Tomorrow I will have been married six years to my best friend. We have been together since 2009 and were married in 2011. Our first fight was the day we moved in together. We learned a lot about each other that day and stuck through it anyways. Two kiddos, a house, and a dog later, here we are.
In these past six years, I have learned A TON about myself, my husband and the institution of marriage. Here are just a few I wanted to share:
1) Communication is vital, over-communication is better.
2) Listen to hear, don’t listen just to talk.
3) You can’t change each other.
4) Actually pursue each other still and date each other.
5) Know one another’s strengths and blind spots. (This is so vital I will write another post about it)
6) Have time for your own interests.
However, the number one thing I learned in marriage is: Your spouse can’t make you happy.
Strange I know, but truly they can’t.
They can do everything in their power to brighten your day, bring flowers or jewelry, make dinner, surprise you with something but at the end of the day…
YOU make you happy.
They can buy all those nice things and be all those nice things but if you choose to be unhappy in the process, it won’t matter what they do.
Happiness is a decision and the only one truly in charge of the emotions, thoughts and behaviors you have is YOU.
I learned this the hard way. I expected life to be roses and sunshine after marriage but the truth is marriage is tough. You must be willing to constantly work at getting to know each other, date each other and expect not to change the other person in the process.
At a Jerry Seinfield stand up show, he said “You can tell what decade a man got married in by the clothes they wear.” He meant that men usually stop trying to impress their lady after their wedding day and just wear what they have…forever. The audience was rolling and my mom and I were crying laughing because it was so true. It takes every ounce of Matt to go shopping for new clothes.
People don’t change unless THEY want to change.
This goes for you too. You won’t change unless you want to change.
I wanted to change and I wanted to be happier. I wanted to look at the world with more openness and happiness and I wanted my marriage to flourish because of it. It took time and I am still learning but I am much happier now than I was then.
You have the power to have the life of your dreams and to be happy in all areas of your life, especially your marriage.
Try this out:
If you are married or even if you are in a relationship, today I want you to write down:
- 10 things you are grateful for in your partner.
- Then, 10 things you are happy about within yourself.
- Lastly, write down how those 20 things help to make your marriage or partnership a happy one.
Need a little refresher on the goals you set out to accomplish this year?
Need a quick way to refocus, re-clarify and re-motivate yourself?
This workbook is short and to the point. Take a summer break to find out what YOU truly want to accomplish. Great things are going to happen for you in 2017, and now is the time to start!