To celebrate our 10 year marriage anniversary, P and I spent some time traveling around Europe. I’ve been posting about our trips, but I wanted to touch on how big a milestone this was for our relationship. Here are the 5 major things I’ve learned about 10 years of marriage.
1. Be each other’s biggest supporters.
I know my husband has my back no matter what. He may not always agree with my decisions, but he always backs me up 100%. This also means that I’ve learned not to complain about him to other people and instead be his biggest cheerleader. We all have off days and need to vent, but I don’t engage in this anymore like I did when I was younger. It’s just not healthy to our relationship.
2. Be equals in parenting.
We parent equally. He is able to run an entire household when I’m on a business trip and I’m always amazed at how many people are surprised at this. He doesn’t babysit the kids when I go out, he parents them. He doesn’t check out when they are sick, he is right there in the trenches with me.
3. Have different interests and hobbies.
We could spend 100% of our time together, but we don’t. He has martial arts and I have blogging and exercising. Sometimes we need a break from each other and that’s ok.
4. Express what you need.
Let’s be honest, your spouse cannot read your mind. I let my husband know years ago that I need affection- like ALL THE TIME. And I do my best to ask for what I need. If I ask for a hug he knows that I need one of those bone crushing hugs, not a weak one arm squeeze with a cell phone in the other hand. And I know that if he mentions that he hasn’t trained in a few days, that I need to acknowledge that and open up the schedule so he can get to the gym.
5. Don’t compete.
Don’t compete with each other or with other couples. Everyone has their own journey and we learned early that trying to ‘Keep up with the Joneses’ just wasn’t something we were interested in. We make our decisions based on what is best for our family and not because someone else did it. It helps us keep our sanity.
Ten years of marriage (and 19 years together) is a long time. It works because not only do I love him, I really like him too. P has been my best friend since I was 17 years old and he makes me laugh all the time. Marriage can we tough, we fight and bicker like everyone else and even on my bad days when I’m an emotional mess he never holds it against me. Our journey has led us through so many obstacles and learning experiences- the birth of our kids, home purchases, the death of loved ones, and having to adult when we don’t feel like it are just a few of those stressful situations. He understands my weird quirks and worries and I need his rationality and calmness. It just works.
Have you learned anything in your marriage? Please share in the comments!