in marriage than you, and couples who are a lot farther a long in marriage than you, and learn from them. Then, turn around and pour into a couple who has been married less time than you. Just as discipleship is important in our walk with Christ, it's also important in marriage.
- Never stop dreaming together. I'm 100% the WOW person in our marriage. Jason is 100% the HOW person in our marriage. But even so, we still dream together. My prayer is that we never stop dreaming together.
Thank you for taking the time to read my crazy ramblings! I don't pretend to have it all figured out, or to even do all of these things every day, but we've grown, changed, and been sanctified so much over the last two years. I can't wait to see where we are two more years from now, and then two more, and then two more, and then two more...