There is always some hesitation when it comes to opening up about my marriage. The issue I have about sharing tips (or advice) for a healthy marriage is, I never want to come across as perfect. Because we are absolutely far from it. We argue, disagree, and yep, sometimes ugly cry. (Ok, ok, that last one is probably just me, haha!) Anyway, the point is, we are not perfect. This doesn’t mean we don’t strive to be the best versions of ourselves. At the end of the day, we both want a loving, long-lasting, happy, and healthy marriage.
So what is a happy and healthy marriage?
Well, to be totally honest, it depends on you.
I know this isn’t a clear answer, and let’s be real, everyone is going to have a different opinion on how this is defined. Perhaps if there’s one, or two, things we can agree on is what makes a bad (or unhealthy) marriage. Amiright? For example, being in a relationship that is abusive. I think we can all agree that would be a no-go.
Since my peeps over on Instagram voted to share my thoughts around marriage, I decided to share (almost) exactly what I told my little sister on the day of her wedding. (By the way, I was totally inspired to share my thoughts around marriage because…*drum roll please*…I did well on my matron of honor speech!!! I didn’t take an L like I supposedly did at my other sister’s wedding – all according to Jose, of course.) It was also cute to find out my stepdad thinks Jose and I have an awesome relationship.
In my short three years of marriage, I’ve learned to…
- Love unconditionally. What does this mean? It means to love without any conditions.
- We don’t set boundaries on the love we have for each other. Whether or not he helps with the dishes, I still love him, and vice versa.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. I cannot reiterate this enough…communication is key to a happy marriage.
- Celebrate everything. Celebrate anniversaries, work promotions, career moves, birthday’s, and later on, the babies. Once again, life is too short. Romanticize it.
- What can I say…I love celebrating milestones!
- Date each other – treat each other like the boyfriend/girlfriend you once were.
- Guys – never stop holding (or opening) the door for her. Ladies – tell him how amazing he is every chance you get. (You never know when our last day on earth will be so kiss each other goodbye too.)
- Grow together. Hey, if you’re not growing together, you’re growing apart. Pick a book and read it as a couple. If that’s not your thing, maybe listen to the same podcasts. If that’s not your thing, figure it out. But grow together.
- Laugh – keep being a kid at heart. Never “grow” up. Guys – for the sake of having a fun life, please, don’t take life too seriously. Always have fun! Laugh off the stupid stuff. I cannot tell you how many times I always laugh at myself for sounding like a crazy woman for getting onto Jose for dumb stuff. Petty stuff. It’s not worth it. Laugh.
- Dream big…reach for the stars. You two can do anything.
- Lift each other up. Be each other’s BIGGEST cheerleaders! I am Jose’s number one fan…and he knows it.
- Be selfless. Yep, even when he (or she) is being an asshole. Kindness goes a long way. In other words, keep serving each other no matter what. This can be hard but don’t let ego get in the way. Ego will kill any marriage, any relationship, and that’s a fact.
- Cherish the present moment. I know it’s important to dream big and plan for the future. However, it’s even more important to live for now. Don’t let this moment pass you up. It’s really about the journey, not so much about the final destination. If you’re not enjoying life right now, you most likely won’t enjoy it then either. Live for now.
- Choose each other over, and over, and over again. Marriage really isn’t that hard…but it certainly isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. At the end of the day, love is a choice. When you open your eyes first thing in the morning, you have the choice to love, or not to love. Always choose love. Love always wins.
I know the above is sometimes easier said than done, but I strongly believe when you are married to the right person, most of these things come naturally.
I am also going to link an old blog post recapping my one year marriage anniversary here. It’s cool to see what my thoughts were back then…not much has changed. It’s pretty much the same advice shared above just in different words:
- Learn to compromise from the very beginning, there is no way around it.
- Pretty much saying to be selfless and to communicate.
- Share your thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. – do not wait until it all piles up and explode at the wrong time.
- Again, emphasizing how communication is important 😉
- Develop habits together to help build an even stronger bond like praying, working out, etc.
- Sounds much like growing together, right?
- Learn each other’s love language and never stop doing the things that make each other feel loved.
- Again…be selfless and keep dating each other. I shared my takeaways from The Five Love Languages here.
- Hold each other accountable in all areas of your lives – spiritual, personal development, relationship, career, financial, and health!
- I mean…I guess you can say we care a lot about personal (and professional) growth. I think accountability ties in with dreaming big and lifting each other up.
- Laugh, laugh, and laugh some more.
- This is our favorite thing to do! Whether it’s him making me laugh, or the other way around, both of us come out winning!
That is a wrap for today! Hope you enjoyed these tips, but most importantly, hope you took away something to strengthen your relationship even further. I am constantly seeking ways to improve so if there’s something that works for you, and would like to share, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me DM on the gram 😉