Ever and I are coming up on out 9-year wedding anniversary, and it blows my mind. I can’t believe we got married at the tender age of 25, but we did. We had recently graduated dental school and thought we knew it all and had it all, and we were right about half of that. We had a lot of love and a plethora of dreams, and that was all we needed at 25. When I hear about people getting married at that age or younger, I cringe, but it worked for us. We enjoyed being newlyweds without the pressure of starting a family or a home immediately. We rebuilt a dental practice that suited the needs of our lives and the current times, we traveled, we spent carelessly (probably not the smartest move, but it may have been the only opportunity to do so and it was a lot of fun YOLO). Here we are, 9 years, 2 kids, and one forever home later, happy. These are a few things I’ve learned about being a married that has worked for us.
- Don’t be petty. I practice this in my daily life, and especially in my marriage. Don’t feel a certain way about every single comment, action, or incident. Not everything is about you, and we all have bad days and bad moods, and sadly, we tend to take it out on the humans closest to us. Work on this, and I guarantee your partner will too. I’m not saying to put up with rudeness or disrespect but brush off an eye roll or a short answer every once in a while.
- Watch your tongue. Words hurt, and words are not easily forgotten. Don’t say things you can’t take back, especially in heated moments, because feelings are usually amplified and it’s a true recipe for disaster. Don’t cuss or use offensive names because those words will only need to get harsher every time you fight to have the same impact, and you will run out of them sooner than you might think. Using words as a weapon can cause irreparable damage. Ever and I fight, but we never yell, cuss, or offend and to date there is nothing he has said that I can still be mad over. I hope he can say the same.
- Date and date often. The best part of a relationship is the dating at the beginning. Why does that ever end? It doesn’t have to. Sure, it’s a lot harder once you’re married with kids, but we make time for the things that we want. I try to get out of town one weekend a month with Ever. I’m blessed to have my mom and sister nearby to take care of my kids. I know that’s not always the case, so I suggest using a reputable sitter service for a night on the town. It helps hit that refresh button in your relationship, and you both remember what it feels like to enjoy each other’s company.
- Start something together. Ever and I recently started training for a marathon together and it’s been a lot of fun. We push each other while doing something that our bodies need. We run together while listening to different music, but we get far enough that we need a long walk to get home, and this is where we chat. We feel exhausted yet accomplished, and we are usually in the best mood (I’m sure it’s all the endorphins pulsing through our veins). I love that running is something we can do almost anywhere and while we are out of town. I think we caught the “running bug,” and we’re loving the time together. I suggest finding some sort of activity that you can do with your spouse, maybe hiking, running, or a class. Something new that you can start together and strengthen that bond while strengthening those muscles is always good!
I have written a similar blog post in the past with a different set of rules that work for my marriage, but just like anything, we evolve and grow as partners and add to our list of things that work for us. I love being married to Ever, and as much as I want to say it’s easy, that’s not always the case. Marriages are work, albeit one of the most meaningful and euphoric ‘jobs’ there is.
‘A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” Mignon McLaughlin