Before I get into today's topic, I quickly wanted to remind you about tomorrow's Girl Chat link up - we are sharing all about our Valentine's Day plans!! We'd love for you to link up and let us know your plans! For all the details and upcoming post topics, check out last week's Friday Favorite's post.
You may be wondering why I am participating in this link up because one, I am not married and two, as I shared in my birthday post last year, I am actually divorced. However, I still wanted to share some things I have learned, as well as things I have observed from others on what makes a marriage work...at least in my opinion.
Know where each other stands. This is actually a really great idea to do before marriage, and even probably at the time you start talking about getting engaged. One of my closest friends got engaged a few months after meeting her now husband. Something they did to help prepare themselves for marriage was actually go through a book that was made exactly for that. I can't find the book online, but it was like 100 questions, or 101 questions to ask before you get married - something along those lines. Another friend mentioned that she has known some couples that don't talk about kids / the future until right before they are married, or are actually married. Maybe traveling is a big thing to you, having kids, owning a home by a certain time, going on family vacations, or being debt-free...just to name a few. I think it's important to discuss those types of things so you can get on the same page. And if you aren't on the same page, you will at least know where each other stands, which you can then take into consideration on moving forward. Obviously things can change, what you want at age 25 might not be the same as what you want down the road, but I think opening those lines of communication to discuss those big topics is a good thing.
Teamwork makes the dream work. This corny phrase is one of my very favorites, and I find it to be so true. For example, one of you may be extra swamped at work, and some of your household duties may fall to the wayside. Whether it be cleaning, getting dinner together, running an errand, having the other person step up to take that thing off your plate, even if it's normally "your job" can be such a little thing with a big impact. Maybe you just had a bad day and the last thing you want to do is make dinner when you get home. By offering to do that, or picking something off to ease the stress can go a long way. Or maybe one of you takes out the garbage while the other cooks dinner - teamwork. I also think an extra important thing is that this "team" isn't about keeping score. It's not, "well I did this last, so you need to do it now", it's about just giving and taking when needed.
Fight clean. When you are upset, it can be SO easy to take a dig, name call, or intentionally hurt someone with your words or actions. Restrain yourself. Words cannot be unheard. Actions cannot be undone. Whether it be big or small, those things can have lasting damage. While at the time it may be harder to take the high road, it is always worth it in the end.
Keep your expectations in check. One of my best friends told me this and I think it applies to a lot of areas in a relationship. Just because you are willing to do X for someone, does not mean that they need to feel the same way. They may show their commitment in a different way. It can even apply to gift giving. For example, he may think you should want one thing, when in reality the perfect gift for you is something else and vice versa. You can't push your ideas of how someone should be on them. You need to accept those differences and even appreciate them.
Be each other's biggest fan. Think your significant other is the best and deserves the world. Relish in each other's successes. I realize not all days will be peachy and rosy, but that shouldn't diminish the underlying support you have for each other at the end of the day. If it's a win for one of you, then it's a win for both!
I know that is the just the tip of the ice berg, but I am going to cut it off now, because five is my favorite number and this post would otherwise be forever long. So that's a little look at my take on making a marriage work, or at the very least, its what I think would make a marriage work for me!
What would your top marriage advice be?
Linking up with Shay, Erika, Jenn and Jessi.