Four years ago today, I married my sweet husband, Christopher. We’ve had a pretty easy time of it given that we’ve only had to move once (since our first place), haven’t had kids yet, and we still love each other now. But, you can’t have a marriage without some problems and issues that you have to overcome — at least I’ve never come across one that didn’t. Today I thought I would share four things that I’ve learned in the last four years of marriage.
- It’s often more important to listen than it is to be heard. I am so guilty of wanting my opinions and concerns to be heard above anyone else (especially Chris) that I ignore, or give enough thought to concerns of others. I want him to listen to me, so I have to be willing to listen back. I hate the thought that I can be one who bulldozes someone else because I can be so stubborn.
- Individual space is so important. I’m sure there are couples out there who do everything together, and enjoy it, and when I was younger, I thought I would be like that with my husband. But if you know Christopher and I at all, then you know that our interests our very, very different. I do wish that we shared a little more in common (like my love for running, and reality TV shows), but I’ve come to realize recently that having that time apart is so important. Because I have time to myself when I’m running, or writing, or whatever else I’m doing, I have something to share when we see each other at the end of the day. I’m also better able to appreciate that time we’re able to do something we both enjoy because we spend time apart.
- Going to bed angry isn’t a bad thing. I’m sure you’ve heard the advice that you should never go to bed angry. Whenever I hear that, it always reminds me of that episode from The Bob Newhart Show where Bob and Emily stay up all night arguing because they said they’d never go to bed angry. I’ve become a firm believer in not arguing about something when you should be sleeping because a)sleep is awesome and shouldn’t be denied, and b)it doesn’t solve anything, and can usually turn into a completely different argument by the end. When I choose sleep over an argument, I always wake up with a new perspective, and often realize that I was being petty or unfair, and we’ve saved ourselves a lot of extra hurt because we’re more willing to forgive when the morning comes.
- Your spouse cannot read your mind. This is one that I forget daily. I so wish that Christopher could just do what I want without me having to tell him, but it never happens. You need to communicate, and you need to be vocal about what you do or don’t want. I’m so much happier when I just tell Chris what I want him to do rather than giving subtle hints that there’s no way he would catch on to unless he was inside my brain. Maybe in twenty years, we’ll be more in tune with each other, but for now, speaking up and not being upset when he can’t read my mind is the way it has to be.
I feel so blessed to have found the love of my life so young, so that we can spend the rest of our lives together now. I have such a kind, selfless and generous husband, and I only hope that I can be that kind of wife to him. I can’t wait for what our marriage will bring in the future, but I am also so happy to live in the present, and appreciate what we have now and what we have built together these last four years. Four down, eternity to go!
Photo credit: David Dudley Photography