7 Tips for a Healthy Marriage
Austin and I are heading into our second year of marriage. Even I, myself couldn't believe it but when looking back over this last year of matrimony I realized we hadn't argued or fought once. In fact, these days I don't know what couples actually fight over. Now, I do believe I'm lucky but I also believe that luck favors the prepared. If I had to give you an explanation for our pretty smooth first year of marriage I'd have to share with you what I believe are some attributes that guided the way.
We Say 'Thank You'
I could sneeze 5x in a row, and he blesses me and I'll thank him every time. I pass him the parmesan cheese and he thanks me. If Austin picks me up from anywhere, I say "thank you so much! I appreciate you." We never stopped appreciating each other. This is beyond just our first year, we haven't stopped since we met in 2012. Little things add up to big things. If you want to have a good marriage don't forget to appreciate each other everyday for all of the things.
Austin and I couldn't be more opposite. We don't like the same music, movies, hobbies and there are only about 3 types of food that we agree on. But being someone's opposite is something pretty beautiful, it pushes us both outside of our comfort zones, we experience a world outside of our own. His musical taste has brought me to Punk Shows, my hobbies have brought him to Cirque Du Soleil. We've both enjoyed movies and experiences that we never thought we'd like because of compromise.
We Say I Love You Before Bed
Every night before bed, whether we are together or not we take a moment to say I love you. The reason why I say 'take a moment' is because it's never just a quick "love you!" Sometimes, we tell each other what it is that we love, other times it comes with a simple tight hug. But we make sure that the moment means something for us and that it doesn't become something we say without thinking twice.
We Give Each Other Space
Someone asked me recently, "when you're married and living with someone, how do you not play out seeing each other?" Austin and I have separate friends, different hobbies and different jobs. I give Austin time to miss me and he gives me time to miss him. We've created space in our lives to do things alone. We have separate offices, Austin has his own drum room. Austin goes skating and I go to cafes. Being with someone doesn't mean Being Them. We also travel separately, and when we return to each other we appreciate each other that much more.
We Have a Routine
Our days could be long, sometimes we're both so busy that we don't exchange more than 1 or 2 texts throughout the day. So at the end of the night we do two things together, shower and drink a cup of tea. This is our "us" time, its where we catch up on the day, laugh together, tell each other our latest ideas and all about the puppies we saw that day. I believe intimacy is more than just the typical stuff. It's about being close with the person you love in anyway that serves you.
We Travel Together
It's the reason we have a good relationship and it's the reason we have this blog, we travel together! When you're in a new country with someone and no one else, you really do become a team. We figure out foreign transportation, try new cuisines, go into dangerous areas, zip-line across amazing landscapes. We're sharing experiences that we may never have with anyone else and it really creates a strong bond. When Austin and I begin to plan a trip, I genuinely look forward to spending 24/7 with him, which sounds weird for people who live together but we always come back from the trip stronger and by the second day back home we end up missing each other.
This one seems obvious but it's one of the most important things about any relationship, being able to just talk to your significant other. This is the reason we don't argue because when we speak to each other it doesn't ever have to escalate. I personally know that no one is a mind reader, so I let Austin know how I feel and he let's me know how he feels. If I need a little extra love or even space, I ask for it. If I've hard a long day of work and just need an ear, I'll ask for some time to vent. We make time to hear each other out.
I don't think any couple should avoid fighting, I think that if you feel passionate about something you need to speak your mind. However, if at the end of the day you'd like to be with your person then figure out how to fix any issue that stands between that, don't draw it out to torture each other like I've seen so many couples do. Love doesn't have to hurt, it could be easy. No one's relationship is perfect, if it wa,s Austin wouldn't have to keep asking me to put my clothes away. These are just things that I believe help us to have a successful relationship and marriage but they definitely aren't the only things.