Gosh what a year it has been! I honestly can't believe It's only been 1 year because it basically feels like 5. Looking back to our wedding day I couldn't have imagined it any better. It was truly the best day of my life. I really believe God placed Stephen in my life not only to challenge me but also to make me a better person. My favorite part of our wedding were the letters we read to each other back to back before the ceremony. I could not have felt more loved than I did by him in that very moment. I know when days get hard that I should focus on that moment and not so much on the fact that his shirts can't seem to make it into the hamper. So anyway for all of you who are not married or are just interested in my thoughts I figured I would share with you 10 things I learned this past year.
1. "Ask yourself, is it a hill worth dying on?"
This is from my amazing mother who never seems to fail at giving amazing advice. While we were having one of our phone calls and I was griping about something that Stephen did she said to me "You need to ask yourself, is it a hill worth dying on?" And in that moment I was like gosh this women is philosophical. No but really she's so right! Most of our fights are beyond petty and if I were an outsider looking in I would think seriously get your sh&*t together. Though In the moment when your mad everything seems heightened! So it's good to keep that quote in mind! This brings me to my next point
2. Don't gossip about your husband
I learned this while watching real housewives of Beverly Hills (don't judge me). I watched these ladies tear down their husbands to each other and I just thought wow this seems very inappropriate and extremely detrimental to your marriage. So instead of picking up the phone and gossiping to one of my friends about something that is going on in my marriage I talk to my mom. I know her advice is going to come from a spiritual place and also from a loving and caring place. Whereas if I asked a friend they are more than likely going to side with me and aid in my trash talk. Which I learned is not going to benefit me or Stephen.
3. Don't believe Instagram
This is a big one! If you look at the pictures above would you believe me if I told you we had been bickering all day and I was so mad at him I could have jabbed him in the throat? Yea that's marriage lol. Despite what Instagram couples and social media like to try and make you believe no ones relationship is perfect. You're only going to ruin the relationship your in by comparing it to the highlight real of others. This also goes for that one friend who likes to tell you their marriage is amazing that they never fight and couldn't be anymore in love. (They are lying)
4. 90% of conflicts come from your tone of voice
I learned this in our premarital counseling. It's easy while you're frustrated and in the moment to want to cut down your partner and for those of you that know me I'm pretty sharp with my words, however, this never solves anything it only escalates it. Stephen and I are equally head strong and my feelings tend to get hurt pretty quickly. Its easy to yell it's much harder to say the same thing in a calm nicer voice. (were still working on this one)
5. Time management
A lot of you know that Stephen is in Car sales which means he works 6 out of 7 days a week 9-10 or later. So my main time with him is on Sundays. I try not to book any photoshoots or blog stuff on this day! I would say this is where 95% of our fights stem from. I mean it gets lonely here! I also recognize that this is his career and it won't be like this forever. So make sure you are getting as much time with your spouse and you are prioritizing each other. My mom gave me the amazing advice to "Never stop dating each other." This could not be any more true. It's a little easier right now but once we throw kids in the mix I know it will get a lot harder. So for now I will treasure our Sunday brunches.
6. Budgeting is not my strong suit
I am seriously awful at budgeting but, thank goodness my husband is great at it. This is definitely a hard one for me and this blog doesn't make it any easier. I've learned that this can put a huge damper on a marriage if you don't agree on a budget! So with everything comes compromise so I've learned that I don't always need everything that I place in my shopping cart and have learned to set a budget for myself (just started this so pray for me).
7. Get a hobby
For me having so much extra time on my hands I learned early on this year I needed a hobby. I didn't want to be that wife who just waits on their husband to get home and never has anything going on in their life. Well someone should have told me to pick 1 hobby not 2 at once because together it's a lot! I decided on blogging and photography. Both have actually been going very well and I couldn't be happier. It gives me something to do all night and this way I'm not texting Stephen every 30 min asking him when he's coming home.
8. Love without expectation
This is a hard one for me. One of my top love languages is "acts of service" so for me when I want to show stephen love I clean the house, do all of the laundry, pick up his dry cleaning, etc. For Stephen his is physical touch. (That's like at the bottom of my list and vice verse) you can see where things get sticky here. Its hard when you both feel like you are putting in 100% effort but it's just clear you're not on the same page. So for us we have to meet in the middle and that is also still a work in progress! (some days are better than others) I think we all have to remember to love one another with out the expectation that they are going to love us the same way back.
10. "Don't leave"
Ill leave you with these wise words that my grandfather gave me and my cousins a couple weeks ago at their 60th wedding anniversary!
"We asked what's the secret to a long lasting marriage?"
he said "don't leave"
Well there ya have it folks! I hope this was insightful and helpful!