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Marriage Wisdom (from whatever step comes after newlyweds)

Marriage Wisdom (from whatever step comes after newlyweds)
Marriage Wisdom (from whatever step comes after newlyweds)

I realize it’s a bit premature for me to provide true “wisdom” about marriage. With only two years and three months of wedded bliss under my belt I don’t pretend to know the key to a successful marriage. But I know what’s worked for my marriage as a 20-something in our current society, and maybe that’s enough?

This blog post stems from three really good friends who have all recently become engaged. The most recent of which called me to share the news and teased me about, “Sharing my wisdom”. Her words got me thinking about what advice I would share with friends who are about to embark on this journey.

What would I truly want to tell my friends about marriage?

Well…

  1. You are going to continue to grow and change, but when you’re married you do it together. 

At 21 everyone warned me that I wouldn’t be the same person then that I would be at 25 and 30 and 40 so “BE SURE about marrying that person because YOU COULD CHANGE”. Well they were right, I’m not even the same person now at 24. But neither is he. We both changed. The notions I had about life at 21 are completely different now. But they’re different for him, too. If anything we’re more in sync now. Don’t worry about changing and growing. It’s so fun to do it with someone by your side. For the people passing up a great partner because of the fear you “may change”, you better never get married. I hear we keep changing/growing until we die.

2. Keep it light. Keep it silly. Keep laughing. 

Work is serious. School is serious. Bills are serious. Marriage is a serious decision, but it shouldn’t be serious. Laugh. Act like kids. Be spontaneous. Talk in accents when you go through the drive through. Have embarrassingly adorable lingo that you use when you’re alone. Dance while you make dinner. Hold hands and run down the street screaming when you drink. Don’t take marriage too seriously. The certificate didn’t mean we had to trade in being kids at heart.

3. You have two brains, not one.

It’s okay to have different hobbies, friends, political beliefs (make sure the big ones align…), ideas, favorite colors, etc. Marriage makes us a united front, but I didn’t marry myself? It’s easy to get flustered if I don’t agree about a political issue, or if only one of us likes a new set of couple friends, or if one of us prefers to do a specific hobby alone. All of that is 100% okay. Embrace the differences. We agree on the important issues that affect our lives and we have a handful of hobbies we do together. Everything else makes us individuals.

4. If you start to get into a routine, take an adventure

It doesn’t have to be a backpacking trip across Europe or moving to a new place (although that would do). Plan a Saturday trip to a hiking spot you’ve never been. Take a mini one night camping trip. Get a hotel in the city you live. Have a picnic in your backyard. Plan a date night roller skating and going to a drive in movie. Anything that disrupts the routine of daily life works. I’ll let a quote sum up this piece of advice up best,

“Marriage must fight constantly against a monster which devours everything: routine.”
Honoré de Balzac

5. Communicate

Ask about each other’s days. Eat dinner without phones. Keep the TV out of the bedroom. Turn the radio down every now and then. Have a sincere interest in each other’s lives even when feeling tired and self absorbed. Think of each other at free moments during the day. Getting or sending a simple “Miss you” text speaks volumes. Being able to say how I feel and what I need whether it’s regarding goals, work, arguments, plans, or our relationship is vital. Keep talking. Every day.

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“When I am with you, there is nowhere else I’d rather be. And I am a person who always wants to be somewhere else.”

— David Leviathan

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