Hola amigos. How’s your world spinning? Ours is a little of this and a little of that, but all good things and I’m feeling pretty grateful at the moment. Recently, that husband guy and I celebrated 10 years of marriage and the nostalgia for all we’ve accomplished and endured together settled in. It’s crazy how a decade can seem so compressed looking back and so vast looking forward, isn’t it?
I’ve learned some stuff being married for a decade, and I thought, hell. What’s stopping me from sharing with you guys? You can thank me later 😉
10 things I’ve learned from 10 years of marriage
1.) Routine can be boring/a welcome comfort. I’ve learned that sometimes we get bored in our routines and need to shake things up. Trying new activities and exploring unknown places breaks up the day-to-day and gives us something to look forward to. Likewise, knowing what to expect after a long day at work or tough times provides serenity when needed most. Making sure to have equal parts of both creates excitement and contentment in our marriage.
2.) If I’m going to ask if the outfit looks OK, then I better be prepared to wear it. In the past, I’d often ask Joe what he thought of my clothes before going out. Then, after he stated his opinion, I’d over-analyze what he said. Nine times out of ten, I’d do the opposite of his suggestion. Over time, he stopped answering with anything useful because I never listened to him.
Let’s just say, I don’t ask for Joe’s opinion on outfits anymore unless I’m ready to commit to his answer. This goes with most of my other decisions, too. Asking for help and then denying my helper’s opinion is a waste of time for everyone involved, from what I’ve gathered.
3.) You can totally dislike someone you love dearly. Most times we adore each other, that husband guy and I. We just float along, happy as can be, enjoying each other’s company, quirks and undying attention. And then. Then there are times we want to poke each other in they eye because we’re doing ALL the irritating things ALL at once, and we’re so freaking exasperated with life and with each other and holy hell, who is this person?!?!
Listen. There are going to be times. Times I’m great, times I’m annoying, times I need to take a break, and times one of us needs a freaking nap. I’ve learned these moments/days are GOING to happen. Self-care, friends, and hobbies. We focus on these three in frustrating times.
4.) Friends and family are more valuable than gold. Joe and I share friends, have our own friends, enjoy friends who enjoy our individual hobbies, have friends who are there when one of us wants to strangle the other. We each have that friend who gets one of us out of a funk way better than either he or I can for each other. AKA: MVP friends. Friends make us distinctively more interesting and create opportunities for memories to share with one another, too. The same goes for family. We are surrounded by some incredible people who love us and who we love dearly. I’ve learned to appreciate them more and more.
5.) I don’t need to share in my husband’s every hobby. The first half of our relationship, Joe went skydiving every weekend. And for a long time, I’d go with him to the drop zone and spend the day supporting his hobby. While we had a ton of fun, I sort of got over it as I began tending to my own interests. I felt guilty at first, but learned over time that our intervals apart did us good and created narratives for later.
Besides – I am an individual, Joe is an individual – try as we might, he can’t get into crafting and I’m just not that into gun crap (his new pastime). He respects my passions, I respect his. I’ve learned I don’t necessarily need to participate in my spouse’s every diversion. Added bonus? Our separate hobbies have kept us from saying some things during a fight.
6.) Repeat after me: WALK AWAY. Couples argue. Friends argue, siblings argue, co-workers argue. Everyone who spends any amount of time together argues. It’s a thing. Google it.
Marriage includes quarrels, and I don’t care who you are. I’ve learned that in the middle of a spat that either one of us is getting too worked up over, walking away is the best option. Issues can be picked apart later, saying the wrong thing in the thick of a moment isn’t worth the fuss or the aftermath. And when all else fails, see the hobby thing above.
7.) Guys are weird. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. Girls are weird, too. I just mean that I get now that dudes and chicks will approach thought processes totally differently, and sometimes that can be confounding. Like, why, man? Why do they wash the floors before wiping down the counters? Why do they collect so many tools and bits and pieces that seemingly have no purpose? Why, for the love of everything sacred do they watch THE most boring things on TV?!? There’s no explanation, except that’s just the way guy’s think. I’m cool with that now, even if I don’t get it.
8.) I’m a strong women, and sometimes I forget that. Occasionally, I don’t even think about asking for help. Hang shelves? No problem! Arrange our schedule without asking for input? Guilty. Try to shoulder every burden without letting anyone else in? Ugh. Too often. I’m capable of handling much of what life throws at me, so I tend to just carry on without realizing I’m not asking for Joe’s help or opinion. I’ve learned the consequences: that husband guy feels left out and I often get overwhelmed and bitchy. Admittedly, I’m still learning, but at least now I know what my tendencies are.
9.) Depression is no match for pizza and beer. A decade of marriage and 18 years together means a time will come when $&*t gets real. We’ve been robbed, out of work, lost loved ones, had setbacks, done stupid stuff that we have to pay the price for. Depression happens, and probably the best thing I’ve learned is that when one of us gets in a funk, the other one’s job is to de-funk with something easy and distracting. Pizza and beer – or it’s equivalent – is one hell of a band-aid.
10.) Marriage is WORK. Perhaps I knew this all along? I mean, it did take seven years to get married. HA! Obviously, moments of sheer bliss happen regularly in a marriage. Otherwise, let’s be real: no one would do it. Maybe I’m jaded, but I feel like fairy tales are for courting. I don’t think either Joe or I have ever worked so hard at anything in life as we have for each other. It’s easy to be bitter after a fight, to get frustrated with irritating habits. It’s a hell of a lotta work to let those insignificant nuances go so you can enjoy one another, let me tell ya. Incredibly worth it, but a LOT of work.
So, there you go: 10 things I’ve learned from 10 years of marriage. Just a sampling, really, because I think I’m safe in saying I’ve learned far more…. When I ran this by that husband guy, he just shook his head like, why would anyone care? I guess he’s learned in 10 years of marriage to say, “you write what you want to, and I’ll support you.” Guess I haven’t been the only student here, huh? 😉
I’d love to know, what have you learned in your relationships? Please share – we can all use a little insight now and then!