This is my second Tip Tuesday post. Its a little different than the last, but I thought it was important. Last weekend my mom and I attended a bridal shower for my friend’s fiance, where they asked us to leave advice for the couple. Being the “freshest” married gal there, they thought I would have some really key points of advice that they wouldn’t have thought of. What I wrote down, I think most “old and married” couples told me at some point or another, but I guess being fresh makes the advice more realistic?
Anyways, upon reflecting about what I told them, I thought I’d share it with you, and try to give a little more explanation about each. These aren’t profound, but I think they are true, and certainly bring my husband and I closer.
One. BE HONEST. I think this is one of the most important things in a marriage. You need to always be honest, but speak with love. You will find plenty of things about your spouse that you may not understand or things that bug you, so be honest. Don’t hold things in and let them build until they explode. However, you can’t expect your spouse to change who they are or what they do.
Honesty is important so they know what is going on and can hopefully do something about it, but there have been several times in our marriage that just talking about the “issue” helped resolve it. My husband was able to explain “why” he does certain things and his thought process behind them, and it worked. He didn’t have to change the action, but because we both understood what we were thinking, we could both modify our reactions. A lot of the time, it was me that needed to change.
Two. SPEAK WITH LOVE. This literally goes right along with the honesty thing. When you are trying to figure things out at the first of your marriage, or relationship, you are obviously going to have differences. Different ways of folding clothes, of washing the dishes, of cleaning- or not cleaning. These are things that need to be addressed and discussed, but you wont make much progress in aligning your ways if you are pointing fingers the whole time and telling them their way is wrong.
Three. ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS. I don’t know about you, but most of my married friends don’t seem to have a whole lot of time to hang out with friends anymore. I never understood why, but not I’m starting to see. For most of us, school and work is always on different schedules than our spouse’s. That makes it hard to really grow together, so any free time they have, they would rather spend it with the one they made a vow to love forever. Fortunate for my husband and I, we have virtually the same schedule, and have more time together than almost any of our other married friends have. But, we still enjoy the little things.
When we were first married, we lived about 30 minutes outside of town. Not just a 30 minute commute, but 30 minutes of driving time through the middle of no-where. At first I thought I would hate it… Neither of us really like long drives, but as time went on, those moments were some of the moments I cherished most. Those were times of uninterrupted conversation where we got to know each other more, where we got to discuss what our dreams and goals were as a couple, discuss business, discuss us. Now that we live in town, we don’t drive to work together anymore, but we do take all the time we can to be together. We go grocery shopping together, we run errands together, clean together, work together. If Nate has to go out and do stuff during work, he will invite me to come with him so we can have more time together. We enjoy the little things.
I hope these were helpful, at least in some way or another. But to close, I want to share my mom’s advice for this couple. I have always loved this advice. This is for the singles out there, as well as the married. It is something I’ve carried with me for a long time. In a nutshell, it goes:
There are few things in life you need to be selfish about. One of those is choosing who you spend your life with. Be selfish. Don’t compromise on that. But when you do make your choice, and make that commitment, you cannot be selfish anymore, rather you need to be selfless, always compromising (with your spouse that is).
What is some advice you would give to newlyweds, or what was some good advice you received?
Wishing you happiness,