FIY These are not our wedding photos. This was actually a gorgeous styled shoot we got to be models for. Check out the feature here if you’d like! p.s. I’m kind of reallyy missing my hair like this.
On the one hand I’ve only been married for four short (immature) years, but on the other hand, I’ve been married for FOUR years!! Ha. I am no expert that is for sure, but I wanted to give a little insight and share some of the things I’ve learned in my marriage thus far. Hopefully some of you can relate and glean something from my experiences. So here goes, four things I’ve learned from my marriage in four years.
- Don’t sweat the small things. Honestly, this is a LOT easier to say or suggest than it is to live. I got married right after my 21st birthday. I had never lived outside my parents home, was still going to college, was admittedly a bit unrealistic when it came to having my needs met. Looking back, I can totally understand why I felt the way I did in my first year married. I was overwhelmed and had no idea how to adjust to my new life. I think one of the biggest hindrances was my self-centered attitude. I wanted my husband to be somewhat fairytale-esque without realizing it. Many times I went about things all wrong. Most of our arguments stemmed from our new found responsibilities and the feeling that the other person didn’t “understand” how we each were feeling we were being treated. I will say that I now let a lot more little things roll off my shoulders. Marriage is so much better when you aren’t caught up picking it apart. Little comments, the trash, the mess, small annoyances, differences in opinion or living, it doesn’t mean what you might think or matter as much as you think it does in the moment. I would tell my 21 (through 23 haha) year old self to stop treating each small thing as a big deal or making more problems for yourself. This leads me to number 2.
- Learn to communicate effectively. If I had to only give one piece of advice this would be it. Communication is something like the top reason many marriages end in divorce. It’s important. It’s necessary to be heard and to listen. My husband and I have had our fair share of struggles when it comes to communicating. One of the best things you can do is take a premarital class before you say I do, but even after you are married you can improve or altogether fix your communication issues. It doesn’t have to be counseling and it doesn’t have to be a big problem that needs fixing. It can be a daily process that you and your spouse both work towards. Read a book on communication, watch a video or TED talk, research information/tips, be actively working on how well you are communicating with and listening to your spouse. Best thing you can do for your marriage. My husband and I often have little arguments that now get solved simply by having a quick discussion, explaining our feelings, sometimes apologizing, kissing and moving on. Not to say they are always this simple or easy, but we find it is a lot simpler and less time wasted when we communicate well and take the tense emotions down a notch. Body language was (and is) a huge topic of discussion for us, too. Highly recommend working on that haha. Of course, we have only been married 4 years, but I’m writing this because personally I think our growth as a couple has been enormous.
- Love languages and roles. What I like to call the fun stuff! In the last two years, Jarrett and I have really focused on love languages and working on fulfilling each other the way we each desire to be fulfilled. A lot of times people try to show love the way they themselves desire to be loved. Let me say, it doesn’t work they way we want it to. Loving someone is, and should be, a self-less action. My top love language that I like to receive is acts of service, then physical affection and gifts. Give me a back rub every night and I’m set. My hubs loves to receive words of affirmation, then physical affection and acts of service. We both try to do small gestures that meet the other’s needs and wants. It is much more fulfilling and honestly when one of us feels loved and appreciated we tend to show more affection in return. It’s a win-win. Also, being aware and communicating with each other about what each of you expects of the other and what exactly your role is, is super helpful for any relationship. In our premarital counseling we were able to talk about what our expectations were and how we individually were planning to provide for our family/relationship. It sounds simple and obvious, but it is helpful!
- Keep the romance alive, but keep your feet on the ground. I can think of a lot of people(women) who want the whole fantasy. The all around great guy who does charming romantic gestures and at the same time has financial stability and wisdom beyond his years. First off, if you’re married, you get it! It is most definitely not like dating and it is not always romantic. Yes I 100% think marriage can stay romantic and fun and light hearted, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility, hard work, and effort, especially to work towards a future, a retirement, and a life of married happiness. I totally recommend having a regular date night, whether that comes every week or once a month, it’s needed. Date night or dating can mean getting dressed up for dinner or having a glass of wine in your pajamas. Intimacy can be experienced in more ways than one, yes physical intimacy is needed, but it can also be found in a deep conversation, in a moment of laughter, or even just holding hands without saying a word. Taking time to enjoy each other’s company is worth the effort. Make time to date, set aside money for date night and be smart in your goals as a couple! If money is tight, make date night a game of cards at home, a movie and popcorn, or a conversation over coffee in the morning, etc. You get the idea. Be together, reminisce about the memories and dream about the future. Make plans and goals, make budgets and save, laugh and be a team through the good and the bad.
Okay, that’s a wrap!
I don’t often talk about my marriage, but I thoroughly enjoyed writing this post. I hope you enjoyed reading it!