Today is the anniversary of the day I married Hubs three years ago. I’ve said it before, but marriage is hard work and it’s about making a choice every day to be present in the marriage. Hubs pretty great and I knew that then, but I’m not sure how much I appreciated it. We have made huge strides with each other lately and the other day, as we discussed a future that may involve living apart temporarily in order to set ourselves up best for each having an opportunity to fulfill our callings in the same city in the future, he said something along the lines of, “We’ve grown up together so much recently and I’m so happy with where our relationship is now, I might not want to be apart from you.” Friends, my cup runneth the eff over! So in honor of our anniversary, I’d like to highlight some improvements between us since we tied the knot. (This is by no means an exhaustive list).
1. Hubs is a good cleaner upper. When we first moved in together, a couple of months before we got married, I had never lived in close quarters with a man, having not grown up with brothers. I was SHOCKED by the base level of cleanliness that seemed acceptable to Hubs (how low can you go?) and I didn’t handle it well. As I am not one who really keeps feelings to herself and at times blames them on other people, I was a, ahem, challenge to live with until we worked that all out. What helped eventually was me being reasonable about what I was asking, giving advance notice of chores I felt needed doing, and avoiding the following: hysterics, gross generalizations, and unrealistic expectations (this last bit involved a compromise from both of us on a mutually acceptable base level of cleanliness).
2. I try to be nice to him ALL THE TIME. Growing up, it was really easy for me to treat my parents or my sister badly if I was having a bad day. They quickly forgave snappiness and rudeness, and I don’t think I heard enough that it wasn’t okay to take my feelings out on other people. Like most of the other things I’d been doing for my first 23 years, I brought this modus operandi with me to my marriage. It wasn’t ’til I was spending time with family that my eyes were opened to a different way to be. My dad’s sister said that when she first started dating her partner, he said to her, “You can’t treat people like that.” She now makes a concerted effort with everyone, especially him, to behave better when she is in crisis. I realized that weekend that I needed to change the pattern of behavior in my own life, and I set out to be nice to Hubs all the time, even when I’m mad at him. This effort has not been without its failures, but we are both SIGNIFICANTLY happier than we were. The commitment to this new way of interacting was also much easier for me to make and keep than I thought it would be (though looking back, I’m not sure why I thought it would be hard; I hate acting like a bitch and always regret treating people badly).
3. Our sex life. (YESSSSSSSS)
So what’s the key to this pretty great list? Communication. 1, 2, and 3 are a result of us trying to be tip top communicators. I’m one who’ll talk a subject to death, and Hubs keeps things locked up inside, but now we exist mostly in the happy medium of being able to share and confide and also let each other have time to process things alone (Hubs) or with extramarital support (me). I’m pretty thankful for the past three years and psyched out of my mind for the rest of our marriage. If we keep improving at the current rate, we’re going to be the best married couple EVER.