As we come up on our 6-year wedding anniversary, I’ve had the chance to reflect back on how much our lives have changed and the things I’ve learned over the course of our handful of years being married.
After 6 years, 2 kids, 2 homes and everything in between, I’ve grown more and more thankful for the marriage I have with my husband. As women, it’s easy to bitch about and bash our husbands and air our frustrations to our friends, but I’ve been trying really hard lately to focus on the good things that he does. He does a lot for everyone and so much good it's often overlooked. I lot of times I find myself taking it all for granted.
After being married to somebody for six years, you learn a thing or two. We've grown as individuals and we've grown together. You always hear 'marriage takes work' and that's proven to be true. It's a true commitment to one another that takes effort. Here are our lessons from our first six years married:
We are not the same people we married.
I know change can be scary, but honestly, the only constant things in life are death and taxes. Everything else is always changing, adapting, evolving – just like two people and just like a marriage. I am not the same person I was when we first got married. My dreams and ambitions have changed. My priorities have changed. My idea of a fun Friday night has certainly changed. I’m a mother – likely the biggest change of all. But I’ve also found my passion and am pursuing it whole-heartedly.
The man I married is not the man I’m celebrating my 6-year anniversary with, and I’m more than OK with that. I’ve watched him grow from an officer working the streets, to working on the SWAT team, and now as a detective. I’ve seen him go from husband to father, son to a friend. And I’m always amazed. It’s like getting the best of both worlds – a constant steady marriage to my soul mate, with the butterflies of being with a new person.
Communication is everything.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m stubborn to a fault. Especially when I think I haven’t done anything wrong. I also know that I communicate my feelings better in written words than in person. Silly, I know. But I’ve always found it easier to express myself accurately through writing than verbal communication. Regardless of how you communicate, you HAVE to communicate.
When something funny or infuriating or awful happens at work, he's the first person I want to tell. When my mom has pissed me off for some stupid reason, he's the one I go to. And when he’s done something to upset me, or that I don’t agree with, he’s the one I go to. Because nothing gets solved with side eyes and passive-aggressive remarks. It might feel good in the short-term, but in the long run, if you want things to change or improve, you have to talk about them.
We are not mind readers.
This goes for both people in the relationship/marriage. As much as I’d LOVE for him to be a mind reader, he’s not nor will he ever be. There are these weird moments where I swear he can read my mind and it freaks me out but ultimately makes me fall more in love with him because he knows me so well.
Aside from the freak one-offs where that happens, you have to tell each other what you want and don’t want. This goes for everyday things as well as your sex life – yes I just went there because it’s a hugely important aspect of marriage. If I want something specific for my birthday or Mother’s Day, I’m not going to dance around it and say I don’t want anything, then get pissed or upset when he doesn’t get it for me. I’m going to tell him I want a cake from my favorite baker, a new apple watch wrist band and some flowers. And to sleep in one morning. 💤
Make time for each other.
Whether you have kids or not, this still stands. People who don’t have kids are busy with hobbies, and friends and community service, etc. And it’s always easy to put the ones we love most on the back burner because we know they’ll still love us no matter what.
After kids, it’s hard to put yourselves and your marriage first. But everything else in your life will be so much better when you put precedence on it. A happy home is built on a healthy, strong foundation, and that foundation is your marriage. We TRY and I say this loosely because it doesn’t always happen – but we try to have us time at least once a week. Because it’s too hard to go out every week, and sometimes I just wanna come home and take my bra off and put sweats on and not have to go out in public. Sometimes it’s as simple as just turning of the TV and talking. Putting our phones down and connecting with each other.
Never leave without a kiss goodbye.
This is a hard rule in our house given his job, but it was a rule at my parents growing up as well. No matter how mad I’d get at my mom, she would NEVER let me leave the house without giving her a hug and kiss goodbye. It’s similar to never going to bed angry. You simply don’t know when a moment could be the last.
And a quick kiss goodbye even if you have been fighting or bickering, can help ease the tension and likely get one of you to start the conversation up first to clear the air.
Say thank you.
I feel like the words ‘thank you’ can be so underrated. I place a lot of importance on saying those words and having them said to me. For me, it’s an acknowledgment of something. A lot of times I feel like I carry the burden of the mental load. Doctor’s appointments, birthday parties, school activities, etc. So, when he tells me thanks for working from home to take care of Hud and take him to the doctor, or for arranging one of the boys’ birthday parties, for me it means he sees the hard work I put into it and is acknowledging it.
I always try to return the favor as well. For me, I hate doing the dishes. Mike always picks up that slack for me and I always try to remember to thank him for it – even if it’s just remembering to run the dishwasher and emptying it. Little gestures and words like that can make a huge difference in marriage.
I love where we are today and I look forward to seeing the next sixty years and beyond. Marriage is beautiful, it's messy, it's tough, and it's wonderful, sometimes all at once. What lessons have you learned in your marriage that help you most?
Written by: Abby
"I’m Abby and I’m a full time working mama to two little boys. In my free time – bahaha just kidding, I don’t have any free time. I attempt to read. Usually at night to help me sleep, therefore it takes me a lifetime to finish a book.'