Married, Year 7

It is the 7th wedding anniversary for my husband and me. Seven years married, and a lifetime to go. It’s interesting now to think back on the advice we have been given throughout our years together.

“Never go to bed angry.”

“Share the load.”

“Oh, you won’t be doing that for much longer!”

All of it was taken with a grain of salt because not a single person knows what goes on in some other couple’s relationship. Regardless of how close the outsider might be to the couple, they will never understand what it is like to be in your relationship with your significant other.

However, there is some sound advise out there. Not all of it should fall on deaf ears.

But, does advise ever grow old? Is there a time limit for the value of the advice? Does it grow stale over years, or lose its potency? Does it keep forever regardless of when it was given?

The best marriage advice I have ever read can be found in an article from a writer in 1886 named Jane Wells.

“Let your love be stronger than your hate and anger.”

Man, of they entire world doesn’t need that lesson right now, no matter the marital status. Letting hate and anger fester does nothing but foster more hate and anger. Only love can heal. True for life and marriage.

“Learn the wisdom of comprise…”

Another life lesson, but I feel this so truly for marriage as well. No one agrees with another individual completely on every topic known to man. And, if they do, they may need to take a journey to discover themselves. Find what really matters to them, and understand their own mind.

“Believe the best…”

Because the worst is sometimes an imagined doubt rather than truth. Give the benefit of the doubt. Innocent until proven guilty.

“…living up or down to opinions.”

Set the bar high. Demand what you want, but be ready to compromise and be surprised.

“…true friendship…”

The basis of any marriage should be friendship. The couple should have a foundational bond of fondness toward each other, which will serve to keep them from falling apart. Friendships may be tested, but it is the connection between the two people that will endure.

“…hand this down to your children..”

Because the more things change, the more they become the “new norm”.

Finally, I leave you with this.

I have loved a man with my entire heart for over 15 years, and dedicated the rest of my life to loving him 7 years ago. It has been hard, full of compromises, times of anger, but the love we share is worth it. The relationship we have is everything to me because we keep surprising each other.

Happy anniversary, babe!

Marriage is(n’t) the new dating.

I have seen it all too many times. Couples who rush into marriage regardless of how long they have been in a relationship together and ultimately fail. In my group of friends, I already have a handful of them that are divorced, and a smaller few of them already remarried. Each situation is unique, but each seems to have a common theme.

I honestly believe there is a moment in every relationship where the couple comes to a crossroad. Based upon the decision that is made at this fork, to fight or to give up, it will make or break the union. mike-enerio-87677.jpg

I know that may sound like a no brainer, but there is a great depth to this moment. I’m not talking about who will do a house chore, but rather something life changing such as the topic of children or financial decisions.

First, the crossroad is reached based upon a situation or scenario that tests each person as an individual. Their needs, wants, values, and very foundation of their entire lives is called into question.

Once the individual has decided their own thoughts and feelings on the situation, the second step to deciding whether to fight or give up is evaluating their partners conclusions. Sometimes this can lead to arguments and fights, but if I have learned anything in life, listening to the other side’s opinion is key to having a full understanding of any scenario. Patience is the only way through this step.

Once both parties have worked through their own understanding of the situation and now know where their partner stands, and here is the most important part of this entire process, step three is to decide if there can be a compromise.

Compromise is such a small, basic word that is thrown around in everyday conversations, but the meaning behind it packs a whopping punch. By googling the word, a definition pops up as follows:

NOUN
compromises
(plural noun)
  1. an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions:
VERB
compromises (third person present) · compromised (past tense) · compromised (past participle) · compromising (present participle)
  1. settle a dispute by mutual concession:

A mutual concession. Let that sink in. Both parties, after deciding what the situation means to them and hearing what it then means to their partner, will have to decide if a compromise, or a concession, or a partial/full giving up of something in order to meet in the middle on a decision/way to handle a situation, can be reached.

Both parties have to choose whether a compromise can be reached.

If one can’t, then I can guarantee the relationship will end. It may not happen after the first failed process in attempting to compromise, but the infection of the disagreement, of the stubbornness to meet somewhere in the middle for the sake of the relationship, will only spread until that final crossroad is met, and the couple gives up.

If a couple does not go through this process at least once before marriage, I will guess again that the relationship may fail. Without the foundation of choosing to fight for each other, if it were to arise in the midst of the marriage for the first time, I have seen it before where a couple succumbs to the crossroad.

I’m not sure if the romantic ideology given to many from movies, novels, and even songs has tainted our belief that marriage should be easy, but it seems that when it starts to get rough, couples are surprised or shocked.

alejandra-quiroz-658MARRIAGE IS NOT EASY, but it can be so beautiful. When two people continuously choose to fight for their love, fight to keep their relationship alive by working through their issues and finding common ground, there is beauty. When two people choose each other over their own needs and wants, there is compromise. When a couple decides to walk hand in hand down the same path, love will always lead the way.

Lesson of the day, my friends. Love your spouse. Fight for your marriage. Don’t let the crossroad lead you astray. Find the compromise, and continue on, together.

 

Find The One Who Will Lift You Up

Af0sF2OS5S5gatqrKzVP_SilhoutteIt has been twelve years that my husband and I have been together, and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. I’m normally the more romantic of the two of us, and today, I’m feeling extra mushy. I have tried our entire relationship to explain to him what he means to me, but I’m better with written words than I am with spoken. No matter how much I write or speak, though, it never seems enough.

How do you explain to someone that literally saved your life how much they mean to you?

As a teenager, I got mixed up with a bad crowd and an even worse relationship. My last middle school year through my early high school years were the darkest parts of my life. I have a lot of regrets during those years, but my biggest mistakes were when I hurt the man I love. I was a young kid then, but those mistakes still haunt me. Not because they have any effect on our relationship (he says he never thinks about it unless I bring it up), but because I realize now how naive I had been and how much pain I had caused my now husband.

Through all the mistakes and all the irresponsible decisions I made, he stood by me, and I couldn’t be more thankful that he did. He helped me through those horrid years and brought me back to life in the light. Without him, I know I wouldn’t be where I am, let alone the person I am today. He saved me from a life I never want to think I would’ve lived, and although I have tried, I don’t think I will ever be able to thank him, or show him how much I appreciate him enough.

I always tell him that he pulls me up and allows me to float in the clouds, pushes me to dream even the wildest of possibilities like becoming a writer while I keep him grounded, the realist of us two and knower of all things Household Chamberlin. Without him, I would have never pursued writing or self-published any of my works. Honestly, I don’t know that I would have any of the things I have in my life right now if he wasn’t my other half.

How do you show enough gratitude to someone who has given you and helped you achieve everything you have ever dreamed of?

I am so thankful and blessed for the photo-1465508421127-4cbee06c9e73life I have with my husband and now talking-and-toddling daughter because without either of them, I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now. And maybe one day, I will think of a way to repay my husband for all he has done for me over the years. Maybe when we are old and gray, and I have to remind him where he put his teeth in order for him to eat his favorite meal will he finally understand exactly how much I love him.