Marriage

Marriage is something I always dreamed of as a child. I knew from a VERY young age, I wanted to be married. I thought that was the quintessential monument of adulthood. I also figured, if you’re married then your life would be blissfully perfect. Little did I know, that was far from reality. 


As a child, my parents divorced when I was in fourth grade. Do I remember what it was like to have them married? Not at all. I’ve been asked if I wonder what my life would have been like if my parents had stayed together; my response is typically, “sometimes.” It was one of those situations where my parents grew in different directions as a couple and decided to end things on good term. My parents have the greatest divorce relationship…like in the history of divorces. But this still didn’t do much as far as setting an example of what married life is like. I still fantasized it was all cupcakes and rainbows…little did I know, marriage is WORK.


Cut to today, I am happily married to my best friend. We are entering into year 7 of marriage and we both have realized how much work it takes to keep a marriage going. So let’s define “work”…and the key principles of what keeps a marriage goin
THE 3 KEYS TO MARRIAGE

  1. TALK
  2. LISTEN
  3. PUT IN THE WORK

When I say work, I don’t mean it is a challenge to stay married to my husband. In general, it should never be a challenge to be with someone. If you are feeling that way, there may be some other factors that need to be considered. Any-who, when I say work I mean, constant checking in with your partner, constant communication, constant consideration of the other persons feelings, thought, ideas, emotions, etc. Reminding yourself that your partner is a PERSON, and he/she is allowed to act as such. 


It is very easy for couples to get stuck in a rut because it is easy, convenient, or they don’t know what else to do. This is where the work comes in. People grow, they change, they adapt to different circumstances in their lives and just because you married the man or woman of your dreams doesn’t mean they aren’t allowed to change. This is where open communication comes into play.


When you’re married you have to be as open and vulnerable as humanly possible…that’s the reason you married your partner, isn’t it? Because you felt comfortable with them to share your life with; well, your life includes feelings, insecurities, fears, etc. Talking about issues and differences of opinions will help to decrease any “assumptions or inferences” we as humans tend to make ALL THE TIME. In my opinion, the hardest part about communication when there is tension, is just simply breaking the ice. So often, neither partner wants to break ice first but just do it. You both will feel so much better after.


And lastly, throwing in the towel should never be your first instinct. Putting in the work means stick through those challenging times, working hard to come to a solution when you and your partner are at in impass, remembering why you fell in love with your partner and why you wanted to spend your life with them. When a couple goes through a rough patch and makes through, they are a stronger couple at the end of it all.


But above all, I would say, JUST SHOW UP. Show up for your spouse by giving them those little bits of attention that are unwarranted but are special: a random hand grab, a kiss on the forehead, an impromptu dinner date, a love note ( I love post it love notes), touch, hug, kiss, flowers, anything that shows your spouse that they are your world. AND ALWAYS REMEMBER TO SAY I LOVE YOU. 
Marriage, it’s not for the weak.
-Kelsey

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