Day 5: Marriage
Let me just start this by saying that this post in no way is meant to be used as marriage advice. There are thousands, maybe millions of books, articles, blog posts, research…anything you can imagine out there for advice on marriage. I am certainly not an authority on the Do’s and Don’ts of marriage, so if you’re looking for that, then you won’t find it here.
I can, however, speak to my thoughts and experience on marriage. I was married for nearly 10 years previous to being married to David. I don’t talk about it too often, but I don’t exactly keep it a secret, either. I can say, without a doubt, that I don’t regret being married to my first husband, and I don’t regret our divorce, either. Like everything in life, I learned so much in my first marriage that living with regret would make those entire 12 years we were together feel like they never happened. All of the experiences that I had made me who I am today, as well as making me the wife I am to David now.
One piece of advice often given for marriage is to make sure that you communicate. It really seems like an obvious piece of advice but so often it doesn’t happen. There are so many factors involved in keeping communication open that we neglect the importance. You know, things like, ‘If I ask him to take out the trash, he’ll think I’m nagging him.’ ‘If I tell her that I don’t want to go, she’ll be upset with me.’ Seriously, I could list dozens of these.
Why do we hold back those thoughts? I know for me that there are times that I have learned to pick my battles. Sometimes it’s just not worth the energy to take the chance of causing discourse. Does that mean that I lack communication skills with my husband? No, but I do need to be sure to express to him the ones that ARE the most important to me, otherwise it could lead to me resenting him for not caring about my feelings when he didn’t even know how important it is to me.
I recently learned that a couple we know will call a “Time Out” if they get into a heated argument and they are getting nowhere with it. They pause the argument, set a time, perhaps an hour or later in the day to reconnect and start communicating again. The time away from whatever has caused the argument cools them both down and makes them not only re-think their thoughts but also the importance of their side. I love this idea!
David and I often take our arguments to email for similar reasons. Instead of waiting for the other person to stop speaking so that we can speak our side, by taking it to email we read the other’s thoughts, process the information, then we speak our side. This might not work for everyone, but as I wrote previously, this works for us because much of our relationship has been via IM, email or text. We’re one of those couples who rarely speak on the phone unless something is wrong or we can’t text/email. Weird, huh?
So take my advice…HA! No, really! Like I said, my intention is not to give advice but instead speak from my own experiences. What works for us might not work for you, but then again maybe this will make you think about your own marriage or relationship and how you can make it work well for you.
“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
What’s something unique about your marriage or relationship? Do you have some unconventional advice that you would like to share? What works for you?
Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Days To a Happy Marriage @ Kristen Living the Sweet Life