Catherine blogs at Cakewalk, and I’m pretty sure she’s who I want to be when I grow up. Her writing exudes wisdom, so when she mentioned using her decade-long marriage to give advice to newlyweds (like me!) as a blog topic, I was excited to see what she’d come up with. It’s great advice — and she was a gorgeous bride!
Ryan and I have been married for ten years, but since we met in high school, we’ve known each other for almost twenty. I can’t believe it’s been that long, but sometimes, it feels like we’ve been together forever. I don’t consider myself particularly romantic, and I’m by no means a relationship expert, but, after sharing my life with someone else for quite a while, I’ve found a few things that work well, at least for us. There’s nothing earth-shattering or even unique about my suggestions, so please take them with a grain of salt. Congratulations on this part of your journey, Shayla, and I wish you and Matt a wonderful day!
Love Story got it wrong, in my opinion, and if you really love someone, then you should always apologize when you’ve hurt them. This definitely applies when you’re married, and it can make such a difference when you are trying to work out a disagreement, which will definitely happen. I also think it’s okay to apologize even when you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong, because it might be just what your spouse needs to hear. Marriage is a huge commitment and takes a lot of work, and being able to give a little will save a lot of heartache. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes, so being strong enough to admit that to the person you love most in the world is absolutely essential.
Pee with the Door Shut:
I know it sounds crazy, but just trust me on this one! Living with someone for the rest of your lives obviously involves tons of intimacy and a lack of privacy, and I really think it’s important to keep some things a mystery. Sure, Ryan witnessed the births of both our sons and he knows I sometimes wear “support undergarments,” but he doesn’t have to know absolutely every single little thing I do, in the bathroom or anywhere else, for that matter. I’m not suggesting that you keep secrets from your spouse, but I do think it’s okay to keep him guessing, just a little, and he should do the same for you. Plus, nobody really likes bathroom noises, no matter how much they love you.
Spend Time Apart:
There’s an old saying that goes something like, “For better or worse, but never for lunch,” and I tend to agree with its message. Just as it’s important to put each other first and spend time together, it’s also necessary to live your own lives and take time apart, doing things you love and spending time with friends. To be totally honest, Ryan and I have very little in common, as far as shared interests, and I think this has been really beneficial to our marriage. We don’t share the same taste in movies, he’s really into homebrewing (I don’t drink), and I love to blog (a solitary activity). Still, we make time to spend together, and being apart gives us more to talk about.
If you don’t follow any of my other suggestions, please take this one to heart. Marriage is serious business, and with it comes a whole load of family issues and responsibilities, so if you don’t keep a sense of humor about it all, you will literally go crazy. When things get really harried around our house, which is often with two little boys, Ryan and I will just look at each other and crack up, because it’s the only sane thing to do. When times are tough or you’re mad at each other, put something funny on television and watch it. I promise it will make things easier, and you’ll be spending time together along the way. Ryan’s sense of humor is one of his best traits, and our ability to laugh, both with and at each other, has seen us through some hard stuff.
That’s my sage advice for any couple contemplating marriage, for whatever it’s worth. Being married is an experience that, with a little elbow grease on the part of both partners, can truly be a wonderful thing!