I have been married for a full 16 months, so obviously I am the expert on all things marriage. Completely joking, but I have learned quite a bit over the past year and a half and my perception of marriage and what it looks like has changed a lot over that time period.
I am blessed to have been given great examples of loving and faithful marriages through my parents and grandparents and was able to learn a lot from their lessons and examples. A lot of what I have learned is just from my own life however, my day to day tickle fights, real arguments, waffle breakfasts, Netflix binging, road-tripping life.
Now these are my tips and tricks for a happy and successful marriage:
- COMMUNICATE!!: Now I feel like if you stop after this tip you are good, this is really the thing that matters the most. Whenever Nigel and I argue or we aren’t on the same page about something it always comes down to communication. Being on the same page about things is so important and it makes life run so much smoother.
- Take time for yourselves: I am an introvert so I need me time quite often, but with our current schedules I am often home alone a few days a week which gives me the me time I need. While Nigel is not as much of an introvert he doesn’t get any alone time unless he specifically tells me that he needs to be alone for a bit. Make time for yourselves.
- Enjoy each others hobbies and interests while not forgetting your own: It is important to do things together, especially things that really interest one person. For us that means that I have gone to Star Trek exhibits, and Nigel ends up at the library multiple times a week. Both of us however have things that we do on our own that the other person doesn’t need to be involved in.
- Talk: This sounds simple, but I don’t just mean about mundane every day things. I am talking about phones away, no distractions, important conversations. This can be around the dinner table, in bed before you go to sleep or get up for the day, or in the car, but it is important to take time to talk about things. This doesn’t always have to be serious or life changing decisions being made, but it is time together without any of the outside distractions that so often invade our lives
- Explore: I find there is not many things better for my marriage than doing something new together. This doesn’t have to be fancy vacation or something expensive, it can be as mundane as walking a new trail or visiting a new grocery store. Anything can be exciting if you decide to make it that way.
The past 16 months have been the best of my entire life. I am so happy that I have found the person that I get to spend the rest of my life with. Not every day is sunshine and roses, but as I vowed to him all those months ago,
“I promise to be with you through the laughter and tears and when those tears come to work my hardest to turn them back into smiles. I vow to fight for you and not against you, to be your greatest supporter and your equal partner in everything we go through. I promise to always be your hand to hold, whether in celebration, sickness, support or prayers all the days of my life.” – Andrea, August 21, 2016
Thank you Nigel for all your laughs, hugs, smiles, and support as I have dragged you back and forth across this country. I love you.