Friday, August 8, 2014

5 things i've learned in my marriage

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{photo by Amy Clark Studios}

Today marks five years since Shawn and I said "I do." I know, to some, five years isn't a long time, but to us, it sure is something. It went fast when I look back. And it's been relatively smooth sailing. Sure, every couple has their own trials and tribulations, but we've made. For five years - so far - we've made it work. Because, you know, love! Awkward, silly, infuriating, amazing love for a redhead I knew the instant I saw him was going to change my life.

And teach me about love and what it means to be one half of a whole. I believe every relationship offers lessons that teach us about people, about ourselves. Here are five things I've learned in my marriage:

1 // Communication is key. No matter what. Even when it's hard. This was something that Shawn and I struggled with because we were always trying to protect each others' feelings. And that just left a lot of things unsaid until we exploded, which wasn't constructive. So we finally communicated about the communication in our relationship. We started sharing our feelings, even when it was difficult. But it has made us closer. It has helped us to understand one another better. It has made our relationship stronger.

2 // Some things change. Some things don't. I am a firm believer that people can change. Hell, when I met Shawn, he didn't wear shorts, flip flops, sunglasses or hats. Now, he does. However, he still doesn't stray far from the gray and blue hues of clothing, or sports apparel, but that's what makes him who he is. That makes him the man I married. Yes, something about us will change throughout our lives, naturally, but some things will not change. We didn't marry each other for who we wanted each other to be, we married each other because we accepted each other as we are.

3 // Laughter is the best medicine. We laugh at ourselves and each other He's witty and talks in a funny voice, like Meatwad {Aqua Teen Hunger Force, anyone?}. I dance awkwardly and make silly faces. And it's so much fun and so refreshing in our marriage. Most of our arguments end in laughter, too. That's when I know everything is OK.

4 // Do the little things. This is probably a no-brainer. And because it's a no-brainer, I think it sometimes gets lost in our day-to-day routine. Shawn is so good at doing the little things. He remembers everything - even things I don't remember saying. He surprises me. He does nearly all the household chores. He's a rockstar. I tend to get lost in my daily life and am not nearly as good at doing the little things. It's something I'm working on because it matters.Those are the things that make me feel special, and I want to make Shawn feel that way too.

5 // Make time for each other. I am a busy body. Shawn is a home body. There are days we don't see each other much. Sometimes there are whole weeks we don't see each other but a couple hours at night before bed. There was a time where we didn't spend much time together at all, mostly because I was so busy with work and grad school. It sucked. It really affected our marriage. So we talked about it. And these days, we are spending a lot more time together - going on dates, spending our evenings drinking on our patio, making dinner, planning our future. We have to make time for each other. It reminds us of who and what is most important, and it reminds us of how much we truly enjoy being together.

Happy anniversary to my redhead. I love you long time.

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And two years ago today, at exactly 12:01 a.m., this little nugget made her debut in this world. I can't think of a cuter tiny human with whom to share such a special day. Happy 2nd birthday to my goddaughter and niece, Ava! I love you, and I can't wait to celebrate you on Sunday!


Shybiker said...

What a nice post. And smart advice. Being in a relationship is a test of who we are and can be.

Ashley @ A Cute Angle said...

Very thoughtful and smart post. Happy anniversary!

~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

#3 is so very important! Happy anniversary!

Jamie Vespa said...

So sweet! Happy Anniversary you two! I especially love #3. Our arguments tend to end in laughter too.

PS. I nominated you for a liebster award on the blog today -

Cece said...

The little things-love this one. My husband is also very good about being amazing just day to day and I feel I need to work on giving it back to him more. Happy Anniversary!

Erin LFF said...

Happy Anniversary you two!! :) I love your list and agree so much with all of them!! There was a time about a year ago I felt like Jared and I weren't seeing each other much either and it really did affect us! So important to carve out INTENTIONAL time together:)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, Holly. Happy anniversary and congratulations on five great years!

Lisa @ Two Martinis said...

I love how you say that some things change and some things don't. I feel like too often I hear that people DON'T change, but in marriage, both parties kind of have to - right?! I think a large part of marriage is challenging your spouse to become a better version of themselves. I know that I'm not the exact same person Tim married, and he's not the exact same person I married, but we're both improved!

Janna Renee said...

Happy five years!! I think that's amazing ;) Our next anniversary is five years, and it seems like a milestone to me. I totally agree on your marriage tips too.

Brita Long said...

I love hearing from happily married couples. I'm a newlywed, just got married back in March. Little reminders of how to keep a marriage going encourage me!

Brandi Kennedy said...

Congratulations on your first year! I love the tips you shared with us. I agree with all of them, especially with number four. While being married entitles you to the fact of keeping the romance alive, there is honestly nothing more romantic than being given the privilege of getting surprised by little things. It's true that expensive gifts and flowers are found to be romantic and sweet, but marriage is opening up to a lot more than materialistic entities. Getting home to a clean bathroom for one, is more romantic than chocolates, in my opinion. Hahaha! Thanks for sharing! :)

Brandi Kennedy @ Restoration Counseling

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