Last month, Ryan and I celebrated five years of marriage….FIVE, y’all, FIVE. It’s crazy to think that we’ve been married for a whole hand of years now, AND we’ve been together for a total of thirteen years last month too. Thirteen years is a long time…Especially when you think of all the different life stages that happen in your twenties. Yet somehow it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long at the same time.
I could write an entire post on things we’ve learned throughout the years (hello, long distance relationship in college… you sure taught us a lot). But I wanted to keep this post geared to what we’ve specifically learned in the five years of being married. The truth is…no one has it all figured out. Whether we’re talking about marriage, adulting in general, parenting, or fur baby parenting. It’s all about learning how to navigate the sometimes smooth or rough waters that life has in store for us with as much grace as we can.
Now I could give you lessons like “remember to date your spouse,” which is important but that has been low on the list of lessons these first few years of marriage, at least for us… let me give you a little back story as to why.
When you stand at that alter and you promise each other, “in good times and in bad” and “in sickness and in health” you always imagine that the bad and the sick are far, far down the line. For us….it struck within the first few months of being married.
Within a month of saying, “I do” I had to have surgery to get my adrenal gland removed because doctors were fearful I had a cancerous tumor on it. Not exactly something a newlywed wants to hear, or what anyone ever wants to hear. I’ll spare you all the nitty gritty details of that story because it does end with a happy ending. Two weeks after having it removed I got word that it was a BENIGN tumor. You can’t even begin to imagine the relief you feel in that moment.
A few months after that, one of Ryan’s oldest friends passed away completely unexpectedly that really threw us for a loop. During all of this my mother-in-law was fighting her own battle with cancer that was ultimately lost a few months later. Oh, and did I mention Ryan was in his first year of law school during this time too?? You guys, this was all within the first 8-months of being married. I know things could have been much worse, but they also could have been better (if I’m being honest).
Now that we’ve covered that back story a little bit that’s why I felt more of a pull to share what we’ve learned since being married because there have been pretty important lessons that I thought might be helpful to all of you.
Let Your Spouse Handle Something The Way They Need To
It doesn’t matter if it’s your spouse, friend, or family member. Everyone is unique and different in their own way which means we all also handle situations differently. Most people handle things in a way that is best for them in that moment and maybe the best way they know how to handle that particular situation. It’s important that you respect the way your spouse needs to handle something.
Be Comfortable with Silence
Something I’ve really learned over the last few years is to feel comfortable in silence because there are situations that will arise in life where sometimes there just aren’t the right words to say that can make it better. There is also a comfortableness that comes with being able to sit in the same room with someone and be perfectly content not saying anything at all but just happy to be with them.
Good Communication Is Important
But you already knew this one, right?! Good communication seems easy but for me it’s always easier said than done. I’m the wife that assumes my husband knows what I’m thinking without me actually saying something and then gets annoyed when he doesn’t. It’s ridiculous of me, but it’s true and I’m working on it! Let’s be real…no one ever knows what you are really thinking or expecting if you’re never clearly communicating with them.
Remember That You Are in This Together
One of the great things about marriage is that you have this person by your side to share in all the wonderful and not so wonderful parts of life. Whatever comes your way make sure you handle it together as a team. Support and love one another unconditionally. At the end of the day if all you have is each other you have something to be extrodainarly grateful for.
Find Out Each Others Love Language
I didn’t really know that much about love languages until I read an article on The Everygirl about “Why You Need to Know Your Partner’s Love Language“. If you have a few extra minutes you should read the article and then take the quiz to find out what your love language is if you don’t already know. It can be extremely helpful to understanding and knowing more about what your spouse needs.