Making Marriage Work

Faith

Marriage can and should be a life partnership with your best friend, but sometimes our spouse can drive us crazy! I’m sharing my 2 favorite tips for handling those moments and loving the other through the imperfection.

Hey all!  So, Luke and I celebrated 13 years of marriage this Monday.  That’s right THIRTEEN YEARS.  I feel as old as dirt just saying that.  Every time I look at Liam (almost 12) I have a mild coronary attack thinking that only old people have preteenage kids.  How did we get here??!

If there’s anything I’m proud of doing for well over a decade, it’s being married to this guy.  We both got pretty dang lucky when it comes to choosing a spouse (if I do say so myself!) but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been work involved.  Some people spend their youth dreaming about finding a perfect companion and staying together forever and some people never imagine themselves married.  I honestly never thought much about it, except I wanted to get married eventually and have him be tall enough so that I could still wear 4″ heels, (success!).

I realize that most of the stuff we worry about before marriage (having similar interests, backgrounds, personality, etc) doesn’t really end up mattering at all.  The really important stuff, when it comes to living with someone in harmony for a long time, are things like common morals and those really important values your mom and dad tried to teach you.  It’s pretty crucial that both parties try to be decent humans, have similar life goals and, most importantly, are willing to forgive and move on.

The BEST piece of advice I was ever given regarding marriage??  To ask myself this question whenever a disagreement arose between Luke and me:

“Would you rather be right or be married?”

Whoa.  #truthbomb  I can’t remember who said it or where I heard it, but I remember thinking back to countless times when I’d witnessed myself or others put their desire to be “right” ahead of a relationship.  All those moments of “I told you so” and driving a point home at the expense of the other person’s feelings suddenly seemed toxic and just so pointless.

I’m happy to say that Luke and I are both mostly successful in putting each other first in an argument.  Now if anyone has tips for how to do the same with my kids (who never listen, obviously)….I’m all ears!

The second best advice I ever got was this: when you see something that really annoys you in the other person, work on that thing yourself!  In other words, if your sweet husband has a (ridiculously annoying) habit of never picking up his (disgustingly smelly, filthy) socks at the end of the day (completely hypothetical, of course), instead of nagging him, you can go above and beyond in your own laundry duties. Or if he tends to get short with the kids at bedtime, you can be extra kind and patient with them.  Not only will your spouse mostly likely want to follow your lead, but it will make you feel so much better than whining and complaining about it.

Nothing will ever bring us greater happiness (or greater sadness) than our relationships with our family, be they good or bad.  Families teach us humility, grace, tenacity, patience and best of all, love.

(Photos by Let Me See You Sparkle)

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