Eight years ago today, we said I do. Some days it feels like just yesterday and others it feels like an eternity.
Marriage takes work and it’s not easy. It’s a commitment and a choice to be with someone, to be partners and to be a team. I think I speak for both of us in saying that we are all in and happier today than ever. Every day isn’t hearts and flowers, but that’s life and I would not choose to do this life with anyone else.
I asked my husband for his thoughts too and here are eight collective tips from us on marriage.
1. Be each other’s biggest fans – This should go without saying, but I think it’s not a given for all couples. We cheer each other on and support each other in pursuing our dreams and career goals. A great example is this blog and my Instagram. My husband (who is not on social media) takes my photos, contributes to my posts and supports this creative outlet of mine. You don’t have to be into all the same things, all the time, but being proud and happy for each other is important.
2. Pick your battles – This is coming from someone who loves being right and loves winning. It’s not worth it. Think of it this way…if you’re in it for the long haul, should you sweat the small stuff or fight over nonsense? Unless it’s a fundamental, earth shattering issue (you should’ve probably talked about those pre-I do) then let it go.
3. Make time for each other – This one has become increasingly more difficult after having a kid; but it’s important to set aside some adult/couple time. We’ve taken a couple trip every year since W was born, and while it’s short, it gives us time to reconnect and have fun just the two of us. We’re usually a trio, but even on weekends once W is asleep, it’s nice to have a glass of wine and just talk.
4. Make time for yourself – Equally important is making time to foster your own wants and needs. From working out to self-care, we each have things we like to do for our selves to keep us sane and happy. Taking this time will also strengthen your relationship.
5. Laugh together whenever you can – Life is hard. Sometimes a good laugh is the best medicine. We try and make everything an adventure — whether it’s going to Costco or going on an actual vacation. If you find joy and laughter in each other, then you will be all the richer.
6. Apologize – If you didn’t follow #5…it happens, but learn to apologize. I’m stubborn and hate admitting fault, so this has been an ongoing lesson for me. I’m still working on this one. However, if I’m wrong, had an attitude or anything in between, acknowledging it and apologizing is the only way to move forward. Also, try not repeating whatever caused the issue in the first place.
7. Keep dreaming and growing – This one is big. Similar to being each other’s cheerleaders, you also should want to continue growing together. This year we set family goals for the first time and it’s been so exciting and gratifying. I love being able to plan for the future and get excited about everything we want to accomplish and experience as a family!
8. Show gratitude – This is something we’re also trying to do more of as a family. It’s so easy to focus on what you don’t have, but it’s so much more satisfying to be grateful for everything that you do have. Even something as simple as letting each other know that we are grateful for our marriage, our friendship, or family. It goes a long way.
I am so excited to see what the next eight years have in store for us. No doubt there will be good and bad times, but as long as we have each other, I believe we can overcome anything and only get better. To our marriage being line a fine wine.
Ivette (with some advice approval by Sam)