Monday, December 8, 2014

New Beginnings

First of all, I would like to apologize for my absence. I was deathly sick over thanksgiving and then crazy busy last week due to work and my brother in laws wedding. I am back and ready to share with you all again. Yippee

This weekend was a whirlwind. We celebrated the marriage of my brother and new sister in law in Perry, Georgia on Saturday. It was a beautiful wedding for sure. I am excited to have a new sister, and am hopeful that they will give P some cousins to grow up with (hint, hint).

Weddings tap into my sentimental side. I don't think any married person can sit at a wedding and not think about their own special day. I spent a lot of time thinking about my wedding day. It was fun to relive the moments, to understand the stress that the Bride and Groom were feeling, and to be so glad to not be in their shoes! It also made me think about myself as a wife. When I heard their vows--I tried to think about whether or not I do a good job of those things. Am I unselfish? Do I put my husband's needs above my own? Do I cherish him? Do I support him?

So I started thinking about the 5 biggest lessons that I have learned in my two years of marriage. All of these things are things that I am still struggling with in some way.

Communication is the best strength in your marriage and the root of every problem in your marriage all at the same time.

I always feel more connected to J when we are having a really great intellectual conversation. BUT conversations are not necessarily communication. In our pre-marital counseling this is something that our counselor really stressed to us. You need good, direct communication to avoid conflict as much as possible. It can be as simple as saying (in a nice but direct tone), "I need you to do _____." or "I feel __________ when you do ____________." It seems so simple, but at times it is so hard. But I do believe that it causes more problems when you do not have those types of conversations when something is bothering you.

There is a fine line between selfishness and selflessness

I totally believe that you need to meet your partner's needs and that you need to put their needs ahead of your own at times. However, I also believe that it is totally possible to lose yourself in the process. I often worry that this is happening with J. He takes such good care of me and P that I worry that he is not getting what he needs from me.

Learn to apologize and to accept apologies

I am still really bad at this one. I have been known to be the last to apologize and to also hold on to anger from resolved issues. Even if I said that I am over it--I still dwell on it for awhile. I am a silent punisher at times. I will admit that I sometimes bring up things from months before. It's never healthy to look back and bring these issues to the present. This is a real struggle in my case.

Always have your spouse's back

I am not going to say that I have never said anything negative about J to a friend when I was mad or upset. However, there is a definite difference in talking to a friend for perspective and bashing your spouse.I feel like this happens a lot and it can be really hurtful to your relationship. I see it a lot within families. The husband will tell his family that he wants to do something that his family wants him to do but his wife doesn't want to. Maybe they are trying to pawn the blame off thinking that their family will be less likely to say anything to their spouse. To me that is really hurtful. You should be a united front even when you don't feel that way. Your spouse should, at least, feel that you will back them up with anyone outside of your relationship.

You have to fight fair

It's going to happen. You are going to disagree. Things are going to get heated sometimes, but it doesn't have to become a big blow out. I have heard of couples not talking to each other for days and weeks after an argument. That is just crazy to me. I believe that there are certain things that should be off limits in a fight. For example-- my biggest one is bringing up the D word. While you might be able to forgive or be forgiven for things you said--it is really hard to forget the hurt the words caused.

What are some of the things that you have learned in your marriage? What advice do you give the newlyweds in your life?

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