Today is my five year anniversary with this guy!
Five years feels like a really big deal. Like, how have we been together for eight years and been married five already? We are three major moves and two kids into life already.
It’s just crazy to think we don’t look like this anymore.
Ahh, so well rested and actually enjoying the beach sans kids! I think this was taken in 2011!
While I’ve reflected on the good in our marriage before, truthfully five years into marriage does not make me an expert by any means. I – and we as a couple – still have so much to learn.
If I’m being honest, I know I’ve made more mistakes in my marriage than I’ve done things right. And that’s okay, as long as I keep learning from my mistakes.
Today, my hope is to share some things I’ve (and I’m sure many of you) have done “wrong” and what we can learn from them.
1 // Thinking we have more time
That picture above. Sometimes I look at it and cringe. It was one of our first big vacations together. And at the time, I’m sure I thought we’d have many more before we had kids. I definitely thought we would be married longer than we were before we had kids and that we’d have this big long era of “just us” to explore and have so much fun.
Less than three years into marriage, we had already welcomed Claire into our family. We never got “more time.” I wish I had really soaked up the years we did have pre-kids instead of kept on thinking we’d have an unlimited amount of time.
Now that we do have kids, I also don’t want to wish away our time as parents. Sure, we will always be parents, but we won’t always be parents with kids in the house. Yes, this dynamic changes marriage and sometimes makes it really hard, but it’s still a part of our life that I don’t want to look back on with regret.
The biggest thing of all is that I want to be present in my marriage. Because what if the worst happens and one of isn’t around until we’re both 85 like I envision in a perfect scenario? The only time we have is now, so we have to cherish it.
2 // Not picking my battles
Oh, I love to be right. And so does my husband. We can both be pretty stubborn at times. I’ve definitely let my desire to just be right get in the way of actually listening and remembering we’re a team.
It doesn’t actually matter who is right, it matters that we work together.
3 // Not communicating at all
At the other extreme, sometimes I’ve picked no battles at all and just threw my hands up and said “I don’t care!” But that’s no way to go about a relationship.
I’ve often times retreated into myself and chosen not to communicate at all. I read recently that one of the most damaging things isn’t arguing in a relationship but not arguing, because it means you don’t care anymore.
There’s definitely a fine balance with this, but I find it’s always better to try to communicate than just let everything pile up “under the rug” and become an even bigger issue later.
4 // Not being fun
I am a pretty serious person sometimes. It’s been easy for me to get caught up in all the chores we have to do, the fact that we’re out of milk, or that the floor is dirty and let that suck the fun right out of me. It’s true that as people who own a home and have kids and cars, etc. we have a lot of things to get done. I’ve often been not very fun in the things we need to do though and forgotten to cultivate fun in our relationship.
There have been times that we go to the beach, but I’m so bogged down by all the things we need to bring and how sandy everything and everyone gets that it’s been less than a fun and relaxing experience with me at something that should otherwise be FUN!
Nurturing fun and forgetting about all the “to dos” and chores part of life is my goal for this summer.
5 // Not being more grateful
I know I can definitely stand to be a more grateful person in life in general, but also when it comes to my marriage. It’s been too easy to let negative things be more powerful than the positive ones.
I’ve been the kind of person to forget about the nice bracelet my husband got me for Valentine’s Day and focus instead of how I haven’t gotten a gift since then.
This is something we’ve worked on lately on both sides. It really goes a long way to just say “thanks for putting away my laundry” or “thanks for taking care of Claire last night.” Small acts of gratitude can pave the way for a lot more thankfulness and a better appreciation of each other.
I hope that this little mistakes I’ve made over the years shed some light on things not to do in your own relationships!
With that being said, I definitely don’t view my partnership in our marriage as only mistakes. I just know I haven’t been the perfect wife. Now that we’ve been married a while, I know that there’s no such thing as a perfect wife (or husband!), but I do hope to be a better wife.
I hope you guys have a great weekend! My dad arrives today and will be out for a week. We’ll be having a nice low-key Father’s Day weekend and then I get to play tour guide in Hawaii while my dad is out.
Questions for You:
- What “mistakes” have you made in marriage or relationships?
- Any big weekend plans?