Last week, my husband and I “celebrated” having been together for ten years. We’ve been married for almost four years of that decade, and lived together for nine of them. It’s amazing to think how much we’ve changed since we were 22 and 24. At the same time, I see so many similarities in who we were then and now.
I’ve come to learn that no two relationships or couples are really the same. Each individual brings his/her own baggage (good and bad), so each partner *should* balance that out as well. Because of this, I’m not one to give relationship advice freely. If friends or family talk about it with me, I usually ask questions and encourage them to step back from the situation.
There are, however, a few things I’ve learned. Some of which you can only experience with the passage of time. Others, however, are just a change in mentality we should all adopt from day one of (trying) to be with someone.
Continuing to Fall in Love With your Spouse
I’ve talked before about how I hated planning my wedding and how, when he proposed, I didn’t feel ready. The first year of marriage included difficult times for both of us as we mentally adjusted to having just committed our lives to one another. The second year had far fewer bumps and somewhere in there, we settled back into just being us and learning to appreciate one another more and more with each day.
As your love matures with a partner, it’s less of an infatuation-love and more of an appreciation for all that they are. You’re past trying to figure out if this is the right person for you and more just settling into your life together.
Interestingly, but maybe not surprisingly, the times when I’ve made the biggest leaps in appreciating my husband are just after major events in our lives. My husband is a very calm guy who’s incredibly easy going. In the last few months before I lost my dad, I/we made a number of trips north – many of which were last minute. He was always so even-keeled and ready to say yes to whatever I/we needed to do. After things calmed down, I realized how much his support allowed me to handle my dad’s passing so much more easily.
Even most recently as the last few months and weeks of pregnancy slowed me down and frustrated me in new ways, he was there. Now, I say he was there is two ways. First, he offered to help a lot. But, and maybe most importantly, he understood when I wanted to do things for myself (without hurting myself). He knows me and understood that my transition to letting him do many things was going to be a slow process.
So, if you’re in those early stages of marriage, or you’re just beginning to think about marriage, all I can say is that if you’ve found the right person, the best is yet to come! You will experience new levels of love that you could never have previously understood or imagined.
How to Argue
So this is the thing I believe is the one approach we should all take (in relationships with spouses and everyone else really). Every couple has disagreements. These range from discussions to yelling matches for some. The thing is, every couple argues from time to time (even the really great relationships, I promise).
While you disagree on the matter at hand, however, the purpose of an argument cannot be “to win.” If your whole goal in arguing is to convince the other person that you’re right and he/she is wrong, then you’re both going to lose in the end. In reality, the goal of an argument should be to find a solution for both of you. If it becomes totally one-sided, then the argument will likely happen again and again.
If you adopt the mentality of disagreeing with the hopes of finding a solution, chances are high that the number of disagreements you’ll have will start to diminish over time. They certainly have for us.
I, of course, have other thoughts on handling problems in young marriages, but I think they’re not important enough to share here. If you let the relationship and the future solidity of your relationship take precedence, then there’s only good in store for you!!