First comes love, then comes marriage….and the Bam! You live happily ever after, right? Blame it on children’s fairytales or the rom-coms, but marriage is not always sunshine and rainbows.
Working 9 to 5
Just like any other relationship or partnership, marriage is a full-time job and it takes work. Marriage has its ups and downs and its success depends on how much work you and your partner are willing to put in. Needless to say, after 14 years of marriage, my husband and I have put in lots of work (and even some overtime!).
Marriage isn’t easy, especially with the various curveballs that life throws your way. Marriage puts you through the wringer. It tests you with regular stress on top of the ongoing pandemic stress, as well as finances, work duties, and children.
It takes a strong commitment to communicating, making time to celebrate the good times, and putting in the effort to tackle the challenges that come. Below are some things that we have learned over the years that help us continue to pick each other every day:
- Flying solo – YOU are responsible for your own joy and happiness. Spending time away from each other is just as important as doing things together. Time apart makes your love stronger.
- Acknowledgment – Everyone wants to be noticed and appreciated. A simple note or thank you goes a long way in letting your partner know you value all that they do.
- Pep rally – Be each other’s hype man. Be your partner’s #1 supporter. Letting them know you support them and are in their corner is key.
- Unplug – Put the phone down and turn off the television. This will allow you to be an active listener without all the other distractions.
- Think before you speak – Of course, we argue and disagree, but choosing our words and maintaining respect for each other helps cut out the pettiness and get to the real issue at hand.
- Team effort – There is no “I” in team. Cheesy, I know, but it still holds true. Sharing household and family responsibilities can reduce the resentment that might form when one feels like they are responsible for it all.
- Trustworthy babysitter on speed dial – Keep the excitement alive by arranging a date night once a month. Getting a babysitter for a couple of hours so that you and your partner can enjoy uninterrupted adult conversation and reconnect with each other is a great stress reliever.
Marriage definitely has its good times and its bad times, and it will always be a work in progress. Just don’t forget that you said “I do” for a reason. Appreciate the gift that marriage brings to your life, especially on days when you don’t even feel like looking at your spouse (lol)!