A day I will truly never forget. It was honestly the best day EVER, and you better believe I’m using this as an excuse to link our wedding video. I watch it honestly like probably at least once every other month, it just brings me so much happiness.
I won’t pretend I’m a professional marriage counselor, because trust me, I’m not but I do think I’ve learned some things over the past few years. I’m writing this with our 3 year wedding anniversary literally 3 days away and am doing some reflecting as my baby girl sleeps. So, what exactly have I learned over the past few years?
+ Communication is key. That’s basically it, you have to continue to communicate and talk to your partner about anything and everything, especially as schedules get busy, work gets hectic, etc.
+ Marriage is tough- sometimes, but worth it. Maybe one of you had a bad day and brings that home which then totally throws the other person out of whack. When you’re married to someone their emotions/ challenges affect you whether you like it or not. I used to have such a hard time when Joey would come home from playing a soccer game and if he lost, he would go into shut down mode and not want to talk about it for a few hours. That would completely just throw off my whole mood, not that I would expect him to necessarily be happy, but I’m the person who wants to bake cookies and watch a movie to decompress, not just shut the lights and go to bed in silence. You just have to learn to navigate things like that and not let it personally throw you off. Everyone handles things differently and you learn to realize that it’s not because your partner is upset at you. I do whole heartedly agree with the age old advice of “never go to bed angry” though!
+ Never stop dating/doing things you’ve always loved together. We’ve always loved going on road trips and have continued to do so throughout our marriage and even with Avery! We took her on a road trip up to Monterey Bay and had the absolute best time. We also have traditions that we make sure we keep, no matter how busy life gets. For example, we’ve always made our own Halloween costumes from scratch and that is something we definitely will never stop doing (I love it too much), Disney dates are another example. Whether it be with Avery or just the two of us, we make sure we’ve got plenty of Disney dates on the calendar (especially during the Holiday months when it’s extra special at Disneyland).
+ Memories & Moments become more important than physical gifts. Don’t get me wrong, I love a pair of Golden Goose shoes for my birthday and all, but I’ve realized that the little weekend getaways or concert date nights are more fun and worth more at the end of the day than a physical gift.
+ Make time for friends separate from one another. I think it’s important that you continue to go to brunch with the girls, shopping with mom, manicures with your sister, etc. I think it’s healthy and important to keep the friendships you held prior to marriage alive and prioritized. As we get older, I feel like friend groups tend get smaller and smaller, because everyone begins entering different stages of life at different times. I was one of the firsts of my core group of friends to get married and so my life became very different from say, my single girlfriends. And then I was pregnant and everything revolved around that, which made it easy to drift away from friends too, I obviously wasn’t the first thought of a friend you wanted to grab drinks with after work LOL. BUT I’ve learned how to navigate and prioritize time with my girls and I’m proud of that!
+ Little things become more important than the bigger things. I might be speaking only for myself here, but the longer we’re together, the more I begin to appreciate the smaller things that I realize Joey does for me, especially without me even asking. Lately, because we are on different schedules, he’s been bringing me home my Starbucks order in the mornings before I’m even awake. Or the nights when I work late and when I get home dinner is made and the shower is already running for me. OR when he realizes my car battery is significantly low and when I walk down to the car in the morning, he’s plugged it in to charge it for me. It’s those little things that add up and remind you that your significant other is thinking of you even in the most mundane or routine of moments.
+ Kids change things. Honestly, Joey and I are SO in sync with literally every other aspect of life but have learned that we have some different opinions on how we want to parent. Because of that, I think we’ve both learned a lot about ourselves and about our marriage. I think it was a big shock to us at first because we are SO similar in just about every topic other than some related to parenting. This made us really realize that we have to communicate differently and more directly when it comes to how we are raising Avery. I’ll give you an example- right now, she’s starting this hitting phase, where for no reason she’ll hit one of us or hit a kid that gets too close to her. Maybe it’s because of all the parenting books I’ve read, but I’m patient with Avery and know this is just a phase and that when she does it, I can hold her hand and look her in the face and tell her that hitting is bad and that she needs to kiss the boo-boo and apologize. Then we move on. Joey tends to want to be very aggressive and more stern with her than I will ever get. Who’s approach is right? Who knows, we just have different views on how to handle the situation and have learned that whoever tends to take the lead in an instant will do it their way and that’s fine. It’s nothing to be upset over at the end of the day.
+ Go with the flow. When you truly love someone, you learn to go with the flow over just about anything. We’ve dealt with moving cities, moving states, career changes, schedule changes, etc. But when you love someone, you just get through it together and realize that the only thing that matters is that the two of you are together.
+ You have to compromise. There’s no escaping it. At some point throughout a long term relationship, you’re going to have to cave and do something you don’t necessarily want too, just to make the other person happy. I’ll give you mine- I hate scary movies, but I’ll watch one if there’s a new one out that Joey wants to watch. OR when he wants to watch “the fight” thats happening on any given weekend and then the entire night becomes about the drama and history and record of whatever fighter he’s routing for, do I care about so and so and how he’s undefeated and how great a fighter he is, etc, etc, etc- nope, and I honestly couldn’t even repeat a lot of what Joey tells me. But I listen and watch and engage because I know it’s interesting to him. He’d say he goes to Disneyland for me and that’s his compromise, but I secretly think he’s come to love Disneyland just as much as me 🙂
+ Be honest. I feel like this goes for any relationship and any situation. I feel like honesty is really the building block of any successful relationship, especially one that is long-term, like marriage.