So, I’m watching this show on A&E, “Surviving Marriage”. I’m watching it, mentally pointing out all of the things they are doing wrong, from my vast knowledge as a wife of almost 13 years. That makes me an expert, right? lol I see two people fighting and not getting anywhere. To be quite honest, I’m looking at the man thinking “WHAT A JERK”! It wasn’t because he was a man. It was because he wasn’t willing to show this woman that he loves her. There is no room for pride in a marriage. I once read this cute little post on facebook. You know the little pictures with quotes on them that everyone feels the need to clog up the new feed with? Well, this one was cute. It was an older couple, like great-grandparent old. The quote said, “We’ve been married for 50 years because we grew up in a time when something was broke, we fixed it.” I had grandparents like that, married until the day my grandfather died. No one would have minded if she had, but my grandmother didn’t remarry. She’d had a lifetime with her husband and together they created a somewhat huge family of children and grandchildren. This makes me look at my own marriage.
My husband and I got married when I was 20 years old. That’s really young, I know, but we were in love. Careful, I may get mushy. I have often wanted to slap my husband up side the head so he will see things from my point of view, but I’ve learned that there are 2 point of views between the 2 of us. I have, however, learned to attempt to see his point of view. Do we always agree? No. Are we comfortable enough with each other to tell each other how we feel? Yes.
There is a certain comfort in knowing someone so well. We are not the same people that we were when we got married. We are different people, but we grew together, not apart. I like to say that we spent the first 10 years growing up together, now we are growing old together. I feel like it is true. We have made mistakes. Lots of mistakes. We didn’t always fight fair. (No, I don’t mean horrible adulterous mistakes.) We have always loved each other though. We learned to fight fair and think before we speak. We learned to be courteous to each other. It’s compromise and listening.
Do we still fight? OH YES WE DO! I don’t argue with my husband or disagree with him like I did when we were a lot younger. Back then, our marriage was so dramatic. I actually think that is normal for young people. Another thing I managed to learn, it’s ok to just be mad for a little while.
There were lots of times over the years that we could have called it quits. That brings me back to the facebook post. We fixed it. We didn’t give up or throw it away. I don’t like to sugar coat our marriage. We have worked hard for the bond we have, and I’m proud of that. I don’t need for people to think we are perfect. They aren’t married to us. We aren’t perfect, but we are mostly happy, and it shows.
Just a few things I’ve learned”
1. Don’t always tell your friends and family every little thing about your marriage. It’s none of their business and when you and your spouse make up, your friends and family will still think your mate is a jerk.
2. Like friends and family, don’t post all of your problems on facebook. Like your friends and family, when you make up, they will still think your mate is a jerk. Plus, people only get one side of the story. Amazing how it can all seem like nothing is your fault when you are posting that stuff.
3. Time. Give it time. Every argument seems so huge, when it’s happening. Take an hour or two, step back, breathe. It’s amazing how petty things can seem.
4. Let it go. Don’t say your forgive someone and then bring up something that made you mad in an argument 2 years later. Just let it go.
5. Trust your spouse. This one is probably the hardest of all. Don’t go through their phone. Don’t stalk their facebook trying to get the passwords to check on them. Don’t make unfounded accusations at your spouse/mate. It shows them you don’t trust them.
6. Don’t hide things. Your spouse is less likely to not trust you if don’t hide things. My husband doesn’t care for facebook, but he knows my password, because I gave it to him. We use each other’s cell phones. We give each other the option to be nosy. I love my husband, I don’t have anything I don’t want him to see. In turn, he doesn’t feel the need to go through my email or phone or facebook etc etc.
7. Put yourself in their position. It’s easy to know that you aren’t doing anything wrong. Or is it? How would you feel if the roles were reversed? Do you deserve a night out with the girls? Yes, of course you do, enjoy! Don’t turn around after a night out with the girls and be upset because he wants a night out with the guys. Why not? He deserves that night out too!
8. Don’t forget to make time for each other! I love my kids. I love spending time with them. My kids love that they have married parents, unlike so many people that we know. Guess what, marriage is work, it’s hard work. The reward is well worth the work, but you MUST make time for each other, even if it’s an hour in the evening watching “Surviving Marriage”.
9. Set realistic expectations. Do I enjoy jewelry and flowers? Yes, I sure do. However, that doesn’t happen very often. That’s ok. My husband is the most romantic man I know. He calls me every single day on his way home from work to ask me if I need him to bring home anything. He sends me a text every morning to tell me he loves me. I work night shift, so I’m just going to bed. When I’m busy in the kitchen or elsewhere, he makes sure to ask, “can I do something to help?” So, is it flowers and cards and love letters? Nope, it’s so much more!
Those are my pearls of wisdom. Now, I am not a professional, but I do have a bit of experience. Of course, I’ve only been married the once.