My husband and I celebrated 11 years of marriage last weekend. 11 years since this:
** All photos credited to Moxi Images
We had a truly gorgeous wedding filled with a small gathering of people who are most dear to us on the beach where my dad lives in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Such a stunning day full of love and cherishing. And only the beginning of course!
Sooooo much has changed since August 6, 2006 it’s kind of mind blowing. I’m actually quite impressed with the two of us for navigating all the challenges we’ve met. As I’ve been reflecting on these 11 years, I’ve been intentional about noticing what I’ve learned.
I want offer my reflections and learning to you. This is just a start but maybe it will help you in your relationship with your Beloved.
What I’ve learned in 11 years of marriage
1. Ask for what I want or need. (Be VERY specific)
Seriously don’t know if this is just a guy thing or if it’s true for all partners. But I have learned it’s best to be veeeeeerrrrrrryyyyy specific when I want or need something. Especially when it comes to time alone for self care, sexy times and help with housework or bills.
2. Do not begin a complicated discussion until everyone is well rested and well fed.
I don’t know about you, but with us both working and a toddler afoot it’s challenging to find times to talk about things that are deep or challenging or touchy. I have been known to have really bad timing for bringing things up. But I’m definitely learning to check off the boxes: has he eaten? has he slept? has he vented about work? Do we have more than two minutes to talk? Yes? okay go time! (PS If he’s horny it’s really a bad time. Take it from me.)
3. Do not assume I know how he thinks or feels about a subject.
Have you noticed how easy it is to assume you know what your partner is thinking or doing or going to say or going to think? I remind myself frequently, especially if I’m feeling annoyed or frustrated with him, not to assume. Cuz you know what assuming does right?
It makes an ass out of u.
I’m sad to admit how frequently I let my assumptions rule my mood rather than my love. But I’m getting much better because I draw attention to my assumptions and conciously choose love instead!
4. Be sure to show affection every day.
Touch is so important. I talk about how I forgot to hug my husband during the first year of my babies life in my Tedx Talk. Yeah. I forgot to hug him. DOY. I can get so caught up in my own head and everything that needs doing that I don’t slow down to just touch him.
Worse, I think unkind thoughts about him and then I don’t want to touch him. Those are the thoughts I work to notice and change and then intentionally touch him.
5. Notice patterns forming before they become entrenched and corrosive.
Sometimes I notice we have gone on and on for months stuck in patterns that are pulling us apart. The faster I notice these and bring it up, the faster we can feel closer, loving and more connected. These discussions usually always make us feel relief and renewed affection.
6. Be kind and generous.
I am a great deal happier when I am generous in thought and action toward and with my Darling. Always error on the side of generosity (Unless your partner is abusing you with words, isolation, economic imprisonment, forceful sexuality or physicality. Then error on the side of your right to a loving, peaceful life with a kind partner. Get to safety).
7. Focus on what I love, respect and appreciate about him.
I guess this is kind of a repeat of #6 so apparently it’s a lesson I have really needed to learn. This is all about paying attention to how much I appreciate who he is, everything he does for our family and his amazing qualities rather than focusing on the cups he leaves all over or the fact that he can sleep in when I’m up early with Arthur
8. Always choose faith over fear.
My brain does scary things to me sometimes. It gets all uptight and bothered by little stuff and then I get scared and anxious. My lesson has been to release worry about the future and choose over and over to be in this relationship with him. I choose faith in him. I choose faith in our future together.
9. Stop caring about stupid little things.
Let him do laundry how he wants and who the heck cares if he leaves cups all over the counter. At least they made it to the counter! (See a theme or two here?)
10. Remember to laugh more and take myself seriously less.
My Darling has such a great sense of humor. It’s one of the things I most love about him. One of my earliest memories of him, when we were 14, is him making me laughing so hard milk almost came out of my nose.
I take myself too seriously. I need to let go, be playful and laugh more.
11. Try not to leave half eaten chocolate bars all over the house. Definitely hide them from him.
This one is really important people. ALWAYS hide the chocolate. Now that Arthur is two and so mobile and resourceful, I have to hide it from him AND my Darling.
What have you learned in the years (or months) of your relationship/s?
Let me know if the comments below. I would love to learn from you.