Last month, my husband and I celebrated five years in marriage. Some may say we’re still babies in the game and that we have a long way to go. But for me, I feel five years is certainly a milestone worth acknowledging. We’ve had the most amazing moments, but we’ve also had moments where I wasn’t sure how we could pull through. Being married to my best friend still gives me butterflies, but I won’t lie to you guys.
Marriage is hard and it takes work.
Within these five years, we have learned so much about navigating this life together, being parents, and being able to better understand one another’s needs. We also learned that in five years, a lot of things can change.
Neither I nor my husband are the same wide-eyed individuals we were when we first made our vows. We became parents. We got a house. We’ve changed careers. We’ve been unemployed. We’ve had financial ruts, and we’ve struggled with finding balance within our home.
When we first got married I imagined a life where we’d be on the same page and would never go to sleep angry with each other. But needless to say, all the cute advice we received prior to marriage has definitely been tested. I can tell you now that we’ve learned a few things along the way, and we’re still learning.
Here are five things I’ve learned in my five years of marriage:
Communication Is Key.
I know it seems like everyone offering marriage advice says this, but it’s true. Communication is so important. You’d be amazed at how something so simple could become something massive when not fully communicated. Talk through your thoughts. Talk through your frustrations. Talk through your needs. Your partner is not a mind reader. Learning to communicate in a way both voices are heard is essential. It’s easy to brush it off and move forward, but trust me…it always comes back up and it can’t be swept under the rug.
Never Forget Why You Fell In Love.
The very thing I love about my husband is also the very thing that drives me insane. It’s easy to forget what qualities made you fall in love with your partner when you’re also arguing about them. Sometimes those small nuisances add up, which clouds the very reason you fell in love in the first place. My husband’s tendency to be impulsive can be quite frustrating, but it’s also why I fell in love with him. I loved that he would surprise me or do something for me just because it was on a whim. Remembering that brings me back to a place in which I can tell myself he wouldn’t be the man I married if he removed that part of him.
You’re a Team.
My husband and I were two very independent individuals when we first met. Therefore, learning to work together as a team has had its challenges. There were times he wanted to go left and I wanted to go right. There were times I wanted to go up and he wanted to go down. We had to learn to play on one another’s strengths and provide support in areas where the other needs help. Every marriage has a system that works best for them, and my husband and I had to find ours. There is no who’s right and who’s wrong. There is no who won and who lost. You’re a team. If one loses, well, both of you are losing.
Share a Hobby.
Me and the hubs are the true meaning of opposites attract. This also means that we take an interest in very different things. But sharing a hobby keeps us close and gives us something to look forward to doing together. Although it is nice to have a few of your own hobbies, it’s also nice when we both can be complete nerds about a new fancy wine we found or a wine tasting party we’d like to try.
Don’t Compare Yourselves To Others.
Simply put, every marriage is different. What may work for one couple is not a promise that it would work for you. My husband and I actually had to unlearn a few things in order to start fresh on building our own foundation. Some things we find that works for us may be unorthodox to others, and some things are quite traditional. But, overall, it’s what works for us. Learn what works for you and your partner. It’s your marriage, not the world events.