10 Things I Learned in Six Years of Marriage

I won’t pretend to be an expert. For sure there are a lot more couples out there who have been married way longer and have gone through so much more in their relationships than Ian and I have. But I don’t want that to stop me from sharing some things I learned in being married for six years. It only seems like yesterday that we tied the knot. But it seems like forever that my husband and I have been living under the same roof. So as we celebrate our sixth year anniversary today, I thought of writing down some reflections on being wed and share with you some of our fondest moments as a couple.

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Many say it makes the difference between heaven and hell. I totally agree. Being boyfriend and girlfriend is very very different from being husband and wife. You will be with them 24/7 facing every decision, small and big. Here’s where the best foot forward no longer exists. Authentic revelation of one’s self will surface, and if you marry someone who values integrity, good character, kindness, humility and patience, then I’d say that’s a glimpse of heaven. And the opposite will drive you crazy, that’s for sure. Ian and I aren’t perfect, but I am so grateful that God allows us to strive to be better for each other, not because it’s easy, but because we made a promise we would.

I have a confession. I always have this mentality that my husband ought to know what I am thinking because we’ve been together already for quite some time. More often than not, it leaves me disappointed because he really has no clue what I am thinking. So I’ve learned that sometimes, the better solution is to really just open up and share what my thoughts are. He appreciates it more than just having to guess what I want, or what bothers me.

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Guilty. Having a kid is one of the most precious as well as challenging things that has ever happened to us. Desiring to be the best parents sometimes takes a front seat while being the best spouse gets thrown in the trunk. This is actually one of the most dangerous things you can ever do to a marriage. Because one day, your kids will live a less-dependent life from both of you, and you are left with a spouse who is more like a stranger. I don’t ever want that to happen to me.

This one I wanna write about as a woman. There will always be someone younger, prettier, funnier, cooler, and sexier than you. I make it a point to still look good for my husband (since men are really visual beings). But I strongly believe that your husband has greater needs than just the physical. They thrive on the respect you give them, they love being pampered and adored, and they wanna feel you see them as heroes, protectors, and lovers. I have strived to really make an effort to let my husband know how much I value and respect him. And when I do, he acts as if he can conquer the world.

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Arguments are inevitable. We had a tough first year of marriage. We said things that were hurtful and damaging. But through the years, I’ve learned that once you say something painful you can never take it back. Thankfully, holding my tongue during the peak of my emotions has always proven wise. We fight less and less each year, learning to let go of the small things and talking maturely about issues that really pierce our hearts.

I believe marriage is not give and take. It’s actually just give. If both of you have a giving mentality to each other, then imagine how much better that would be? Don’t be a bratty wife or a bully husband.

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My love language is service. So when Ian does things for me like run an errand or fix something in the house that has been bothering me, it makes a big, big difference to how I interact with him. It makes me more excited to also return the love in whatever way he feels love. Find out what your partner’s love language is and address it. Believe me, it works miracles in relationships.

Ok, so I bet most of you are thinking “YES!!!” or “OOOPS.” Either you are one who is guilty of being glued to your mobiles or you’re the one who is frustrated with your partner who is. This needs to be a conscious effort for married people. I call this the silent relationship killer! You connect with everyone online but disconnect with the most important person in your life.

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Ups and downs come. Failures and weakness happen. But both of you are in this together. Your partner doesn’t need scolding when they make an honest mistake. They need you to encourage and help them get back up and try again. This is easier said than done. But that’s marriage. It is never ever easy.

I say this without wanting to sound righteous or overly religious. Instead I say this based on how Christ has impacted my marriage. Many times Ian and I still don’t see eye to eye. There are times both of us don’t wanna give in to each other. During these trying moments, all I can do is come to Jesus and know that no matter how wonderful my husband is, he is not perfect. He can still fail me and hurt me. And I can do the same to him. So I go to the one who is perfect and the one who will never fail me, Jesus. I then realize that despite all the hurt we can experience in this world, we still have a perfect God who can comfort us and help us heal.

So there you have it! Some snippets of our six years of being husband and wife. And though I still have butterflies thinking of our wedding day, I think our marriage is something way more priceless.

P.S. – Ian also gave me the prettiest anniversary ring. Six stones set in my (favorite) rose gold, for six years of beautiful marriage! I can’t deny that I am one happy wife!

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Wedding Photo: Pat Dy / Photo with Ian and Matti: J Lucas Reyes
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