Our 7 year anniversary is coming up! I honestly had no idea what this season could look like. My parents were divorced for most of my life so I’ve never seen marriage from the inside.
Though I have learned a lot about marriage from books and marriage counseling, there’s so much about marriage that is unsaid. So I thought it was time to highlight those unsaid facts.
Not to mention with a close friend of mine having recently tied the knot, I’m just full of advice to encourage her marriage to thrive.
1. Not everyone will support your marriage.
Once you say I do, be on the look out for those who say, “we don’t!”. Friends, family, colleagues from work and strangers on the streets will do their best to encourage your divorce. It’s insane!
A great way to counter these attacks is to not inform others every time you and your spouse are having an argument or disagreement. You’re inviting the input of others and it’s hard for everyone to give sound advice.
You’ve got to guard your marriage. Don’t talk with groups about your spouse’s flaws. If the person you are talking to is someone that will not push you and your spouse closer together and will not keep your conversation private, then they are not the person to open up to.
2. The one you say “I do” to is not necessarily the one you will be married to in a few years.
You ever bump into a friend you haven’t seen since you were kids or just in a year or so and they are completely different?! Maybe they went through a life changing event or maybe they just finally let out a side of themselves they kept hidden for years.
Be willing to experience this with your spouse. You will go through different life altering events that can bring out new sides of yourselves that you never saw coming.
I didn’t realize “for better or worst” meant different sides of their personalities. I look at my husband today and he is definitely not the same man I married. And then when I take a closer look at his qualities, I realize that a huge reason for this is because he’s taken qualities of my personality and applied it to his. As have I with different aspects of his personality.
This could bring out the better in your spouse or the worst ? You might learn a lot about yourself from the qualities you now see in your spouse. This could look like things you need to change in yourself in order to change them within your mate.
Either way, be willing to relearn your spouse’s likes and dislikes. This is a big reason to keep dating while married.
3. Divorce starts in your mind before it’s on paper.
When we tied the knot, we had this idea in our heads that we would stay away from the “D” word. I figured that this would be as easy as never signing on the dotted line. But you can just as easily begin to build walls in your heart against your spouse that cause you to simply be roommates.
One of the core reasons we get married is because that person we love is our best friend. But what happens once that person becomes an acquaintance? I believe this is where divorce starts.
It’s so important to remain friends and enjoy just hanging out together. There will be times it’s more important to share exciting news with your spouse before you go to a close friend from work. Times when you ask your spouse’s opinion on a situation going on in your life that he likely won’t have the advice you’re in need of. These are things best friends do and it solidifies their relationship. Keep your spouse as your first point of contact for all bits of information important to you, (it doesn’t have to necessarily be important to your spouse).
4. Those bad habits you’ve noticed at the beginning of your marriage that you’ve insisted will stop…
Just decide if something like that is worth getting a divorce over. Because the more you nag your spouse about this is the more it will escalate into the definition of their love to you.
5. Be prepared to potentially switch roles in the home even if you don’t want to.
I always had the old school “Flintstones” idea in my head. The wife at home with the kids and the husband at his 9-5 job. Wife cooks and cleans. She makes holiday meals and decorates.
There were times my husband couldn’t find a job as easily as I could, so he stayed home with the kids. There were times I was not capable of keeping up with household duties and the kids while battling depression. So my husband had to come home after work to help make dinner and clean.
In these moments we didn’t necessarily want to be following these roles. But it was what we needed to do for our home.
Some impressive switches that happened was, my husband some how learned to cook my traditional Caribbean Christmas meals better than I could. I am so proud and happy to have him out-do me.
Marriage is not just a fun journey of making babies and being romantic. It can be an outright warzone. But be prepared for a stronger marriage as you conquer each challenge and grow in your character.