9 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Years of Marriage

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I was married pretty young, right after high school graduation, I was 18. Now I’m 28 and just celebrated my 10 year wedding anniversary.

This is us on our honeymoon in Hawaii. Crazy young love!

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It’s kind of a big deal to me.

Here are a few things I have learned along the way.

1. Stick up for each other-stay positive

Seriously, you have to be on each other’s sides no matter who you’re around: family, friends, co-workers, etc.  Don’t put each other down, It can be something as simple as saying, “Yeah, he/she is getting pretty lazy, the house is always a mess, or he/she never helps put the kids to bed, etc….” Sure those things may be true, but work on them in your own time, together. Try to stay positive at all times. Bring up your concerns in private and find a solution together. Bashing each other won’t solve a darn thing! We’ve had our share of this and it’s a slippery slope. When you start to talk negative about each other, somehow you start believing it… and it can be hard to get back on track.

2. Keep yourself looking good

I am a firm believer in this. My husband knew this before we ever got married. I truly believe keeping yourself attractive and healthy can go along way. Yes, it’s hard, but Anything worth doing, is hard work.

Start small and just keep encouraging/supporting each other. You will feel so much better!

3.  Be involved-truly care

Whether it’s your kids athletics, a new job, a new hobby… be involved and care!  Go to the game, actively listen to each other, support new hobbies that make them happy. Just showing up doesn’t count, you have to be hands-on, you need to truly care. This helps makes connections within your family and brings everyone closer.

4. Have lots of [alone time]

It brings you closer. A strong marriage is the first step towards a strong family.

5. Eat dinner at the table

I love how we eat dinner as a family each night, not in front of a distracting TV, but at our kitchen table. We talk and laugh. We have discussions. It’s amazing. It is the one daily constant that I think our entire family enjoys. Besides, I like having a table to put my plate on while I eat 🙂 Dinnertime is more awesome at a table! And we believe our marriage/family is stronger for it.

6. Be grateful

Don’t forget to thank each other, or do something special every now and then. Whether it’s arranging a night out for a surprise, bring home their favorite flowers/candy bar, or even a back rub…. anything and everything is appreciated. It will keep you both smiling!

7. Keep jealousy at bay-trust each other

Just trust each other as best you can. If there is a reason you feel like you can’t, then talk about it, so you can move on and have a fun relationship without worry!  Keep each other happy and you shouldn’t have a problem with this one!

8. Paper, Rock , Scissors

This game has saved us from stupid arguments countless times!  Who’s turn to change the baby’s diaper, cook dinner, take out the trash, mop the floor, etc…. You can use it for anything — Seriously, try it!  We don’t use it as much as we did when we were first married, but it helped us out in those first few years, when maybe you need it most 🙂

9. Never give up on each other-no one is perfect, including you

Not many people know this, but we went through a rough patch during our 2nd/3rd year of marriage. Going back to #1, this is really the reason we probably had issues. We felt like giving up, throwing in the towel, but we didn’t. We got some help. We were in marriage counseling for almost 9 months. It didn’t seem to solve all our problems, but it was nice to talk-to put everything out there for the other to absorb. I really think it kept us together during such a hard time, it kept us from giving up on each other. If we wouldn’t have tried counseling it may have ended, or we may have stayed together, but had more unhappy times. It was the glue that held us together.

Don’t be scared to get help from someone, to talk to someone. It may be the lifesaver you need, even if it’s just buying you time to remember how much you really do care about that person.

On a side note: during our counseling, we were in a ‘I don’t really like that person anymore attitude.’ But we still had some good times, it wasn’t all bad. It was more like 50/50, but we both wanted it to be 100% happy again. And that’s what happened. When you want something bad enough, it will happen, don’t give up and TRY your best!

I am so happy. 

Marriage is a rollar coaster, full of highs, lows, twists and turns. You have to go with the flow, don’t be too serious, be light-hearted, laugh, have fun, and enjoy each other. Don’t give up so easily. Don’t take that other person for granted. Love them with all you have. Marriage is not 50-50, it is 100-100. You both must give 100% all the time to achieve the desired results. You must put in as much as you put out. And if you don’t like what you are seeing, then change it, don’t just give up on it. I promise it’s worth all that effort!

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 12.52.43 PMOur 10 year anniversary date!  We finally hit the mountain bike trails in NW AR for 2 hours and had a blast!!!!  Then we got our grub on at Billy Simm’s BBQ!