13 Lessons over 13 Years of being Married
Today I’m celebrating 13 years of marriage with this crazy below. Has every day been sunshine and rainbows, absolutely not, but no matter how bad it gets, I know Derek is always right there by my side. I thought it would be fun to share 13 lessons I’ve learned in the 13 years of being married. Of course, I’ve learned way more than just 13, but for the sake of this blog post, I’m going to stick with my top 13 lessons.
Within the first few days of being married, I quickly realized Derek isn’t a mind reader (and vise-versa). You have to tell each other what you’re thinking and what you want. I used to get really frustrated and annoyed thinking, why doesn’t he know this/ do this, but I learned that if I just ask him to do something, he’ll do it.
On the day of our wedding, a family friend said…”never go to bed mad”… and although I couldn’t fully understand it at the time, we now always follow that rule. No matter how mad we get, how frustrated we are, we always talk it out before our head hits the pillow. Derek also says it helps that I can’t go more than 5 minutes without talking, so I’m almost forced to resolve our issues and problems.
Going hand in hand with the above statement, forgiveness is just as important. I know this is sometimes hard, but do it anyways. The greatest reward comes from doing the hardest things in life. Keeping score or holding grudges is so toxic for your relationship.
It’s so easy to slip into a roommate state, where you’re both living different lives. Although you may have different roles and responsibilities, it’s important to both have the same end plan. Derek and I have very different days, but we are both working towards the same big picture and goals in life. Try not to grow apart, instead grow together.
It’s also easy to slip into the same old routine. Day after day, doing the same things over and over again. Try mixing and shaking things up. Plan a weekend getaway to somewhere new, eat at a new restaurant, take up a new hobby together, learn a new skill, anything to get you out of your daily routines. Derek and I always try to travel somewhere new once a year. We try to be as spontaneous as we can and try something new at least once a week.
I feel like everyone says this after their first year of marriage but being married is truly hard. Marriage is more than just a piece of paper saying two people are combined by law, it’s a fulltime job. Don’t go into a marriage thinking it’s going to be perfect and that you’re not going to have to work for it.
Growing up, we’re almost trained to think being number one is key. Being married is a partnership where no one should be keeping score. To be invaluable on a team, you have to work hard, have trust, and be truly supportive. Same with being married. Equal balance is crucial.
Just because you’re married, doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything or have the same interest. Being different is actually a good thing. Creating that perfect balance allows you to thrive in your marriage.
Treat them like you did in the beginning and there will never be an end. They call your first year of marriage the “honeymoon” stage for a reason. This is where you cherish and appreciate everything your partner does for you, before those annoying quirks kick in. Keeping your relationship fresh and exciting, is the key to never taking it for granted. Surprise them with a special gift for no reason, don’t forget about cheesy date nights, and compliments can go a long way.
Don’t expect your partner to make you happy. I know this seems harsh, but I hate that quote “you complete me”. Your partner can make your life fuller and he can bring out the best in you, but they shouldn’t be every part of you.
It’s so important to make traditions. Something that you can look forward to yearly. This may be holiday traditions, family traditions, anything goes. Example, ever since Derek and I started dating, we spent one afternoon in September to go to the Western Fair. We also have at least one date-night a month. You probably have a ton of traditions that you already do, you just haven’t really thought about them.
Marriage isn’t about the big moments, yet the little ones in between. We all look forward to the proposal, the wedding day, the honeymoon, the first anniversary, but It’s not defined by those Big Moments. It’s what you do every day that truly matters. From a simple kiss in the morning, to a smile when I get home, to a text mid-day to say he’s thinking of me, to a snuggle in the evening, these are the moemnt I look forward to most.
I think the most important one is to always keep laughing. Don’t take your relationship too seriously and always remember to crack jokes to put a smile on your partner’s face. No matter how sad, depressed or angry I am that day, Derek can always get me laughing. This is just one of the many things I love about him.