A little more marriage

I felt so good finding that draft about marriage that I posted a few days ago that I had to keep it going. So I asked my friend, Kaitlin, to write a guest post for me. Enjoy!

“Never go to bed angry.”

“Don’t stop dating each other.”

“Make time together a top priority.”

“Let laughter be the soundtrack of your marriage.”

“When arguing, there is no winner or loser.”

If you’re married, chances are at least one nugget of wisdom from above was imparted on you at your bridal shower, courtesy of an adorable, floral, Etsy notecard…I know it was at mine.

Great advice, really, but where were the ladies who were supposed to tell me that I would – even after four years of marriage – find myself picking his dirty clothes up from beside the laundry basket. In case you think you read that wrong, I will repeat: BESIDE THE LAUNDRY BASKET. The basket is in his line of sight, heck, it is clearly within arm’s reach, but his clothes somehow miss the mark EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

Four years into being a wife, and I have learned a lot. More than anything, I have learned I still have a lot to learn – about myself, about Ryan, and us, as a couple. We dated for six years before “doing the thing,” “putting a ring on it,” and waltzing our way down the aisle to the wedding chapel. After six years, you think you know all there is to know about your significant other – the good, the bad, and every mood swing in between. At least I did. Boy, was I wrong.

Six months into our marriage, we packed our Corollas and headed to California. What was supposed to be an extended honeymoon/vacation turned into the first three years of our marriage. During that time, I learned how to lean into my husband more than I anticipated. When you are on the other side of the country, building and beginning your lives together, with few friends and no family within a 1,000 + mile radius, you realize that relying on each other is the only thing you can do. Was it always easy? Sure wasn’t! Was it fun all the time? Hard no! Would I change anything about it? Not even if I could!

Ryan has always been a bit of an enigma. He is Mr. Adventure, and I am a certified homebody. Ryan jumps at the chance to try something new; whereas, I can’t (won’t) even consider it without curating my pro/con list and consulting my closest advisors (AKA: Best friend, Mom, sisters). Despite our vast differences in opinions, ideas, hobbies, etc., we somehow find common ground and balance. Ryan pushes me to try new things, be brave, courageous, and moderately adventurous (even if that means I will complain 65% of the time we are hiking). I help Ryan understand the beauty of binging a TV show and staying in.B-A-L-A-N-C-E.

Circling back to the advice thing: seriously, try your best not to go to bed angry. It won’t always happen, and sometimes you’ll think you’re fine until the morning rolls around and a fresh wave of pissed-off-ness creeps in. Remind the other person why you love them and think they’re amazing – especially when you know they need to hear it. You should absolutely date your spouse – long after you think your dating days are done and the honeymoon has officially ended. Most importantly, remember why you fell in love with them, and keep reminding yourself (and falling even more in love) every day.  Like all good, worthwhile things in life, marriage is hard. It has its good days, bad days, “just okay” days, and a million roller-coaster day in between. It won’t always be a walk in the park, but if it’s worth it, you’ll work for it.

I am by no means an expert at this “marriage thing.”  I learn daily. I forget daily. I probably fail more often than not, but being a wife – Ryan’s wife – is easily my favorite role and greatest honor!  I will leave you with one thing that was blatantly apparent as I was writing this (in between rounds of playing Magic the Gathering… because, #datenight). If you are lucky enough to marry someone who only gets mildly annoyed when you answer everything in a song, accepts your quirks/weirdness in stride (and with lots of grace), and acknowledges that you’re going to laugh hysterically at your own jokes 99.9% of the time, hold on to them because that doesn’t happen every day.

Keep an eye out for more posts from Kaitlin here.

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