Mj and I have been together for five years and we have never had an argument. I can hardly even believe that myself. We don't always agree but we come from a similar enough starting point that it just works. We push and pull each other with just the right amount of force so that it never results in a verbal altercation. Our biggest issue is that he's on the messy side and I'm a neat freak who sometimes nags. If that's our biggest problem I figure we are doing something right. We are far from perfect but these are some things that have been working for us. There really is no magic secret to a happy marriage. Everybody is different and carries their own personality, baggage and expectations into a relationship making each one unique. What works for one couple may not work for another. There is no one size fits all solution but we can still learn a lot from one another.
|Pic from Christmas Day last year // No white Christmas around these parts|
First of all, it really helps if you are compatible. This is not really a tip. I'm just stating the obvious. They say opposites attract but if you don't agree on anything in life it will be really hard to make a relationship work. Perhaps not impossible just a lot harder. And not that you want to be with a carbon copy of yourself but it helps if you share similar values, morals and beliefs. It will be that much easier to relate to each other, get along and deal with life.
1. Never forget why you fell in love with each other in the first place. We get annoyed at each other. Sometimes our partners drive us nuts. It's going to happen. But anything that bothers me about Mj is insignificant compared to the many things about him that I love. If there are more things about your partner that you don't love then things that you do love that's a problem.
2. Respect each other. You don't always have to like your partner but I think it's really important to respect them as a person. Respect breeds trust, kindness and empathy for one another. It sets the tone for how you relate to each other which sets the foundation for how you handle problems and disagreements.
3. Communication. Tell him what's wrong. Men are not mind readers and we can't expect them to be. If I'm visibly disgruntled and Mj asks me what's wrong if I don't tell him that's it. He will not ask again and my pouting goes ignored. This is actually a good thing because it makes me realize how much time I'm wasting stewing alone in my anger. Lack of communication is so often the root of arguments. Typical scenario. She's mad but won't say why. He get's annoyed because she's stomping around yet won't say what the problem is. Now they are both annoyed. Any little thing can set either one of them off and the next thing you know there is a fight. It's best to avoid that whole charade altogether. If I'm just in a mood and there is no reason for me to be grumpy I apologize in advance and tell him it's not him it's me. I just need to be a brat right now and he lets me be. And if it is him that's bothering me even though it's hard I need tell him. Being upset about it but keeping it to yourself accomplishes nothing. The longer you wait the more the situation festers and then it's even worse down the road.
4. Think of yourselves as a team. Don't keep score and don't play the blame game. Just because he screws up it certainly doesn't give you a pass to do something wrong out of spite. Our mama's taught us this one. Two wrongs don't make a right. It's also very destructive to keep score and then throw the mistake back in each others faces later. It only builds resentment over time and creates a you vs him type of dynamic which is terrible for a relationship. Nobody is perfect. People make mistakes. We need to learn to forgive each other and move on. Together.
5. Pick your battles because you will never win them all nor should you because a relationship is about compromise. You will never get him to understand or agree to your point of view on everything and vice versa. Push for what's important and pull back on the rest. Ideally, he will do the same thing for you and you can meet each other half way on most things.
6. Be willing to admit when you are wrong. Nobody likes a know it all who always has to be right and have the last word. All it does is build resentment over time.
7. Never stop dating. It's good for you to see each other in something other then hang around the house comfy cotton casuals. Have fun together!! Going out and doing fun things together reminds you of when you first started dating which makes you feel all lovey dovey inside which can do wonders for helping to keep the romance alive.
8. Give each other space. Mj and I lived in a 400 square foot studio condo for about 6 months and it was really hard. We were basically living on top of each other and that makes anything that annoys you about your partner multiply by 10 because it's in your face all the time. At first I missed being able to see him all the time when we moved into our house but having two living spaces not to mention two sinks has been wonderful. Sometimes you just need moments to yourself to just BE. Take moments away from each other. Do things apart. Have experiences apart from each other so that you can come together and share what you've been up to. Miss each other a bit even if it's just for a few hours. It makes you even that much more appreciative of your time together.
I am no expert. Half of the advice I give are things that I'm still working on myself. This is my 2nd marriage. I have screwed up in the past and don't know everything but I have learned a lot from my mistakes. There are many times where I don't feel worthy of this wonderful sexy man that I have managed to snag. But lucky for me I love him, he loves me and we are both willing to put in the effort it takes to make our relationship work. It's a work in progress but that's okay as long as we're both committed to working on it.
Linking up with Emily from Newlywed Moments.
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