We were so young that I don't even remember if we talked in great detail about what our lives would be like. We knew we would have kids and that I would try staying at home with them but that's just about all we discussed. I don't recall us talking about money (perhaps because we didn't have any) or credit scores or any of the things that I think grown ups discuss before jumping the broom. We just kind of wandered our way through our twenties together. We figured out life and leaned on each other when our mistakes yielded unfortunate results.
I think that's one of the benefits of having married at young age. Neither one of us were set in our ways or dead set on how things needed to be. I think we have both learned a lot about what it means to be married and have a partner in life.
We often joke that if we had met each other right now in our 30s that I would probably have a long list of demands and requirements. Cause ya know, women in their 30s think and women in their 20s just kind of leap and pray it all works out. I am so glad I leaped.
I knew that I loved my husband and that I wanted to spend my life with him but I would be lying if I said I understood everything that marriage is about. I had no idea about what all it truly meant to be someone's wife. Now that I look back on these ten years I am so thankful for all the lessons I have learned. Here are ten lessons that I have learned during my first ten years of marriage...
Communication really is key. It is so important to talk about everything that needs to be discussed. I have learned that all topics don't need to be discussed to death and the issues that do need to be worked through need time and patience. It takes a lot of patience to listen when you don't agree with someone. Listening is huge but so is speaking up. You can not hold your husband accountable for the feelings he doesn't even know you have.
Don't try to read his mind, ask the hard questions. Instead assuming to know what my husband is thinking and feeling I have learned to just ask. It's much easier and it cuts out all the confusion, worry and doubt that you'll experience while trying to read his mind.
Have your own life. As a newlywed I thought that we were suppose to spend all of our time together when we weren't working. I was wrong. Everyone needs their own time as individuals. My husband and I each have our own hobbies that allow us to grow and have interests in something other than each other. I love having time to myself to recharge. I'm a better wife and Mom when I take time to focus on myself. Have friends, go out and do things that make you happy.
Children can change your marriage but they don't have to. Having kids will definitely change the dynamic of a marriage. Now that I'm a wife and a Mother I see how it is possible to put all of your energy into your kids and forget to save some for your marriage. I have learned that I can not allow Motherhood to completely wipe me out. I still have to "remain the same chick he fell in love with". (Yas, Kelly. Who got that?)
Money does not make your marriage go 'round. Money is a necessity. It's important. Building wealth and paying off debt doesn't have to be a source of tension for a marriage. During our first (or maybe second) year of marriage we participated in the finance ministry class at our church. The class talked about being a good steward over your money. We learned about how to think about money from a God led place. Because of that class I can honestly say that we have never fought about money. We either have enough or we don't. It's not his fault. It's not my fault. Our philosophy is that we'll earn together, save together and build together. Until we get to where we want to be we will be content with where we are and know that God will continue to bless us in His time.
Disagreements, fights and disappointments don't mean divorce. Every time we fall out with each other it doesn't mean our marriage is over. It's an opportunity to sit down and refer to lessons one and two.
People grow and change. None of us will remain exactly the same over our lifetime. I am not the same twenty-one year old girl that got married ten years ago. I'm a thirty-one year old woman who is not exactly like my twenty-one year old self. My husband isn't the same as he was at twenty-five. We will both continue to change. We may not always like the changes we see in our spouses but that's where that whole thing about for better or for worse comes in to play.
Keep people out of your business. When I mean to tell you that it is so important to keep folks out of your business and your marriage.... Everything isn't for everyone to know. If you have an open line of communication with your spouse then you won't have the need to call and tell everyone your problems. If you really must have a listening ear or a third party to bounce ideas off of make sure it's someone you trust. When I need to talk to someone I call my Mother because I know she loves both of us, she prays for our family and she isn't going to spread our business like US Weekly. If they don't genuinely care about your marriage, don't tell them your business.
It's not always about me. Even though I know I'm an awesome person I have come to learn that there are times when it's not about me. I can not always have my way. Compromise is a concept worth learning.
Pray. Pray with your husband. Pray for your husband. As Bishop Bronner once said during one of his sermons, "Praying wives keep praying."
What are some of your best marriage tips? What lessons have you learned as a wife?