As we enter into busy season, I’m overwhelmed with joy for all of my couples that will be getting married in the coming months. If I’m excited, I know the families of these couples must be ecstatic. With big milestones in someone’s life, there always comes advice from those that have been there and done that. When your engaged, so many people will try to send advice your way. While most of it is with good intentions, and some of it is great advice, I think sometimes it’s just way off. I’m no expert, but this year, my hubby and I will be celebrating 9 years married, and 11 years together, and I know I’ve learned a thing or two in that time. These are just some of the things we believe are complete marriage myths, and some of the ways we compromise, love, and live happily together.
1.) “Marriage is 50/50” –
This is the worst. THE WORST. In my opinion, anyway. I’m a firm believer that marriage is never 50/50. In an ideal world, marriage should be 100/100, but that doesn’t always work either. There are times when I need to carry more of the weight than my husband or vice versa. If I’m going through a tough time or just need a little extra support, my husband is there to make up 70/30, or whatever I may need at the time. Marriage fluctuates in that regard…marriage is hard work and two people putting in all of the hard work. We promised in sickness and in health, after all, and when my hubby needs me to pick up the slack when he’s down, I’m here, because he does it for me, 100% of the time.
2.) “Happy wife, happy life” –
While I agree it’s fun when I’m happy, I want my husband to be happy too! We work really hard to compromise and be intentional about caring about each other’s feelings, and would be such a disservice to the amazing man I married if I were to live by this rule. I don’t always get my way, and that’s ok!
Oh boy. If this isn’t wrong, I’m not sure what’s right. Marriage is hard ya’ll. That’s not to say that couples that don’t work for their relationships don’t have good relationships (if you exist out there, you deserve a drink from me and then you’ll have to tell me your secret :), but most of us see that maintaining a good relationship takes some work. Like I mentioned before, choosing your spouse every single day, even when things are rough, is step number one of making that work seem less like work.
4.) “You should do everything together” –
My husband is my best friend. But if we spend all of our time together, we can get sick of each other pretty fast. It’s really important to maintain a sense of your own identity – interests, friends, and hobbies. That way, when we do come together, it’s even sweeter time spent.
5.) “If you are mad at your spouse/don’t want to be around them, you’re with the wrong person” –
We have our moments where my husband just makes me crazy – plain and simple. I know without a doubt that there are times that I drive him crazy too! It happens. Fights happen. And sometimes those fights are so bad that you’d rather be anywhere than around your spouse. But you wake up every day and choose your spouse, and you forgive. On our wedding day, I promised Jason lots of things, but one basic promise was that I would love him through all the things…I would choose him every day. Give your spouse some grace every now and then to make mistakes and to make you mad. They are human, just like you.
6.) “Arguing will ruin your relationship” –
Let me just repeat what I said in number five for those in the back that couldn’t hear me….Give your spouse some grace every now and then to make mistakes and to make you mad. They are human, just like you. Disagreements will happen because no two people are exactly the same, and no two people will react exactly the same to any given situation. Something we’ve learned in our marriage is that sometimes I may feel one way, and Jason may feel another, but neither of us are wrong and we’re entirely justified in our feelings. The key is understanding that the other person’s feelings are valid even when you don’t understand them yourself. My biggest piece of advice though is to choose your battles wisely, respect your spouse, and communicate. Some things aren’t worth fighting over, and some things are.
7.) “Never go to bed angry” –
Last but not least, an oldie but a goodie. I agree that arguments should be discussed and good communication is a big standing stone in a great marriage, but there are some moments that an argument needs to be put to bed, quite literally, for the night. Sometimes being angry can cloud someone’s judgement, make a conversation go round and round without a solution, or cause people to say things they don’t mean or wouldn’t normally say. Sleeping on it gives you a chance to calm down, remember why you love that person, and see through your angry cloud and their side of the argument. That way, you can wake up with a fresh perspective and calmly discuss things removed from the heat of the moment.
I’m sure there is a lot more advice out there that I, or anyone else could give, but these are the most important! A lot of marriage advice centers around arguments and fighting because if not handled correctly, it can lead to some damage. Of course, you’ll find what works for you and settle quickly into your own grooves.