Happy Tuesday, today is special in chez Lifestyle because Mr L and I celebrate EIGHT years of marriage. I can not believe we are at eight years which I think is a good thing since it doesn’t seem that long ago that I walked down the aisle to become a Mrs. We have packed a lot in to our eight years, an international move, six homes, a child and a dog. So never a dull moment. It is not my intention to speak of mine and Mr L’s marriage specifically or to speak in depth about him, we like to keep some privacy. I will say this. When I walked down the aisle eight years ago I knew I was marrying a good and kind man, a man of principle (sometimes bloody mindedness with an insistent need to be right.)A man confident and self-assured enough to support those around him, a man who raises women up and sees them as more than equal. A person who loves unconditionally and understands remarkably. Mr L has not disappointed. The type of personality I am, I had to be married to a man who I respected and who could be my partner in all things. A man who can accept my feisty side and encourage and support me. I am the lucky one I have found that. I have a partner in all its entirety, it is not perfect but its ours.
Today I want to share some of the observations and lessons I have found in eight years of marriage, these do not simply relate to marriage but to all partnerships,
- Marriage in unpredictable. Yes like life you can have an idea of what marital bliss will be like and then you are thrown a grenade and it becomes something else. I never saw us spending our lives living on another continent to our loved ones. Raising my child away from family, but it forces you to pull together and lean on each other. It tests the foundations of marriage.
- Your not the same person, your life experiences prior to your relationship are different . Your childhood and traditions are unalike. Navigating and respecting each others ways is part of the journey. Examples of this are should your stocking or Santa sack be at the end of your bed or by the fireplace? Does Santa wrap your gifts or not? Is Easter a time for lamb or ham?
- You get the marriage you think you deserve. A wise women once made that statement to me at school, at the time I thought very little of it, but whether speaking of marriage, life or friendships there is a real pearl of truth to it. If you have self respect enough to love yourself and show love to others then you deserve the same in return. Many partners will invest and reciprocate the same levels of love you show them. It is also important to remember you are the example of a healthy loving relationship to those around you, especially children and they learn how to love and give love from your example.
- Pick your battles, as you bed down in marital bliss you learn that you don’t have to win every battle to win the war. Either that or I am becoming so long in the tooth I care less. Now Mr L may disagree on this but I have tried in recent years to let things slide. I have made a conscious effort not to become a nag and ride his butt about everything he doesn’t do, (because I am sure there are things I don’t do, very few things but sometimes even perfect people slip up!) I am also trying to calm myself and consider is this issue really worth a disagreement and nine times out of ten it is not unless it is PMT driven.
- Marriage requires work, that doesn’t mean big extravagant gifts or hearts and roses (although all great ideas so Mr L if by chance your reading this don’t be put off.) You have to be that person the other requires sometimes and find common ground. It is so easy especially when you have small children to get immersed in routine and little person needs, you forget that you have needs of each other. My grandpa used to say that children flee the nest and you are left with each other so don’t forget that.
- Marriage has seasons, there are times when you require more from your partner or the balance changes. Life is fast pace and we all have times where things are not quite as we would want, marriage requires you to support and love your partner unconditionally. The roles could revers one day. Seasons in life and marriage are meant and you have to learn from each one.
- Don’t compare you marriage to other. Firstly nobody’s marriage is perfect and they are all different because we are. In the eight years I have been married I have sadly seen lots of marriages dissolve for many reasons but often I see that people compare their marriage to unrealistic expectations or society ideals. What matters is the two of you and how happy you are with each other. What others are doing or speaking about is up to them. I maintain if you were lucky enough like Mr L and I to have grown up with strong examples of marriage, it helps because you have seen the journey of marriage and the ups and downs required for true partnership.
- Love Languages. Something I discovered this year and I am using. You answer a series of questions and they inform you about your preferred love language. Mr L and I completed this thinking not a lot of it, we were polar opposites (no surprise.) My main love language is “acts of service” for Mr L it is “physical touch.” So in a nutshell I feel loved and appreciated by “acts of service” so for example if Mr L put the trash out, or I came home and the kitchen had been cleaned (your getting the idea) I would be in heaven. For Mr L he feels most loved if I give him a hug or hold his hand on the sofa ( not natural for me.) These are such simple things and I have noticed subconsciously we have been trying to appeal to each others language and although far from perfect I am quite amazed by the result. I was a skeptic but honestly humble pie I may need to eat. Would you like a post on the love languages? I encourage everyone in a relationship to take the quiz. Not only have I been grateful by the effort Mr L has made but it gives me areas at which I need to focus.
Do you have any pearly words of wisdom or do you prescribe to that mantra the art of a good marriage is two people who don’t want to get divorced at the same time!!!
Happy Anniversary Mr L here is to another year! Love you.