I am starting a new series this week and hope you all enjoy it – even participate if you want! I am surveying couples of all different levels in their marriage and all different personalities to see what their tips/inspirations and lessons learned have been over the years.
I strongly believe marriage is a choice every day. You wake up and you choose to love the person you committed to years before, and you choose to make your life and theirs the best it can possibly be. Marriage can be a lot of fun and marriage can be work, but overall marriage is compromise, growing together and growing as an individual. I love being married and I have only been officially married for a little over 2 years. I have already learned more than I thought I ever would about my wonderful husband!
Below you will find our top 10 to marriage after 2 years:
1. Laugh – Josh and I have been though some of the funniest, most stressful and toughest situations in the past two years but for some reason in the middle of the everything we will find humor in the moment and start to laugh together. Laughter has a way of making you forget what you were talking about in the beginning and start off together on the right foot. We love watching comedy together and love quoting funny shows and stand up that we have seen together. Laughter is a big part of our relationship and one of our favorite things to do together!
2. Avoid Electronic Distractions – Once a week Josh and I will try to step back from everything electronic. It is so easy for your time to be spent on the computer, watching television or with your phone – you often forget to do some of the simplest things such as eat dinner at an actual dinner table. When you turn off electronic devices you may realize how long it has been since you have just talked. Try going for a walk together in the summer to enjoy your city or town or learn to play chess together.
3. Make time for Sex – Yes, sex. It is one of the most intimate parts of a marriage and with stress, busy work days, TV shows and computers – couples are putting sex off until later…or never. There have been many studies that show when couples are having a healthy sex life they feel more confident in their marriage and closer to their partner.
4. Funday Monday– We call it Funday Monday. Every Monday a group of my girlfriends get together either at dinner, shopping or at one of our apartments to just gossip, vent and do girly things. While I am with them Josh gets together with his guy friends and is able to spend time catching up with them. I think there is something so important to maintaining your close friends and spending time with them on a regular basis. You are able to learn and talk to women in a way that your husband isn’t always able to, and the same with men – I can’t fulfill that part of Josh, and that’s fine! Get out and spend an evening every now and then doing separate things that you love to do with your closest friends, you will appreciate each other more – trust me!
5. Fold the Laundry – One of my personal marriage suggestions is to fold the laundry. I say this because I hate scrubbing pots and pans and Josh will avoid laundry like the plague… My point is, find what you each enjoy doing and do it – and help each other out where you may not be as enthusiastic. If someone cooks, the other cleans in our apartment. If Josh cleans the kitchen I am on bathroom duty that weekend – but find a balance and make it work. 20 minutes of power pickup around the house together will be spent much happier than one of you trying to do it all in an hour or so.
6. Keep Each Other Healthy – When you are married your life becomes combined with another and eventually with kids your family depends on you taking care of yourself and each other. When you are eating the right foods and working out, naturally endorphins are released in your body and you will feel happier and more fulfilled. Be each other’s accountability partner – find activities that get you moving and you enjoy doing. Get the junk out of your kitchen and only keep clean, healthy food in your pantry. By working out together you will be more confident with your body and proud to show of your good looking husband or wife!
7. Trust – Josh and I have been dating since we were in high school – after four years of college we can both say we learned a lot about trust. I am sure this will get easier as we get older, but currently at our young age there are still a lot of single guys and girls on the prowl. Josh and I have always had trust in each other and our relationship which helped us avoid many arguments that could have come up over the years. I know that Josh loves me and will always protect me and our relationship and vice versa. Trust can be hard, but working together and being open and honest about everything will help you practice trust in your marriage.
8. Write Your Dreams on Paper – A year ago Josh and I spent 20 minutes sitting next to each other quietly writing down all of our goals, dreams and aspirations on paper. Next, we spent time talking about them and making a combined “bucket list” which we still share and use today. We have about 100 items written down spanning from going on an African safari to simply having breakfast in bed together. Anything little and big we want to do together we have on a combined list – and we have a separate list of goals that are our individual dreams. Share your individual dreams with each other so as you make decisions in life you can encourage and plan to help each other reach these.
9. You Know Who You Married – I know when I married Josh he always would procrastinate, stay up late and thought bacon would make any food taste better. I on the hand watch bad reality television, arrive early everywhere and am constantly planning my next vacation. Although I can make salads and veggie burgers for dinner, there is no denying that two years later Josh will add bacon to his meal if given the chance, and he still has no sense of time at night and I love that about him. He puts up with my need to always have a vacation planned and puts his headphones on when Bachelor or Real Housewives comes on. We knew who we married and loved each other anyways. You find ways to make each others quirks work instead of trying to change and mold each other into who you want them to be.
10. Always Keep a Surprise up your Sleeve – Whether its a small text saying I love you, a surprise evening on the town, or a note in my work bag we both always enjoy surprising the other. I think we enjoy this because we can tell that the other is genuinely excited and grateful for the romantic act. For some reason even though we know we love each other, when one of us surprises the other – it lets us know you were thinking about us at that moment and makes us feel loved a little extra. It’s a great feeling to know someone is thinking about you, especially when that someone is your other half!
**Send me your top 10 advice/tips and suggestions of what works for your marriage**