Recently I was chatting with a friend about planning my ten year vow renewal celebration and she made a comment that stuck with me. She told me that being newly married she wishes more people would talk about the truths of marriage, the bad and worse parts. She was saying this because we all like to tell everyone when things are going well but sometimes others need to know that the drama thats happening doesn’t mean their marriage is doomed, it just means two are becoming one.
I don’t mean you need to go spreading your dirty laundry, we just all need to be a little more supportive when others are going through the growing pains of marriage. I told her, out of the 12 years my husband and I have been together, we may have had a total of four years we’ve been blissfully in love. That doesn’t mean we have not had amazing times along the way, it just means there have been constant struggles of trying to get two people to agree on one thing….ALL OF THE TIME.
Shannon and I are a particularly special couple because he thinks he is always right, and I AM always right LOL. When we agree, life is magical but a disagreement as simple as how to load the dishwasher has turned into a civil war in our home. A 30 year married woman gave me some of the best advice ever. She told me “the way to stay married is to not get a divorce”. What a crazy thought!!!! It’s so simple yet so hard. We’ve managed to stay married because one of us has always fought for us when the other has decided the others way of loading the dishwasher was divorce worthy. We constantly disagreed until one day we both found our lanes and got in it. Now we have an amazing relationship that we both smile about. We decided that he is the CFO and I am the CEO of the White House. I make all of the decisions for our home and he works outside of the home and decides what makes financial sense. After that we come together on a final decision.
I make choices for our home and run them by him to add to remove or just agree with. That way we both know whats going on in the home. In nature we all have our strengths, we need to figure out what they are and play them up! I’ve learned you have to give your marriage a chance to evolve. We went from two individuals into four (after kids) and were trying to make one family. Everyone had to do their part of being responsible for self and never pointing the finger at how someone else should change. I guarantee if you take some time to be the best version of you in your marriage your family will follow your example and before you know it….you’ll be one!
Steps to a Happy Marriage begin with choosing the right person. It needs to be a person that when everything is going wrong these reasons make you want to stay!
- Are they the right height (you will care at some point) Im 5’9 he’s 6’7 (yummy)
- Are they in the physical condition you want
- What is their credit situation (stellar x2)
- Are you ok with their career choice (I want to be home with kids he likes that they always have mommy)
- Are you ok with things from their past that may potentially affect your future as a couple
- What kind of family do they come from (this will affect you at some point)
- Do you enjoy the same type of entertainment
- Do you share similar interest
- Do you share similar religious or spiritual beliefs
- What are the 10 most important things in your life, their life and do you have more matches or differences
- Are their more single or married friends in your circle (The answer should be married. Married people should not hang with single friends no matter how you justify it. Invite them out with a group not one on one, the entertainment requirements are completely different and the married person is the only one with something to lose.)
- Do both of you want kids or have kids and how will you parent All of those kids as a couple. A marriage is made of 2 people. This does not include men or women that happen to have children that will be part of your relationship.
- Where do each of you see yourselves in 5, 10, 15, 20 years and what are retirement plans
- What are your major life goals, do they match
- Do you like or dislike pets and how important is this to you
- What is the mans role in the home as well as the woman role. Its kind of like a chore list you would make for your kids just on a much larger scale. Will his paycheck take care of the home and all of the bills and her paycheck go into savings? Will she stay home with the kids or will he? Will kids attend private or public? Who washes dishes and whose responsible for washing clothes.
- How will the two of you handle evolution? Can you adapt if he decided to cash out his 401k to start a business and can he handle it if you take an early retirement so you can stay home and raise the kids. What if one of you decide to go back to school and take away time thats typically family time?
- How will you handle conflict? What if he leaves his high earning job to become a teacher that is his life dream? Whats more important to you, finances or happiness? Its ok if its finances, you just need to make sure you have a person that feels the same way
- Last but not least. What are the 5 things that could drive you to divorce. You need to know these things before you get married so your spouse knows that these things will send the marriage up in flames, no questions asked. We know the difference in petty crimes as well as crimes that get you that life sentence. Marriage is no different. Each marriage has its own rule book but we have to write it. It took us a while to learn that our marriage is no different that any job. We have a title, a role and responsibilities and we get benefits from it. There are upsides and downsides but in order to want to stay the upsides need to out weigh the downsides. Its never to late to put your manual together. Get these questions answered and theres your 20+ page outline of what you expect out of sharing a life together!Theres nothing better than a lasting love that endures but it takes work! A home with a bad foundation will slowly begin to fall, so be sure to take your time to build something that will stand strong through the storms!
Happily Married in Lisa’s Lane