Thursday, August 28, 2008

10 things I've learned about marriage in the last 10 years

Tomorrow is Nick's and my tenth anniversary. Tomorrow is also my mother's back surgery. Life is messy like that. The joy gets mixed up with worry.

10 Things about I've Learned About Marriage

  1. Marriages are unique. There is no one right way to approach marriage. So it's ok to ignore supposedly universal advice if it doesn't fit my marriage - like "Don't go to bed angry." I go to bed angry all the time. I wake up angry, but rested. Then I can have a discussion instead of a fight.
  2. I can't give everything I've got to work, the kids, church, my friends, and then serve Nick whatever is left over at the end of the day. He's my husband. He deserves better than scraps of me.
  3. If I'm not getting what I need, I have to tell Nick. I have to be specific. I can't say that I need time with him. I have to say I need 15 minutes every day for him to listen to me. Then he will understand and give me what I need or we'll fight about it and find a compromise.
  4. When I start to hide little, unimportant things from Nick, we are heading toward rocky territory. That's the time to pull out the stops and figure out what is really wrong and fix it.
  5. Some things do not stay fixed. This is the nature of the world. Mountains crumble, canyons deepen, rivers change course, compromises erode. Take a deep breath and fix it again.
  6. Marriage is not a competition so don't keep score.
  7. Sex is important, and that's ok.
  8. Always make sure that what I'm hearing is what Nick is saying and vice versa. There is nothing wrong with being a parrot, especially when furious. Sometimes saying "I am hearing you say blah blah blah" is the quickest way to uncover a miscommunication.
  9. Nick will never forget the Juice Newton bet, the combo gas station and burger king bet, or any other bet that we've ever had when I've been wrong (which is about 90% of them). So I don't make bets unless I'm prepared to be teased about them for the next 30 or 40 years.
  10. Marriage isn't a choice that I made 10 years ago. It's a series of choices that I have made over the past 10 years and that I will continue to make for the rest of our time together. It's a constant process of choosing Nick over the alternatives. And sometimes, I make the wrong choice. Sometimes he does too. But I think that if we each choose each other more often than not, we'll make it.


Jen said...

Good advice for all of us. Happy anniversary!

Monica said...

Christy is wise! Happy anniversary!!