5 things I wish I knew before getting married
It’s our 6 year wedding anniversary, but 7 years of Marriage ( So 7 years ago we got married but 6 years ago today we had our wedding) and these lessons are some we have learned and not always the easy way. So in honor of today I wanted to share a bit of our past, how we got here, the good, the bad and the ugly.
6 years ago today we did say our vows, however already legally married. Both of us had previously been married, so a decided on a more logical approach, get married, wait, save money, have a wedding. That plan worked out great, parents did still help us with wedding expenses, however that should have been the last time we allowed them to help…..
This one I could go on about forever! However out of respect of the great relationships many couples have with their parents I will try to keep this on point. When you get married as 2 grown adults (we were 25 and 28). We had made plenty of grown decisions, joined the military served our country, lived on our own for nearly a decade each at that point. Our parents left us alone in most situations, however upon getting married. They all became experts on our lives. I have many reasons which I will not go into here, on how they really had no right. However as parents of grown children often do, they won’t relinquish the role of “do what I say”. Listening to others about our marriage, what we should or should not do. How each other “would feel” regardless of asking them. All this craziness led to destructive behaviors and hurt feelings. Parents of adult children led their own life, had their own relationships with people who possibly had very different personalities than either of you, their lessons were for them. In most cases….. it was meant to that way.
2. Compete only with yourselves
As adults who were previously married we came with financial baggage. Both of us had went through costly divorces, and one very long custody battle (hell on earth, I promise). That being said we were behind the curve as far as money went. And we found ourselves trying to compete with others in our peer group. Needed a newer SUV, bigger house, bigger income, etc…. We found ourselves playing the game of keeping up with the Jones. When we look back many of those we felt we had to compete with have since divorced, had to file bankruptcy and so on. When if we would have just stayed at certain places for longer, keep the smaller house, the older car we would be light years ahead now. If I could go back, or if I could convince someone else. Compete only with yourselves, set your own goals, keep your eyes on that prize, don’t look at your peers. They have a different life and most likely a different view of the future and of success.
This one I could almost put in the last two categories too! Check out our post Here, that will tell you how we ended up with that one on this list! Again, don’t compete with others, or let limitations or expectations be set for you by outside forces. Some people dream of a huge family, I have many friends in this category. You may find yourself opposite, you want no children and to focus on careers. Or you may want to adopt children and go that route. Children are a very personal choice, and the opinions of others may be hurtful yes, or even out right rude. Do not be swayed stick to who you are, it’s your marriage, it’s your life.
4. Never stop learning
Marriage is a life time commitment or it should be (did I mention divorce= hell on earth) So since it is a lifetime thing we should expect to spend that entire time continuing to learn and grow. That may mean different phases of life might have different growth curves. Honey moon phase, career building, children having, child rearing, empty nesters (not that we are anywhere close to that, I mean our little guy just turned 1 check that out here) or just a season of change in general (like starting new out in a farm). Any way you look at it, you must constantly learn to over come and adapt. That we have learned will be unique to your own life, marriage, family, goals, dreams and situations. Taking an attitude of learning and growth will help you handle the hard times better, and we all know those hard time will come.
5. Be flexible
This is a classic saying in the military, and that’s because EVERYTHING is subject to change. The same is true in marriage. Jobs, vehicles, homes, cities, states, incomes, children, pets, values, point of view, health and much much more. Being flexible will help survive tough time immensely. We have faced many, did I say many, tough situations from ex’s fraudulently forging signatures and wrecking credit to parents manipulation tactics. To health issues (read about some of that here) or Job loss and life changes (check that story out here). No matter what you do, commit to be flexible, flexible and resilient.
So for this 6th anniversary what better way than to share our short list of lessons we have learned in out 6/7 years of marriage. I am sure in another 6+ years we will have learned even more, and that is the goal right to keep learning, to keep moving forward. The point for us is family ♡♡♡
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