Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Five: Marriage Advice


Jon and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary a little while ago, so I thought I'd take a stab.  My disclaimer: I claim no expertise!  I'm just a 20-something gal that's learning as I go!

1.  Laugh. A lot.  Even if you sometimes really don't feel like it.  Or you really just want to sulk. Or be mad.

Jon and I are best friends probably above all else.  We started off as roommates and grew to be extremely close before we took things any further.  One of my favorite things about us is our ability to laugh together.  It can be a funny line in the movie (at which point we always look at one another to make sure we're both laughing), or when Travis takes a nose dive off the couch.  But I think laughter is most important when you could choose not to laugh. Like when Jon just did something that annoyed me and I'm sitting there, sulking, usually pouting with my arms crossed.  That's when Jon enjoys doing something silly or cracking an absolutely terrible joke.  And I can't help but laugh no matter how hard I bite down on my lip to pretend that I'm not interested.

2. Do stuff together.

Find something that you like and do stuff together.  Jon and I love traveling, even if it's to a local place that we've never been before.  We love exploring new areas by driving around aimlessly, stopping at shady places, walking in and out of stores on a Sunday afternoon.  Sometimes it leads to some deep conversations, other times we just spend 2-3 hours in a card store pointing out the best cards to each other.  It always gives us something to bond over - something to remember when I see yet another pair of shoes in the middle of the room (I don't tend to notice them until I've tripped over them).

3. Do stuff apart.

I find this one almost as important as the one above.  It took us a couple of years to learn this important lesson - but we're finally getting our own lives!  When Jon and I first started dating, we did everything together.  We couldn't help it- we lived together, we worked together, we played together, and it was all so new and fun.  This was one of the hardest habits to break.  Jon started golfing more (while I pouted when he left me for the whole day); I started running or taking walks with the dogs at the beach (while Jon sat on the couch and watched golf).  My friends and I decided to have girls night once a week, giving us at least one night a week we had to be apart.  It wasn't fun at first and felt almost forced, but now we both enjoy our own space every once in a while.  It gives us something to get excited to chat about when we're back and provides a break and some time to miss one another.

4. Don't point the finger.
Ok- so I'm not really always that good at taking the advice I give.  But I try.  I really do.  It's super hard to do, but I promise it's worth it.  So next time you see your hunny forget to pick up his pile of dirty clothes yet again, bite that sore lower lip and choose: either pick it up or leave it.  But pointing out that he's done it yet again doesn't solve anything.  I know it totally seems like you'll feel super duper better once you gloat over the fact that he did something wrong again, but you don't.  And he doesn't either.

5. Fight.
You read that right.  Fight.  But fight about things that matter.  And don't fight dirty.  I think a healthy relationship has its share of good fights.  You know the ones where you end up pouring your heart out to each other; the ones where tears are often involved; the ones where you start off sitting down, then end up jumping up or even raising your voice, but always end up back down, talking it out.  The kind of fights where you walk away feeling like you just had the most incredible bonding experience of your life.  But choose what you fight about (i.e. those shoes in the middle of the floor are not reason to start a fight.  I know they might seem like it at the moment, but it solves nothing.  Especially if you've living with Jon.  I think he's allergic to putting things away where they belong).  And fight fair.  Don't bring up things from past arguments that were resolved or attack one another just to hurt each other.  Get down to the issue and resolve it.  Find a compromise.  And if you need to, walk away for a while and get your thoughts together or clear your head.

Do you have marriage advice?

3 comments:

  1. Love love love this post! I am always baffled by couples who say they don't fight. I mean, I don't LIKE fighting, but, as you pointed out, it's a great way to learn important things about each other. And I think it can bond you together if you do it "right."

    ReplyDelete
  2. TNT use to race a stock car on dirt tracks across NW Kansas and SW Nebrask. I loved it and it was something we could do together. I don't know a bunch about the actual motor and stuff on the car so I'd help get the car ready to race and run and grab tools from the trailer at the track. But last year he quit since we bought some farmland and it was a hard adjustment to get use too. Not going racing every weekend.

    I love playing softball and volleyball so I usually play once a week and then TNT bowls on Wed nights with his buddies. We love being together, but it is nice when we do things apart.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love love love this post! I am always baffled by couples who say they don't fight. I mean, I don't LIKE fighting, but, as you pointed out, it's a great way to learn important things about each other. And I think it can bond you together if you do it "right."

    ReplyDelete

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