Today is our 4th Wedding Anniversary.
It feels like we just got married last month but so long ago all at the same time. We will be celebrating eight years of being together in March and it’s been such a great eight years, and the last 4 years of marriage has taught us so many lessons.
Ryan and I have a really good marriage. It hasn’t always been that way but we put a lot into our relationship because it means a lot to us. We’ve grown a lot since we first got married, and we have had many friends tell us “I want to have a marriage like you two do” or the similar. Which means a lot to both of us.
That said, today I am sharing a few things we have learned, and/or believe in, that help us love one another better and has made our marriage stronger.
*Note – this isn’t a how to run your marriage posts, or do these things and have a great marriage post. This is just a post about what works for us and what we do.
Before we got married one of the things we learned was to remind each other “I’m Not Your Enemy.” It’s easy to take things out on our spouse when they have nothing to do with the bad mood. We have had our fair share of days where Ryan comes home from work having had a very bad day and he flies off the handle about something I did and I have no idea why, that’s when I say “I’m not sure what happened today, but I’m not your enemy.” On the same token, there have been times where something has happened that I’m upset about and I get snippy with him about something and he says “Whoa. I’m not your enemy. I can tell you are upset about something but I don’t think it really has anything to do with me.” Our spouses are our “safe place” so to speak, so they become easy targets. It’s really important to remind your spouse that you are there for them, no matter what’s really going on – but you aren’t their enemy.
This can be taken in two ways and both ways are important. In life and in arguments. Let me explain.
I have seen so many relationships where one or the other spouse always get their way about whatever it may be – food, activities, arguments, whatever it is – because if they don’t get “their way” the other spouse hears all about it. Remember a relationship and a marriage is about both people. Remember to how your spouse feels is very important too. Ryan and I are really good about asking the other’s opinion and seeing if they have input. Sometimes we compromise, sometimes one of us genuinely is all for going with the flow and not having an opinion.
When in an argument, it’s so easy to say “YOU did this. YOU said that. YOU made me feel. Etc. Etc.” Automatically that makes the other person feel like you are attacking them, although that might seem okay in the moment the truth is, that is going to make them feel more defensive and make it harder to resolve the issue. Instead use, “When _____ happens, I feel like…” or “The other day when _____ happened, it really kind of frustrated me because ______”. Put it on your emotions and explain it. Ryan can’t read my mind and I can’t read his but pointing the fingers doesn’t help anyone.
We constantly thank each other for simple, easy, every day things. “Thank you for taking the trash out.” “Thank you for doing the laundry.” “Thank you for making dinner.” “Thank you for cleaning up from dinner.” All of the tasks are things that we naturally do but saying thank you naturally happens too. It helps the other person know we aren’t taking them for granted and we aren’t expecting things from them – we appreciate one another. I’ll touch more on this in just a minute.
Happy Anniversary Love!
Here’s to many more anniversaries, lessons, memories and cherished moments – a lifetime’s worth.
I love you.
XO – Kristina