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5 Things I’ve Learned in 4 Years of Marriage


1.  He’s not you – don’t expect him to be.   Maybe you’re a neat freak. Maybe you hate sleeping with the door open. Maybe you like trying new dishes. Maybe you like the forks to go tines-down in the dishwasher. And, maybe he’s the opposite. Just because these things are important to YOU it doesn’t mean they are important to him (although he has an equally long laundry list of weird idiosyncrasies that are probably totally different than yours). Let these things slide and hopefully, he will remember to close the bedroom door some nights, and, if he doesn’t, take a breath and hold your tongue because you didn’t marry your clone.

2.  What’s his love language?   Jimmy likes acts of service. I like quality time. If you aren’t sure how your spouse speaks “love” just watch how he communicates his love to you. Jimmy will wash my car or clean the kitchen.  Even though these are nice, I’d rather the two of us have a nice dinner without cell phones or go on a field trip to the museum. But, I understand that “quality time” isn’t his first (love) language so it’s not as natural for him to think of doing something like this. Nudging him in the right direction is fine but also embracing what he perceives as the greatest acts of love is going to make everyone happier.

3.  Take time for your relationship.  Relationships are hard and take work. They need vacations, too. Unplug and engage; your renewed devotion to your marriage will invigorate your soul.

4.  Allow your marriage to be flawed.  And, be ok with that. We are inundated with perfection via social media. It’s not real. Remind yourself of that. The best marriages are flawed. You read that correctly: the best marriages are flawed! How?  Because they allow their marriage to be a work in progress and don’t put pressure on it to be magically better or different or something they wish it was instead. Just live in the moment and work through differences as they come. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint and no one ever finished a marathon saying “dang, that was easy!” They are sweaty, tired, sore, but they are proud, accomplished, and happy.

5.  Support him – always.  Validate his hard work. Whether it’s helping change a diaper, working 9-5 at his job, taking the dog to the vet, paying the bills, or going to the gym. These things are making your life easier even if indirectly. Encourage his activities outside of your relationship so that he is well-rounded, confident and can appreciate your marriage even more.

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