“A happy marriage is about three things: Memories of togetherness, forgiveness of mistakes and a promise to never give up on each other.” -Surabhi Surendra“
Before we got married people told us how hard marriage was, that it wasn’t a fairy-tale or a walk in the park, which it’s not. But we had been dating and living together for a while before making that commitment.You see, we did everything backwards. We found out we were pregnant after only 7 months of dating, we moved in together. Then, my husband adopted my oldest son, then we bought a house of our own, shared a joint bank account, and purchased 2 vehicles together. A few years after that we finally said “I do” and started trying for that 3rd baby. Sold our first home, and made a major move away from all that I ever knew.
We’ve lived as a married couple for almost 5 years fighting to not be another number on the statistics chart. I haven’t seen many marriages work in my life. I’m fact, I’ve seen many fail. For the most part everyone I know is on their second or even third marriage. Seeing this helped me to decide that I don’t believe in divorce. I believe that my husband and I committed to love each other through sickness and health, until death do us part. To me, that doesn’t mean when he’s healthy or when he has a cold I will still love him, that’s a given. To me that means no matter how much I don’t like him one day I will always love him. It means through the good and the bad and the very bad!
You may think 5 years, what does she know?! Well we have gone through more than most married couples ever should in 5 years. But we have grown and learned so much in those years.
Here are a few things I’ve learned in those 5 short years.
Communication is key! You will hear it a million times from every married person you meet. We lacked communication for a brief period in our relationship and it nearly broke us. This one was hard for my husband. We are night and day. I communicate about everything (especially stuff he doesn’t want to hear) I have no secrets, I hold nothing in. I’ve been this way my entire life. (Both a blessing and a curse) My husband however, is quieter. He doesn’t like confrontation, he didn’t care to talk about something if he knew it would cause one or both of us to be upset. Over the years he has realized that talking about something rather than avoiding it helps us much more in the end.
When you lack communication, your problems never magically disappear.- you may not think of them for a while, but they are there. They are buried underneath all the other problems you never talked to your spouse about, and one day you WILL explode!
This is a huge one for me. I am stubborn, and very set in my ways. My husband is stubborn to an extent but he’s much better at this one then I am. When I believe in something, whether it’s a specific form of discipline for our kids, or, dealing with my husband playing video games all the time. It was hard for me to get past how I thought our marriage should be, and truly enjoy it for what it is. When you’re unwilling to compromise with your spouse you lose the connection with them. It will cause fights and disagreements and it will cause tension that everyone can feel. Learn to make decisions together, and try things out to find what works for you both.
We both struggled with this one but for me trust is very hard, I have been let down and walked out on many times in life. I have felt abandoned and betrayed by both family and friends. People that I love. It took a very long time for me to allow my husband in completely, to fully trust him and believe that he wouldn’t abandon me. To let down the huge wall I built to shut everyone out, especially him. Since allowing him to knock that wall down, our marriage has been much stronger. With trust comes safety. I now am able to feel safe with my husband. When I have a bad day I no longer feel alone, even when he has hurt my feelings, the only person I want comforting me is him. Something about being wrapped in his arms takes every worry, stress, and heartache away. Trust is a huge deal in a happy and healthy marriage. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to give advice on achieving this one, since for me it came over time. It was baby steps, brick by brick and some days when I would worry again a brick would go back up. I can tell you to be patient, or for your spouse to be patient because eventually you will let that wall down and when you do it will open a whole new world for you and your relationship.
Fighting/ Disagreements/ Pissed Off
Suck it up buttercup. You’re going to fight, you’re going to disagree, and you’re going to piss each other off. More than once! Before we took charge of communication, compromising, and trust we fought, a lot! I use to wonder if it was always going to be this hard. If we were always going to have to work on not fighting. My stubbornness and need for communication played a huge roll in our fighting. I have to communicate every little thing with my husband and he never listened or from my point of view, didn’t care. We fought about the dumbest of things. From Helping out around the house, to money, to him playing video games. Don’t get me wrong we still argue and he still pisses me off, as do I him. But we have learned that yelling at each other only makes it worse. Going to bed angry with issues not yet solved really is a bad idea. Before, we fought about everything under the sun and it was constant, we were destroying our relationship and destroying each other. One day we both had enough! We talked. Really talked, about everything. Since than we have been able to work together and build our relationship up to something it has never been before. Once you realize that you can’t change who someone is, you can only compromise through communication your marriage will be much smoother. We are both happy and have transformed our relationship in so many ways. What we were before is unrecognizable to what we are now.
Out of everything we fought about, money was the biggest one, living paycheck to paycheck. Trying to make ends meet comfortably, it was hard. We were both stressed and overwhelmed. We fought about it all the time, rather than realizing we weren’t in this alone. This effected both of us in the same ways. We were fighting over something that we couldn’t control. Instead, we should have been there to have the others back when the overwhelming feeling sunk in and we felt hopeless. We should have comforted each other instead of playing the blame game. -which got us nowhere, every time!!!
I don’t have a perfect marriage, nor do I want one. Sure I still don’t like the occasional arguments but everything we have gone through, has helped us to grow both individually and together, to be stronger, to work together, and to need each other. Before, we only wanted each other. We didn’t truly need each other- there is a big difference. I’ve learned that yelling at my husband gets me nowhere, but talking to him like an equal does. He’s learned to listen more and that when I do get in a mood and act like a butthole to simply say “but, I love you.” And it stops me dead in my tracks. How do you continue to be angry at someone when they say they love you? I’ve learned to put my stubbornness aside and to muster up an apology even when it taste bitter and to show that I still love him, even on the days that I don’t necessarily like him.
He has grown to be my best friend (even though he hates that saying because he thinks it makes us sound like loners-which we are! Kids will do that to you…) he has become my other half, and has helped to heal me in ways I never thought someone else could. He has taught me to battle my demons and face them head on and he has helped me to be a better person. He has shown me compassion when I didn’t deserve it and love when i wanted to punch him in the face. He has held me when all I wanted to do was run and if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be the person or mother that I am today.
Marriage is hard! It’s dirty, and it’s not always fun. It’s scary, beautiful, and at times, totally disgusting. But it is worth it! Every fight, every battle wound, they don’t compare to the love that you can grow together. The love that makes your kids say “gross!!!” That’s when you know you’re doing it right!