Monday, July 1, 2013

Things I'm Learning About Marriage

Today is July 1, the first anniversary of the day I married my wonderful husband.

It's been a crazy year, with me going to school full time and working part time, him working full time and going to school part time. Only one more year until we each have our Master's degrees!

During this crazy year, I've learned a lot about marriage. We lived together for almost two years before we tied the knot, but it is true that some things change once everything becomes permanent. Today I want to share a few tips I've learned about marriage in the last year.

1. People say don't go to bed angry. That's true. But also know the difference between anger and mere frustrated exhaustion. When we both have projects due the next day and I get annoyed that the dishes aren't done after he said an hour ago he would do them, and it turns into a huge deal because I've barely slept for two days...just go to sleep. After a good night's rest, lots of things sort themselves out. Something that seems worthy of a fight when you're exhausted may not be a big deal at all in the morning.

2. Before the wedding, lots of people reminded us to keep dating each other. Sounds nice, right? But with work and grad school, dates seem to get pushed to the back burner. Once we decided that anything could be a date as long as we called it one, we got a lot happier with those quick dinners on the way to paint a set. Who says eating at Panera Bread in paint-stained clothes isn't a date?

3. Be spontaneous. Doing things together without a plan is a great way to keep up the romance. This picture of Sean (above) was taken one day last October when we decided to drive down to Watsonville to go apple picking. Afterwards we went to the beach for an hour, then had dinner in Santa Cruz. All with only the vague idea ahead of time that we would go apple picking "sometime this fall." It turned into one of my favorite days of the fall!

4. Remember why you fell in love. This is so important. Whenever I'm stressed out, whether it's something that he did or just something with work or school, thinking back to our early days of dating always seems to calm me. 

5. Keep learning about each other. We change as we grow, so his opinions on XYZ might not be the same as they were 5 years ago, 2 years ago, or even 1 month ago before he borrowed that book from the library. Keep talking, keep learning. Together.

6. Nurture the other's interests, even when your interests may not collide. Actually, ESPECIALLY if those interests are separate. We need our alone time. Not because we don't love the other person and want to be with them, but because nurturing our separate interests helps us grow independently which I believe makes our conversations more interesting, which in turn makes the relationship stronger. It can be hard to feel connected to someone when you can't think of what to say. But talking about our individual passions always seems to bring us closer together, even though the listener might not really understand everything that is being talked about. His HAM radio club, my painting, etc.

7. Keep having fun! Be silly, and enjoy your time together!

I know that as the years roll on, I will learn a lot more from this amazing man, and our marriage. I look forward to each moment!

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