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8.27.2012

Your First Wedding Anniversary

This post is dedicated to my husband. (Gee, I bet you didn't see that one coming.)

Yep. It's our 1 year wedding anniversary today and I'm actually in slight disbelief that:
  1. It's already been one year
  2. I never got my wedding "thank you" notes out. (Gosh, is it too late now?)
  3. It's already been one year
  4. We're still together and, if my observations are correct, we're still ok with each other
  5. It's already been one year
There are a few things that I've been pondering since the approach of this day. Heavy issues like, "what have I learned over the course of this matrimonial year?" and "are we headed in the right direction?" Also, "am I doing this right?!"

A triumphant kiss celebrating our victory against Hurricane Irene
It's turns out that although my husband and I only actually spent 30 days together in person over the course of one year of "dating" (and by "dating" I mean breaking up 5 times, dating without calling it dating, and then finally breaking up because a long distance relationship was just madness in our eyes), the fates seem to be telling us that we belong together.

So, this is an homage to those out there who are thinking about marriage, are engaged, or are already married. This is what I learned over the course of this past year:



Being with someone who treats you badly is dumb.

After being with my husband, I realized that I had a lot of crap relationships in the past. (Yes, they weren't all bad all the time and I have some wonderful memories, but I can think of many distinct situation that I didn't have to be in.)

The true character of your other half is key. You better make sure you like the person you love because promising to spend the rest of your life with them is a big deal.

We all come to an epiphany at some point in our lives (one hopes) where we understand that when people treat you badly it isn't because you deserve it. Some couples can't communicate. Some couples don't have each others' best interests in mind. Some couples just aren't compatible. There, I said it. I'm not a therapist. I just call things like I see 'em.

My husband treats me well...and that's fine by me.

Communication Conquers All

So, you're miffed at each other. Or at least one of you is. Walk away from the situation for a bit and do something to get your mind off of things. Take a walk, macrame, knit a blanket. Whatever. Process why you're annoyed and then reconvene. It's important to always remind your other half that you only want to improve things and you being annoyed or upset doesn't improve things.(Surprise!) Come to think of it, they make things worse and instead of holding things in and getting progressively angry or resentful, you're deciding to do something unheard of. You want to talk about things.

TALK being the imperative word here. No yelling. No slamming things. Throwing items is out of the question. Also, make this very real point: When someone apologizes, it doesn't mean they're wrong. You can be sorry for making your other half upset. Who was right in the end may not even matter, but you want to make sure your beloved knows that you are sorry that you made them feel a certain way...OR you want them to apologize for making you feel bad. That's fair, right? Oh, and by the way, when you say sorry, mean it. I hate when people say sorry like it's a chore. That's almost worse than not saying anything.

So, communicate. Discuss. Don't just throw words at each other.

For the record, my husband and I don't fight. The one time we almost fought, I stood at the kitchen doorway with my arms crossed, vexed for what reason I can't remember. Dinner had been silent and when I was done, I quickly put my dishes in the sink (probably slammed a cabinet door or two) and then glared. "So, how long are we gonna do this for?" I asked.

"Why do you have to say it like that?" Is all he said and my anger melted. He didn't want to fight. I knew at that point that I didn't want to either. With that settled, we could talk about things. Amazing what a little reality check can do.

I used to be a fighter. My husband made me a lover.

All You Need Is Love (& Understanding & Inspiration & Independence)

See above and let's continue.

It's important to be independent. Couples should grow together, side-by-side. They shouldn't intertwine their lives so much that neither has a separate life. It gets old quick. You need your alone time and so do they.

Have your common ground, but have your own interests. Support each other with these interests and inspire each other to be ever-better. Affirmation and support can really go a long way in gently pushing your other half to become the best they can be. I always want to be happier, better, more inspired, kinder, gentler, and more giving because of my husband.

Self-development will make a marriage stronger.

Laugh

Yes. Do lots of that.

Welcome Home

It was the minute I saw him for the first time after our last big break-up. When he was standing at my apartment door with his luggage and I knew that I couldn't live without him. I remember laying in bed with him that night with my back to him and he was playing with my hair. I was so happy I was holding back tears. Why? Because I felt like I was finally home. It was the kind of comfort and synchronicity that I had always been missing.

What I didn't realize was that he would propose to me the next day. He had impeccable timing.

Are you done barfing from all the sentimental stuff? Ok, good. I am too.

Last, but not least...Falling & Standing

Once you're done with all that "falling" in love business, you have to stand in it. You have to say "how can I love more?" and stop worrying about "what can I do to be more loved?"

Love yourself, but love others. In taking the time to really love someone, you will find an immense amount of satisfaction.

(More barfing ensues.)

So, there are some things I've learned from my husband. Marriage is not perfect. It's something that both parties have to work on and continue to grow. Marrying someone is making a promise to them to be committed and to stand by them. This isn't high school. This is real life. You can't just book it when things get tough.

To Charles, thank you for a wonderful year. I hope we continue to nuture this love of ours and become silly old people together. Can't wait. (Barf. Barf. Barf.)

Also, do you think we should even bother sending out our thank you cards at this point? (Worst bride EVER.)

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