3 lessons from 3 years of marriage

I am so happy today! Why? Because it’s mine and Tom’s anniversary. I can hardly believe it’s been 3 years since I married the most wonderful man and the love of my life.

wedding picture

Photo from Edward Ross Photography

I can still picture myself walking down the aisle with the biggest smile on my face and the entire ceremony feeling like there was no one else around us.

Jennifer&Tom-1012

Photo from Edward Ross Photography

While the past 3 years have been largely amazing, there have been some hard parts. No relationship or marriage is perfect and when “they” say it takes work, that’s true. Through my past 3 years I’ve learned a thing or two or three about marriage. ;)

Obviously, I’m no expert as we are still pretty new to the married life but I think I have some wisdom to share.

marriage lessons

Photo from Edward Ross Photography

1. Build each other up, don’t tear each other down

The best part of being married is you have a life partner. That person should be your biggest supporter, encourager & cheerleader. 

People change and evolve and as that happens your partner may develop new interests or have new ideas. So when your partner says, I think I want to take a photography class. You say, that sounds like a great idea, I think you’d be great at that (Even if you don’t think it’s true). Not, why? You’re not going to be a photographer. It really is those little things and being each others support that make the difference.

I can’t even begin to tell you how supportive Tom has been of me. When I told him I wanted to go to makeup school, he was fully supportive even though he knew it meant me buying more makeup! And when I wanted to start my blog he didn’t say but Jen, you’re the most technology inept and disorganized person I know. Instead, he helped me with the set up and now is my biggest supporter. 

Also, learn to brag about your partner. When talking with friends/family it can be easy to vent about your partner and sometimes we do need that outlet but it’s just as important to talk about their positive qualities. I love talking about the positive qualities Tom has and what he’s done for me (see above). I want friends & family to see my partner in a positive light and the more I talk about the positive, the more I remember all the good things that I have to be thankful for. 

2. Communication, communication, communication

I know it’s cliche but truly I think communication is the key to a successful marriage. No topic should be off limits. Sometimes things are going to get uncomfortable. You are going to talk about things you disagree on or things you are embarrassed to talk about but it’s important. It’s all so, so important. 

Communicating about money is a big issue and one of the biggest things that come between couples. Money is hard to talk about but it needs to be done. These conversations should start well before marriage and continue throughout. The more you talk about money, budgets, common goals, the less awkward the conversation becomes.

3. Be Present!

I think one of the biggest downfalls in marriage is living together but not being present with one another. It’s an easy trap to fall into. You talk to each other about things like what to have for dinner, who is taking the kids to soccer practice, the water bill, etc. But you don’t stop to really talk to each other. 

Being present means being there and listening to your partner. Taking the time to put down your phone, stop email checking and listen to your partner talk about their day or things they want to share with you. 

It also means making time for one another. Life gets busy but you have to put your relationship as a top priority otherwise you end up as roommates rather than partners. What this means might be different for every couple. Some people might plan a weekly date night while others just need a TV show they watch together and cuddle to every night. It doesn’t matter what you do so long as you spend quality time together frequently and remind yourself why you fell in love with the person. 

What lessons have you learnt from marriage or relationships? How do you spend your quality time with your partner?

 

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