It's truly hard to believe we've already been married almost two years - I feel like our massively fun wedding was just yesterday! We've learned a TON in our first couple of years being married and I know there's still an entire lifetime of lessons to be learned. But, that being said, I want to share with you what I've gathered from this first lil' bit of time.
If you're also married and are like "two years is nothing, wait until you get to seven", I feel you and I understand... we're technically still in our honeymoon stage. Also, if you've got children and are like, "just wait until you have kids, everything will change", I feel you on that, too. Children are not in our immediate future, but I've watched my sister and her husband raise three little ones and have seen how much of your life they'll change (in the best way)!
With ALL of that being said, here are my tips and tricks to long-term relationships and marriage.
The Most Important Meal of the Day
No, it's not breakfast (because intermittent fasting). Our most important meal is the one we have together - dinner! Assuming we're home, I make dinner for Matt and I every. single. night. We leave the phones in the living room, turn off the TV, and use our dinner time to discuss our day. It's completely uninterrupted time (outside of Tuddie begging for scraps) for the two of us to share the stress, success, or mediocrity of the day.
It's a time for us to talk candidly about things we're nervous about or something exciting that's coming up. We also take this time to share the things that are driving us nuts about the other. I might take a moment to tell him that I'm NOT going to hang up another damn sweatshirt he has lying around downstairs because it's not mine and he doesn't hang my clothes up but I hang his up and that "not knowing where mine go" isn't an excuse!!!.... sheesh, sorry.
Anyway.... this brings me to my next point!
If you've never seen the video of the little boy telling Linda to LISTEN TO HIM HONEY, click here because it's worth the watch.
Listening to you S/O is so, so important and is one of the basic fundamentals of a relationship. In the point prior to this one we discussed how dinner time is a time to talk, but it's also a time to listen. Truthfully, Matt doesn't care about my opinions on whether or not Jordyn Woods and Kylie Jenner will reconcile their differences... but if that's the most noteworthy thing that happened in my day, he better be listening! You should constantly be listening to and learning about your S/O because that's the easiest way to show that you care.
Dates Aren't Hard.
If you follow me on Instagram you've likely seen the goofy videos of us playing mini golf, ski ball, or throwing away money on the claw machine. Those are our favorite kinds of dates, but it requires us to both have a free night -- AKA, hard to come by.
There's this idea that a date night is only considered a date night when there's all this thought or money behind it and that you HAVE to go out for dinner. I say FALSE. A date night in is just as fun and worth while if you give your undivided attention to each other. We make date nights out of spaghetti and Fort Nite, that might not be your cup of tea, but it doesn't have to be! In my book, a date is simply an opportunity for you and your S/O to have time to yourselves outside of work, school, and whatever else your day-to-day includes. Leave it behind and do something you love, even if that means taking a break from your healthy lifestyle to chow down a greasy pizza on the couch.
Support. Each. Other.
This is most important part of this blog. If you skimmed the rest of my points, I hope you tune your brain into this one and retain it. Supporting your S/O is a necessity for a happy and healthy relationship. One person's dreams should never falter because of the dreams of the other. Never. Ever.
My broadcast career is one that requires weird hours, a lot of work, not a lot of pay (at first), and travel. Matt's football career requires weird hours, a lot of work, no pay (at first) and travel. So how could we both possibly make that work while giving our marriage the attention it needs?
We spend a lot of time apart doing the things that will help us get ahead in our careers. It requires sacrifices of time together, but it also forces us to make the most out of the time we do get. I seriously urge you to talk with your S/O and have open conversations about your craziest goals and dreams. If they support you, they're a winner. If they tell you you're silly, thank you, next. Be your husband or wife's biggest cheerleader. On the way to the top there will be a million people to tell you no, but to have a constant yes in your corner could be what gets you there.
The biggest emphasis I want to make in this tip is to talk about your goals, weigh the sacrifices, and urge your S/O to go for it.
Communication is THE KEY.
Yet another one that I can't stress enough. TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN.
"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game" - The dad in A Cinderella Story. Such a good movie. The point of that quote (from a very underrated film, love you, Hillary Duff) is that even if you think what you're about to tell him/her is going to make them mad, SAY IT ANYWAY. Have healthy conversations and debates that can help you hash things out. If you keep it all bottled up for too long and then explode out of anger, it won't turn out well for either of you.
In our book, there's not such thing as over-communication. It's not just about asking how their day was and what the weather looks like the for the rest of the week. That is small talk. It's about connecting and understanding your S/O on a level that nobody in the world can. That's your person! Think Meredith Grey and Christina Yang. Share the world with them, every thought you're having about a career change, the things that scare you, and what you want for the future. Without communication and MEANINGFUL communication, your relationship becomes a friendship. Through talking and listening to each other, your relationship or marriage becomes something irreplaceably special.
Okay that's all for now. Those are my biggest tips that I've picked up in our first couple years of marriage! If you're looking for some Cliff Notes: just be open, honest, and get to really KNOW your S/O. There's a lot of life to be had with each other, but we're in it together and that's the best part!