This is our's crazy, it's hectic, but most of all it's fun!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Marriage Advice

In honor of the wedding festivities that we particiated in this weekend and SUYL I thought I would go ahead and share the things I've learned since being married...a short 16 months. Thus, 16 items and 1 for good luck!

1. Surround yourself with positive people. A few weeks before we got married, Ryan's "friends" (used very loosely) had an intervention with him. No, he wasn't a struggling cocaine addict, but instead he was about to make the biggest mistake of his life by saying "I do" to a little girl named Sarah. This happened on the same day I was having my wedding shower. Good timing guys, good timing. I had never been so offended by people who didn't even know me. People who thought they had Ryan's best interest in mind, but instead couldn't get over the mere fact that he was happy. Happy with someone that he had chosen to spend the rest of his life with. Did I point a gun to Ryan and say marry me or die? Um, no. In fact, I never forced that subject by any means because ultimatums aren't my thing. I am amazed at how much people think they know about you and your relationship and can actually feel the need to voice those opinions. Anyway, positive people are the ones that you need in your life. The type of people that cherish their marriage or relationships. The ones that put their spouses before anyone else. And, the ones that only want to see you happy.

2. Investing. I believe that what you put into your marriage you will get out of it. Putting love, faith, and most importantly work into your marriage will bring you nothing but good things. Like anything else (plants in our case) if you neglect it, it will fall apart (die) and quickly.

3. Saying what you mean and mean what you say. When you say I love you, mean it. When you say I'm sorry, again, mean it. Want your husband to help do the laundry, do not under any circumstance beat around the bush about it. Be straight forward and say what you mean. "I am so far behind on laundry I don't think I am ever going to get caught up." is the wrong thing to say. Try, "Bunney (or name of your choice --trying to avoid name calling--) go put the towels in the dryer and start the darks, please." There is no question of what he needs to do. I believe any husband can do this... but, give him a solid 10-15 minutes before you ask again because you know it is Monday night and something important may happen in the wrestling world.

4. Don't take each other for granted. Recently, Ryan said to me, "If I would do everything for you you would let me wouldn't you?" (I think this was while changing a stinky diaper or something of the same nature)..."Well duh, why wouldn't I?" The truth? Absolutely not. I love all the things that Ryan willingly does for me. I also love all the things that I ask him to do for me and he does. I don't take for granted the fact that he starts my car on the morings it's 20 degrees outside. I don't take for granted the nights he washes dishes for me. I don't take for granted the fact that he will sacrifice something he wants so I can have something that I want instead. I am always quick to say "thank you." I don't want him to think I am helpless (even if at times I pretend I am.) It is in my nature to be independent, and I don't want to lose that. Also, a "please" will go a long way in a marriage.

5. Your marriage is yours. It's the same with almost every couple- when are you getting engaged? And married? And babies? What about a second baby? (except us with the first was more like already?!) Do things on your own time. Don't want to pop out a baby 13 months after you've said I do? Then don't. Would you rather cherish 10 years with your spouse before you even think of adding a dog to the mix. Then do so. You have to live your life according to your plan. I wish I could add a witty remark to the question of whens, but I can't. We "jumped the gun" as we have been told and wouldn't have it any other way. In fact, when people ask how long we've been married and then see we have a 3 month old we normally do get that response and with smiles on our face we've come to admit that we didn't waste any time. Why would we? We knew what we wanted as a couple and it's important as a married couple for you to.

6. Keeping up with the Joneses. If at any moment you feel the need to start doing this it is time to re-evaluate some things. Ryan and I have never felt the need for this. We know what we want in life and when and how to go about getting it. I recently got a brand spanking new car. While I wanted one for a while (since the first time we pulled the carseat out of the box) I knew the perfect time would show its face and I was willingly to wait patiently for it. When people around us would be buying a new house we, like most people, would think that must be nice! But, we also would quickly realize that in time we will be building our bigger beautiful home and we are thankful that we currently own a home and have a safe place for Wyatt to sleep at night.

7. You have to laugh. Ryan does things that I am flat out embarrased about. Most are done within the walls of our home, some are not. Dancing in the kitchen, like he's got moves (when he clearly does not). Hilarious. Tooting in a restaurant and questioning was that me? Hilarious. We like to keep each other laughing. It is the best medicine they say. Ryan is embarrassed by some of the things that I do and say as well. Moving the jumperoo into the living room so Wyatt can enjoy all of 5 minutes in it and then trying to move it back into his room and actually getting it wedged between the walls is means for laughing. Keep things fun and simple. Never, never, never be afraid to be silly.

8. You are going to disagree. I'm highly opinionated and not afraid in the least to tell you what I think. Naturally, I have my best arguments with Ryan. Some are petty and some are serious. I think we are pretty good about getting the problem solved right then and there. I can't really think of a time when we "re-hashed" unresolved issues and for this I am proud.

9. You are a team. We learned that once Wyatt arrived we were even more dependent on each other and that we had to work together. Thankfully, we agreed on how we would like Wyatt to be raised so it made it that much easier. No one is a better teammate than your spouse and you have to firmly believe that. I am Ryan's biggest supporter and vice versa. We are working together to achieve the same goals. Two heads are better than one.

10. Respect. It's simple...respect your spouse and find ways to show them that they love you. It's easy to treat strangers nicer than you treat your spouse. It's easy to throw your bad days onto your spouse and not think twice about it. I've said some pretty mean things to Ryan because I was in a bad mood (I like to blame PMS) personally. Sometimes I don't like to talk. Silence is truly golden at times because if I get into a mood I honestly don't want to talk. Ryan hates the silent treatment I give him, but I usually say, "Please don't talk to me." And he does...and I get into a better mood...and we go on about our day.  I don't want to say mean or hurtful things and I don't want the things that I do say to be cold or in a harsh tone.

11. Pray for your spouse and your marriage. I do this nightly. The last thing that I want to add to the list of hats I already wear is a statistic. If I ever thought for a moment that divorce was an option, I would have never said I do. You get married for life. FOR LIFE. You do any and everything in your power to make it work. You don't put yourself in situations where the foundation of your marriage can be shaken. I pray for Ryan specifically and I pray for our marriage.

12.Go hunting. Or fishing, or bowling, or to a comic book convention. You share in each other activities, but not to the point of smothering and making it no longer fun for them. Ryan likes to hunt. I like to spend time with him. I felt like wife of the year the first time he asked me to go with him. I can count the number of times I've gone hunting with him, but each time we had a lot of fun and I know that Ryan thoroughly enjoyed having me with him. This past duck season, we closed the season...together...while I was 30 something weeks pregnant. I hope it's something we continue to do (at least until I am replaced by Wyatt completely). My dad loved fishing...and do you know who now loves fishing just as much? My mom. While she won't dare climb into a duck blind with my dad, she will go out on a boat in freezing weather to try and outfish him.

13.Pillow Talk. You know what my favorite thing to talk about with Ryan is? Well, besides the obvious, which is Wyatt. It is our pillow talk that we occasionally have where we talk about how we met, how we got engaged, and the road our lives have taken us on so far. It's fun to remember why we fell in love with each other. To have a strong successfull marriage I think it's important to never forget the reason why you chose to spend your life with this one person.

14. Be a lady and maintain the person he fell in love with. Time passes and looks fade...I understand that. But I think it's important to at least be similar to what you looked like years down the road in marriage. I guess what I mean is don't let yourself go. I just had a baby. I know have a more "womanly" body (read: wider hips and flabby belly).When I have the second (and last) child I will only add to this I'm sure. But, I refuse to blow up 30 pounds heavier than what I am now simply because "he will still love me anyway." Sure, Ryan will love me with the same amount of love, but I also want him to be attracted to me and think of me as the slim, fit, 24 year old he fell in love with and not someone he can hardly recognize. On being a lady? Do just that. Be a lady to the best of your ability. Ryan doesn't know I toot. True story. He probably never will. Even during child labor I was a nervous mess thinking that he would hear me. He didn't. I'd like it to stay that way.
15.Make rituals. Ours? We kiss each other every night before we go to bed. If we are having an off day (you will  have those from time to time) he will still give me a kiss even if it's on the cheek or shoulder or forehead.

16. Queen size bed. I'm not sure who told us this or where we heard it, but I honestly wish I did so I could give them credit where credit is due. But, they told us to never own a bed that is bigger than a queen size. It's all about being close. Also, when you are on different pages one day, it's a lot easier to feel compelled to "fix" whatever is wrong before you go to bed, especially if there is the chance that you will be touching the other person. We only have queen sized beds in our house and I can promise you that's all we will ever have.

17. It's work. Marriage is not always rainbows and butterflies. It is work. It is hard. It is a challenge.It is something that you should be proud of. I have only been married for a short time, but it is truly amazing the things that you can learn. I love getting to know Ryan more each and every day. I consider myself fortunate that we are both on the same page in many aspects of our life and we are happy...and it shows.

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