I have to say, marriage has been one awesome ride. With two "I Dos" and a few legal documents, you receive a legal best friend, exploration partner, and co-founder of your family. With all that said, marriage is super hard. You can no longer be selfish. You have to constantly compromise and navigate your partner's emotions.
I am not an expert at being married. I have a ton of flaws that I am constantly working on. But I have a blog and that gives me the opportunity to pretend to be an expert -OR- at least try to pass on some of my thoughts to others that are willing to read. I have put together a list of tips that I try to use.
With every relationship, boundaries are important! People don't know what they don't know and we form habits quickly. I have found that it is important to speak up when your partner does something that you don't like or makes you feel uncomfortable. The more they know about you and your feelings, the better! The same goes for you with your partner's feelings. Respect their boundaries, listen to their feelings, and compromise.
Everyone has something to say, but your thoughts are better ... right? WRONG! When you spend your time thinking of how to respond, you are not listening. It is important to listen to what your partner is saying, make sure you understand, and then respond to their feelings.
It's funny, money comes in really fast and goes away even quicker. Some people are more fortunate, some people are smarter with it, and some people just have times of bad luck. Money can cause stress just as fast as it can cause bliss. Many people told me before I got married that so many marriage problems come from the stress of money. During this ongoing process of starting a business, we have had to take a lot of risks. Money has flooded into our savings accounts and with big moves, we have been counting pennies. Through it all, I have been so happy with how we have handled it. We communicate about our feelings, come up with a plan, and together as a team, we go after our main goal. Which at the end of the day is basically to have a roof, bed, and food on our table. I think if you don't work as a team, you might slowly start to blame the other person and maybe even begin to resent them.
I am almost 4 years into this marriage. It has become such a normal part of my life. Jada is my family, and we are getting stuck in our routines. As years go by, the hot and heavy part of the "Honeymooning phase" starts to slowly slip away. Don't let it! Go on dates, play, and relax together. I love taking Jada out on dates, getting a little tipsy, laughing, and taking life a little less seriously. It keeps us connected, and I feel like it keeps our relationship young.
This is my favorite advice I hear during speeches at weddings. Other than the image of two people fighting naked being hilarious, I think it has a deeper meaning. When you get into an argument with your partner, it is so easy to turn it into a blame game. You did this, no you did that, no you talked to me like that. If you fight this way, it will just keep going. You will begin to try and win the argument with facts that don't even matter. It might even get to a point where you say something hurtful. Arguments can quickly spread from its root cause and morph into childish behavior. Well if you just fight naked, you won't start the blame game, and ultimately you will reconnect and wipe the slate clean.
Everyone has dreams. It is what makes us move forward in life. Whether it be as simple as a tomato garden or as complex as becoming a doctor, they exist! To me, I think you need to develop dreams together but also support your partner in exploring their own dreams. It is important to motivate them when they are down, help them when they need it, and celebrate their successes.
I have a lot more thoughts when it comes to relationships, and maybe I will jot them down another day. I think that will do for today though. Being married has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Jada has made me the best version of David. But, at the end of the day, it is still very hard. Relationships are forever evolving, and I think the more you analyze it, the better you will be!
Peace & Happiness - DWP
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