I love being married. And as we approach our eight-year anniversary early next year, I thought of sharing some tidbits that I found made our relationship stronger over the years. My husband and I are the founders of Bride and Breakfast and Baby and Breakfast. But even being in the industry that celebrates weddings, marriage, and family, we too have had our up hills and tough roads to trek. I hope these will be something you take to heart and practice as you prepare for your wedding or go through your first few years of being husband and wife.
Marriage is about commitment–we all know that. But one thing we need to understand is that some things really need to be vocalized more than once. Some people say actions are louder than words, but my belief is actions and words go hand in hand. The longer you are married, the more reality sinks in, and you realize that it’s not always as easy or as romantic every day. It goes a long way when my husband tells me “Hey, you are the only one for me no matter how old we get.” I find myself asking him for assurance once in awhile even when there is nothing wrong with our relationship. When you are proactive in assuring your partner, insecurities and doubts are less likely to seep into your relationship. And yes actions are great, but words are also very powerful.
Sometimes when life happens, when family responsibilities take over our daily lives, we can forget to express words of admiration to our partners. It’s not that we don’t admire them, but rather, that we think that they already know that we admire them. And this may be the case for some, but not for all. Men and women both need to be affirmed. Whether it’s affirmation of physical attributes, accomplishments, or character traits, these compliments will allow your spouse to have the confidence to strive to be even better versions of themselves. You might think it’s cheesy but it’s not. As long as your words are true, then your partners should hear it from you.
Disagreements will always be a part of any relationship. Through the years, we have figured out that communication is really the key to solving any disagreement. But communication alone is not the only thing that needs to happen, otherwise, it will just be all words (that sometimes are so piercing it actually causes more damage). Communication with the mindset of listening and understanding the deeper root of the argument is a must. Often times when I get upset, there is a deeper reason that I didn’t even understand, not until my husband and I really start probing my personality, upbringing, and past experiences. And it’s the same for him. These things will always play a role in issues between husband and wife. So the sooner you both realize the roots, the better you can address them in the future.
Affection will vary from one person to another. It’s really nice to find out you and your partner’s love languages, which is basically the way you project and receive love. It will pave the way for more patience and love towards each other, even in tough seasons of your marriage. If you are wondering what the five love languages are, it’s quality time, physical touch, receiving gifts, words of affirmation, and acts of service. Try taking an online test, and see if it rings true.
I’m guilty of this. When my husband does something, I tend to already associate it to how he is. So when he does it again, I begin saying “You are so…” or “That’s how you are…”. But although we might be inclined to specific actions as people, we should never stamp judgment saying that your partner is just that and nothing will change. It’s not healthy. For one, they will feel that no matter what they do, you’ve already made a decision on their character. Two, what’s worse is they actually believe it themselves and start giving in to it since their closest ally, you, actually believe it about them. Fight the urge to put your partner in a box. Empower each other to break bad habits and improve each other’s character.
A great marriage will always take a lot of nurturing and a lot of work. I have not gone back to that time where I was doubting if I married the right man. My husband and I constantly try to put God in the center, knowing that our commitment is not just to each other but actually to God. Again, it’s not a walk in the park for us, but as both of us put in the work, God really does bless us with a lot of victories in our relationship. And with that, let’s just say that we still stand by our statement that, “Marriage is pretty amazing!”