Adam and I have been together for 6 years and while that’s not long enough to be an expert at marriage I think we balance it all quite well. Our marriage isn’t perfect, nor is our life, but we are committed to being strong and working at our relationship every single day. I’m blessed that my husband is one of my best friends. From the moment I met Adam I felt at ease and completely comfortable. No one that I had dated prior made me feel the way he did and still does today. He’s the keeper of all my secrets and never once placed judgement upon me for anything in my past. For that reason I love him more and more each day.
Since becoming parents our marriage has taken a back seat. That’s so terrible to say and it sounds terrible reading it out loud to myself, but it’s 100% the honest truth. Ava and Quinn consume more of our time than ever before which means less time together. Now that Quinn is a year old and we are past the “our baby needs every single bit of attention” phase we are able to relax and become flexible again. Both girls are a tad bit more self-sufficient which means we have more time to hang out.
Through it all there are times that Adam annoys the crap out of me. Does anyone have a perfect marriage and never get annoyed by their spouse? Highly doubtful. But when I take a step back and look at him each night I realize how incredibly grateful I am for his love, strength, trust, support and humor he provides to my life and for the girls. He takes care of me way more than I do of him! I know I am far too lucky to have deserved him in this life.
I wanted to share a few things that have worked for us, even during the difficult times. At the end of the day marriage is a constant work in progress. Maybe some of these tips will help you along the way as well.
Fight it out
Don’t go all WWE on each other but have the conversation even if it’s heated and tough. Don’t run away from the fight just because it may hurt. The best moments we have are the minutes after a “fight”. We were able to clear the air, which for me is extremely helpful. I hate holding on to my feelings and love to just vent, talk it out and move on. Fight fair, tell each other when you’re annoyed when it first happens, and don’t hold it in.
Let it go
This goes hand in hand with #1. Don’t hold a grudge and don’t try to be right 100% of the time. You guys, nothing gives me more satisfaction than being right about something. It’s just part of my DNA and damn it sucks and sometimes it’s really great. When it comes to being a wife I have to let it go even if I want to be right (and know I’m right!)
Say Thank You
Being a parent and a spouse is a thankless job most days. Just remember to say Thank You for the little things. Adam is my outfit photographer and as much as he hates it I always remember to thank him for taking time out of his day to help me. I thank him for doing the laundry or mowing the grass. It’s the little things he does that help me out in the long run.
Know Their Love Language
As part of our pre-martial counseling we were advised to read the 5 Love Languages Book. It wasn’t a believe until we read the book and put it into action. Just because I believe words of affirmation are ways of showing how much I love someone, doesn’t necessarily mean that Adam receives love the same way. We are all unique in how we receive and show our love and it’s so important to understand how your partner needs to receive love. It’s definitely worth the quick read to determine what you need and what your partner needs.
Make Time for each other
Date night is KEY! Even if it’s for a few hours to a movies, going to the grocery store alone…something that allows you time away from the house and the kids. This is hard for me because most days all I want to do is spend time as a family but I can’t forget the key to a happy family life is continuing to date my husband.
Always say I Love You
This past weekend we were up early and working quickly to tackle our to-do list that we never stopped to say I love you. It put me in a serious funk and all morning I felt “mad” at Adam. When I realized why I was in a mood it felt so silly but hearing him say “I Love You” changes my day. It puts me at ease.
It’s not 50/50
You will do more with the kids, he will do more with the to-do list. You’ll constantly be struggling with balance and at times you may resent your partner for not pulling their “share”. Things will always be unbalanced in a marriage, and that’s okay…within reason. Adam tends to do more around the house, especially with the cleaning. I tend to do more when it comes to getting the girls ready for bed. At times I struggle because I want him to take over but honestly, I’m just a nut. He does so much already and why should I expect him to do anything else? I think that as long as there is a “balance” in what you do instead of one person owning everything, you’ll have success.
What works for you and keeps your marriage healthy?
photos by Jessica K Photography