My wedding guest today is one of my favourite writers in the blog world and I feel like she always gives great advice. To get me to read an entire blog post is a pretty big accomplishment (i am very much a picture person) but Kyla manages to keep me reading all the time. I am so happy to have Kyla here as a Wedding Guest (on our first full day as a married couple!!).
Hello, I'm Kyla Roma and I'm really excited to be a part of the amazing group of ladies who are watching Elycia's blog for her while she's getting married!
Elycia asked if I could share a little advice on marriage or relationships, and while it's a huge topic I'm excited to give you some of my insights. My husband Jesse and I are celebrating our third wedding anniversary this fall, and we lived together for almost three years before that. We definitely haven't got everything right in our marriage- but since everyone in my immediate family who has been married has also been divorced at least once (we are a stubborn and hilarious crew!) I feel like I'm in a unique position to share some things that can hopefully steer you around potential relationship potholes!
Be as selfless and supportive as you can muster. The only way you both win is if you're both happy, and that is definitely worth giving up a little ground over! If you get in a habit of making the other person's needs high on your priority list, you can build a strong foundation for a really fun and caring life.
Practice arguing and talking about money gracefully. Learning self control and to keep your sense of humor in stressful situations is a really tough skill to master, but there no such thing as winning an argument in a marriage. If you can practice talking about small issues in your finances and disagreeing about little things respectfully you'll be armed with skills you can take to the big disagreements to make them productive and keep them focused on finding solutions.
Be a cheerleader. It sounds silly, but sometimes telling the person you're with that they're amazing can fall into a pattern of "I Love You"s. Those are great- but make sure you also notice the wonderful character traits the other person has and express it verbally when you appreciate them. It could be their eye for detail, how they're a trustworthy friend, or their dedication to a cause- but knowing that your partner values you for your heart is an amazing feeling.
Sometimes talking it out won't fix it. If we're arguing or having a hard time, no matter what Jesse and I are going through, we refuse to stay up all night trying to hash things out. When we have Really Hard Conversations I've found that sometimes it's better to mutually agree that things are hard, that it sucks, and to put a discussion on hold until the next day in favour of doing something else. (As long as you can skip being passive aggressive or stomping about!) Sometimes just doing something active together, or slipping into your own hobbies for a little while will change your perspective and take the pressure off the conversation so you can come back to it more yourself.
Make out. Do I have to tell you twice? Just have a good old fashioned make out session every now and then! :)
Have boundaries with your families. Especially if you're going from living with your family to living with your partner, it's important to set the boundaries with your family so everyone knows what to expect. If you live close to your families and don't want them dropping in unannounced, let them know. If both of your families are into the Huge Holiday Dinner Event thing, talk about how you'll split up your time early in the year and let the hosts know in advance so they don't feel rejected. And make sure to start your own traditions instead of just tagging along with your families!
Patch up the other person's gaps. Even if your childhood came complete with a perfectly manicured lawn, white picket fence, and all the love in the world there are probably some experiences you missed out on. Being with someone for the long haul gives you so many fun opportunities to do those things you skipped! When we moved in together Jesse didn't know that a tablespoon of vinegar cures the hiccups every time (now his favourite cure!), and my organic hippie Mom had made sure I'd never had a sugary breakfast (I ate Eggos at breakfast for a year, the sugar crash was so worth it!). Have fun getting to know all the little details about each other and actively add to each other's lives!
Skip the three legged race. Having friends who are just your friends and hobbies that are all your own is healthy. It gives you a chance to teach each other new things and to grow as individuals, and that helps you bring new skills and discoveries to the table in your relationship. Just because you have an amazing person in your life doesn't mean it's fair to make them Your Everything- having a solid support network and outside interests is an act of love too.
Do you have any tips that have helped your relationship?
Thanks so much Kyla, this is amazing advice that Ivan and I will definitely put to good use!