Top 4 Things I Learned in 1.5 Years of Marriage
I LOVE reflecting. There is something so cool about looking back and seeing how far you have come. Reflection allows you to see progress, and helps you to put language to your future – where you want to go. As my husband and I celebrate 1.5 years of marriage today, here are the recent things I am learning in marriage I wanted to share with all of you.
1. The Importance of Follow Through.
Whether it is cleaning the dishes after dinner, fixing the leaking sink, or folding the laundry in the dryer.. when you follow through, it allows you to bring something to completion. It rids one thing off your plate, and avoids the all familiar [procrastination] that creeps in so easily if we let it. When we learn to follow through, it allows you to take control of things in your life instead of letting life continuously happen to you, and facing the potential consequences for not taking care of a task right away.
Example – procrastinating on a bill, forgetting and having a late payment. Leaving the laundry in the dryer, having wrinkled clothes when you want to wear that sweater you left in.
Although it may seem trivial, follow through helps teach you to be a planner and how to instill greater habits and disciplines in your daily routine.
2. Appreciation Goes A Long Way.
Thanks for doing the dishes. Thanks for taking the dog out. Thank you for driving tonight. Seem silly? Have you ever heard someone ask you to stop thanking them so much? I know I haven’t. Saying thanks and showing appreciation for your spouse’s actions is a really easy way to acknowledge the things they do, or say. Although praise should not be our motivation, it is nice to be noticed, whether it was intentional or not. Appreciation can remove the bitterness one may feel in taking on an additional household task and alter your spouse’s attitude in a given situation. It shifts the perspective from “I” to “we” as we realize we are working together to make life easier.
Think it’s pointless to have to say thanks for the small things? I can almost guarantee you it will help soften your next fight – to keep the laundry list of “things you didn’t do” out of your argument that you have been waiting to get credit for. So whether the giver or the receiver, remember appreciation goes a LONG way. Think about what you would want to hear, and provide the same support to your spouse.
3. Let Go of Control.
As a single, you get used to doing things a certain way, or maybe at a certain time, and this is how you like it to be done. I remember when we first got married – my husband and I used to fold the bath towels differently. Was it really a big deal? No, but when you are used to something happening a certain way, it can drive you nuts! My advice to all our couples out there – think about what you are trying to control about your spouse.
Is your desire for control or “my way” causing you to take on more than you can handle in the relationship?
Are you inhibiting your husband’s growth or demeaning him as a man because you feel like you are the only one that can complete a task to an acceptable standard?
Is this situation/task detrimental to doing it your way, or will you get the same result if you let him accomplish it his way as well?
Control will drive you to the ground if you let it. For individuals with strong personalities, stepping back can be a hard thing to do. Evaluate what you have on your plate and be aware of what you can and can’t handle, before a blow up happens. Marriage has two people for a reason – start working like a team, not like a boss.
4. Communication is Key.
Biggest root of almost every disagreement: miscommunication. Whether it was misinterpreting words, what you “thought” you heard, apparent body language – our perception can greatly alter the result of a situation. Albeit, you and your spouse may not have the same communication styles, but learning each other’s, will help you understand how your spouse operates and how to communicate TOGETHER.
As you develop your functionality as a couple, my advice would be over communication vs. no communication. As a married person, you now have another person to consider. So if your meeting runs late, your friend wants to come over, or you are going to end up spending a little extra money than you expected, giving your spouse a heads up will make them feel valued and a part of the decision instead of feeling as if they didn’t have a voice in the situation, or were left in the dark. As time goes on, you’re expectations of each other will become more clear, and you’ll soon learn what types of things are important to your spouse to be communicated, and which notices you may go without.