My husband and I have a great marriage. I’m not trying to brag, I’m only telling you that it’s possible. We are total opposites of each other but we fit so well together.
Cheese alert: He’s my best friend. He’s my person.
We’ve been together for almost eleven years, so we’ve learned a lot about each other before getting to the point we are at now. Another big factor: I quit drinking three years ago. That benefited both of us in many ways. But that’s a post for another day.
Here are the 5 L’s we use to make our marriage work:
I used to get annoyed when my husband would socialize without me. I didn’t think it was fair.
Why does he get to go out with friends while I have to be home with the baby?
Once I changed the way I thought about that time, it helped. Now, I like when he leaves. I use that time for myself. I catch up on all the shows that he doesn’t want to watch, or I take a bath. I go to bed early, I read a book. That’s my “me” time. As a mom who works full-time, I can never get enough of it!
I’ll admit I wasn’t always this easy-going when it came to who he was talking to or spending time with. Once I became more comfortable with who I was as a person, that helped me be more comfortable with our relationship.
I expected my husband to think as I do. It caused a lot of little pointless arguments and contempt.
Why can’t he shut the shower curtain when he’s done with his shower?
Does he not see that the sink is filled with dirty dishes?
No. He doesn’t. My husband sees what he thinks he needs to do, and most of the time he doesn’t care as much as I do. Having a clean kitchen and a tidy house at the end of the day helps my mind to be at ease. I like to wake up to things in their respective places. I like to clean the kitchen before I cook dinner in it. My husband is the opposite. He’s fine with adding to the pile of dirty dishes sitting by the sink. He doesn’t feel the need to pick up all the toys at the end of the night. Because he doesn’t care. And that’s fine.
I didn’t always feel this way, and sometimes I still don’t.
Why do I feel like am I doing EVERYTHING in this house?
I used to get angry about all the work that I was doing to keep our house together. I was doing everything that I thought needed to get done. But I have learned that life goes on if things don’t happen. If the floor isn’t vacuumed this week, it’s OK. So now, I’m comfortable with letting things go a little more. We’ve found our groove. I enjoy doing the dishes (I know…it’s crazy!), and my husband is the one who is usually cleans the bathroom and does the vacuuming. I am so thankful for the partnership we have.
Language and Conversation
This doesn’t have to be natural, it can be awkward if that’s what works. And sometimes that’s the only way you can get a conversation started. Some days I force my husband to tell me how he’s doing.
No really…how are you actually doing?
He’s not one to open up about his emotions without some prodding so sometimes this is the only way.
Some of my favorite times with him are sitting on the couch after our son goes to bed with no TV or phones, only talking. We are so connected after those nights and they make our love that much stronger.
The language we use in our marriage is key. Throughout our relationship, we’ve learned that what we say may be upsetting to the other person, so we refrain. We’re not perfect at this, and he’s much better at it than I am. It’s something I’m always working on.
Live Our Own Lives…Together
My husband is my favorite person in the world but I can only take so much time with him in one chunk. And I know he feels the same about me.
We both have our own friends and our own hobbies. We both have things we do separate from each other. He goes to the gym and I watch trashy reality television. It works for us.
Although we both have our own things going on, we do a lot together. But neither one of us is dependent on the other (he might argue this).
Early on, we got separate comforters. To this day I refer to this as “the best decision of our relationship.” Okay, I know that’s a little over-the-top but I’m serious. It was huge. We had many nights of insignificant arguments because I was hogging the comforter. I like to cocoon myself, OK?
This is one example of a little change that made a big difference.
Although it has taken a lot of practice, we try not to let little things become big things. We’ve learned to pick our battles. We know each other so well that we know how the other person is going to react if we say or do something a certain way. It doesn’t mean we don’t argue. We’re not pros but what we’ve got going on is working for us.
My husband and I are partners. We depend on each other but we are also independent of each other. We’re not perfect. But we fit perfectly together.