7 Years & 7 Pieces of Marital Advice

My husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary in April, but my old-favorite anniversary is October 21st. Seven years ago K & I started dating (and 3 years ago he proposed!). Needless to say, today is the day that started it all.

Seven isn’t a celebratory number, but considering we got here without any break-ups or tragedies, I definitely believe in a few relationship “rules”…

1. Be Honest- especially if it’s troubling you
This is a total cliche, and I’m really sorry to start the list off with it, but I am such a strong believer in honesty. Don’t hold back from your significant other. When things are bothering me- especially if it’s something K did or said- I find a way to talk about it and tell him how I’m feeling. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, but being honest about how I feel or what I did diffuses the future blow-up.

2. Compromise
K wanted to stick with one dog and I was hell-bent on getting a second. It’s not that he doesn’t like dogs- he LOVES them- but he knew it’d be more money, more responsibility, more time. Well, as I’ve mentioned before, K works long hours and spends some weekends on the road. Since Lylee and I were the ones at home, he agreed to another fur-baby. We have compromised on television programs, cars, dinner, and housework, among other, more important, things. Compromise makes the world go round!

3. Knowing Your Limitations
K and I do many things together, but we’ve identified problem areas and we try very hard to avoid them. Need an example? Some couples dream of opening a bakery together or starting a marketing business. Not us. K and I do NOT work well together in a professional setting. He’s very aggressive and I am very competitive- it’s like a power couple gone bad. Long story short, if you can avoid volatile situations, identify what they are and avoid them!

4. You Don’t Have to Like the Same Things
I love asparagus, but K doesn’t. He’s a huge fan of Chipotle and I am definitely not (I know, I know- I’m weird). K likes Taylor Swift’s older stuff and I’m a fan of the new jams. I like theater and K likes Nitro Circus. What I’m trying to say is it’s ok to like different things and it’s even more ok to enjoy these things on your own or with someone else! That leads me to my 5th point…

5. It’s OK to Do Things Without the Other
Most of my friends are unwed. They also tend to live all over the state. I travel at least once a month and stay a night or two with friends… without K. He travels for business and I stay home with the dogs. Heck, last August I went to Williamsburg with my family and K went to Indianapolis to network. We need time together and we need time apart. Time apart makes the time together even more awesome. This works for us and it doesn’t work for everyone, but make sure to squeeze in some “me” time every once in a while.

6. Don’t Let Outside Pressure In
Oh man… I wish I would’ve learn this early on. K and I are +3 years apart and we started dating when I was 17 (he’s older). Needless to say, there has been a TON of pressure throughout our relationship. Now that we’re married, the pressure to have kids is ever present. We feel pressure to see family, work less, vacation more, have sex 8 times a week (newly-weds, right?), etc. Guess what… do what works for you and your boo.

7. You Don’t Have to Have it Figured Out
When you get married/commit to someone it’s essential to know who you’re marrying, but you don’t have to have a 20 year plan. K and I know we want to have kids, but we don’t know when and we don’t know how many and we have no idea how we’re going to discipline. K has a business and I have a very good job, but we have NO idea where we’ll be in 10 years. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve definitely got goals, but we’re learning along the way!

I hope I capitalized in all the right places…
I’m not a love guru and I make SO MANY mistakes when it comes to “us”, but these have been such important lessons throughout our relationship. What would you add?

-Louise

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