This week marks six months since I married my best friend—happy half-anniversary Jen!— and I’ve never in my life been happier. The title of this post should have been how to thrive instead of survive, because that’s what we’ve done as a couple. They all say every relationship feels different after marriage, whether you’ve been together one year or ten. Even if you already live together, which most couples do. I mean, I’m not about to marry someone when I don’t know how they put the toilet paper roll on (team over right here), or whether they rinse the sink out when they brush their teeth, am I right?
Anyway, there’s so much truth in what they say. It does feel different. The arguments have the potential to be more substantial, but the fear is gone. Your partner isn’t going anywhere. You’re bonded in way you cannot be with anyone else, and you’re in it for life. We have decades to work out any kinks, and I’m no expert, but here are some things I’ve learned in the first six months of my marriage.
- You know that saying “never go to bed angry?” Well, I think it’s bullshit in marriage. My wife and I have avoided dozens of fights by simply sleeping on it. She has an Irish temper, and I have a penchant for drama, so if it can wait until morning, let it. Chances are the issue isn’t going to matter nearly as much then, and you have all of the nights for the rest of your life so snuggle happily. It’s okay to sleep back to back and grab some extra z’s instead of hashing it out through the middle of the night.
- It’s okay to take turns. When I first entered Mia’s life, I was afraid to miss a single thing, unsure of where I belonged. If you’ve married into children, or have some of your own, I know it can take a while to settle in to parenting duties, but I’m here to tell you it’s okay to tag team it. It’s not mediocre parenting to divide and conquer, and you’re not a bad mom for need to tap out on something. Sometimes I don’t want to do the dishes, and sometimes Jen doesn’t want to play Barbies in the bathtub for what feels like an hour. Hell, sometimes one of us just needs a minute to sit on our ass and scroll Instagram, and repeat after me: that’s okay.
- Keep dating your partner. Chances our that when you met one another, most of your relationship revolved around dates. The goal is to impress, so the best restaurants are sampled, cooking skills are performed, tickets are purchase. We present the best of ourselves to our partners when we’re courting, but why do we ever stop? I’m so grateful that I’m married and don’t have to worry about whether I wake up with morning breath, and sometimes it’s easy and quick to cook up a box of spaghetti and eat off of it for a week. But please, for the love of all that is sexy, don’t ever stop dating each other. Splurge for a night out at that new local Italian place. Get a babysitter so you can go see a movie, or just so you can walk quietly around Barnes & Noble together (yes, we’ve done that). Whatever you love to do together, don’t stop doing it.
I’m sure it’s not just smooth sailing after six months. Money gets tight. More kids are born. Said kids grow up. Jobs change. My wife and I have been through some serious shit together, and I’m sure this is just the beginning.
My best piece of advice for
surviving thriving in this thing called marriage is to take it six months at a time, or even three months at a time. Enjoy who you are and what you love about one another right now. Look at your partner. You married your best friend. Who else would you be able to get through this crazy life with by your side? Shake off the mishaps, embrace the flaws, and celebrate the victories, because you’re in it for forever.
Friends, how long have you been married? What’s your best advice for thriving as a married couple? Let me know in the comments!
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