1 – We give love differently and we love each other differently.
Have you ever heard of the five love languages? Words of Affirmation, Touch, Time Together, Acts of Service and Gifts. When Nathan and I were engaged we attended a few weeks of marriage classes with our pastor as we prepared for the big day. Part of the prep work was learning and understanding love languages and exploring what our personal language was and our partner’s. It was the first time I realized that we loved different and needed each other’s love in different ways. Five years later, that has not changed. Understanding each other is different is not enough. Instead, I have learned that having an underlying appreciation for the fact that we are two different people and knowing what may make each other tick is actually part of marriage success. I gauge our situations by trying to say things such as, “I feel this way because…” instead of starting on a “You did this…” By taking the blame off of the other person and expressing the way you personally feel is super important in validating the fact that we know each other thinks and feels different; therefore, we love differently.
2 – Communication is key to any relationship
I have learned this lesson through a lot of tears. The root of many marital problems comes down to communication. Uneffective forms of communicating can lead to major problems. For example, lack of communication can lead to barriers within one’s marriage unit. People are left feeling isolated and hurt. Poor communication can lead to missed opportunities and anger and jealousy. 8 out of 10 times a fight between Nathan and I comes down to one of us not communicating in a timely or productive manner. I have learned that neither of us can read minds. We cannot expect to receive what we want or need by expecting our partner to know. Instead, open communication is widely necessary for strong understanding and complete trust.
3 – A happy marriage is hard work
Good things are not obtained by staying idle. Just like hard work is required for success in sports, academics, work, etc, marriage too, requires two people to work together for the greater good of their union. The key is understanding this is not suppose to be easy and to also appreciate the fact that when things feel chaotic or unstable, knowing that all marriages require hard work and you are not alone. I remember after our wedding day and not long after we returned home from our honeymoon, getting in a fight. I felt terrible about myself, about Nathan and about us. Is this supposed to happen? Are we suppose to fight this soon? Are we not meant to be? When the latter question creeps in it can be so disparaging because you feel an incredible sense of guilt. I too often remember in that first year not talking to my friends or my family about our hardships for fear of being judged. Soon, though I realized I was not alone. Marriage is indeed hard work and it requires the same love, care and attention as children. Add in additional stresses that life brings and marriages can be tested. It can be easy to run, the fighting to stay is the hard and rewarding part.
4 – You Need To Be Willing To Ask for What You Want
This was not an easy lesson to learn. I still to this day must remind myself that I cannot expect Nathan to know how to “fix” situations or make me happy. Not even years of being a couple can make us so synch that we know just what to do. Sometimes, I have to spell it out and that is okay, and Nathan has to do the same for me. The key is the willing part. I have learned that you have to be willing to ask for what you want in order to receive what you need. Hoping for the other person to say or do the right thing gets your marriage nowhere.
5 – Love each other even when you don’t feel like it.
We are not perfect, incredibly far from it. Our marriage story is not roses and it is not pleasant in parts. We have had terrible fights, said hurtful and damaging things, we have gone to bed angry and we have had days where we just plain ignored each other, but through it all, we never gave up because we never stopped loving. On our best and worst days, there is a strong foundation of love. It is that love that keeps us going and growing and learning lessons along the way. I never stop loving Nathan. Instead, we love each other through our good and bad and use that love to always push us through.
I am a big sap! So this summer we celebrate five years of marriage! Pretty hard to believe. And because I am a traditionalist at heart and an even bigger sap than I let on, five years equals wood if you are into wedding anniversary themes. Therefore, I teamed up with JORD Watch (pronounced YORD) and their high-quality wooden watches to surprise Nathan a bit early. The watch is very unique, and considering Nathan was eager to wear is a big thumb up that Jord will never even understand. Nathan is not a watch fan and has about three still in boxes in his dresser draw. But this one, well, he actually, said, “That is pretty cool!” And, knowing my husband after five years, that is saying a whole heck of a lot!
GIVEAWAY: One of my followers will get a $100 gift code from Jord (pronounced YORD). All that you have to do is enter the contest with This Link. Everyone else who enters the contest will get a code for $25 off a JORD purchase. The contest ends on July 9, 2017, at 11:59 pm. ENTER HERE!