Today I get to celebrate 7 years of happy marriage. Life has had it’s ups and downs – with more happy moments than bad. As I reflect on the last 7 years, I came up with 7 lessons learned after 7 years of marriage.
- Be Present. This isn’t just sitting in the same room together. It’s engaging, participating and living in that moment. Take long walks. Sit in a park. Turn off the electronics. Life has it’s daily grind. Taking time to share our mundane routine matters. A simple “How was your day?” can make a huge difference.
- Be YOUR Perfect Couple. There is no perfect couple. However, no one knows my marriage better than me or my husband. We strive, every day, to live our lives the way that matter to us. I don’t want to compare my marriage to the girl next door or second guess how we raise our family based on what someone else did. We know our own strengths, weaknesses, successes and failings. Those are our lessons to live and grow from.
- Fight. Discuss. Move On. Yes, we get on each others nerves. Yes, we fight. But we don’t dwell on the anger and frustration. I’m grateful that I can count the number of times we’ve gone more than a day being angry with each other on one hand. Anger is counterproductive, debilitating and stressful. Let it go as often as you can.
- Find Romance and Joy in the Every Day. My life is not a romantic novel or an action packed, Hollywood movie. It’s not a Disney fairytale. I find my joy and my romance in the every day. To me, there’s something incredibly sweet when Mike loads the dishwasher for me or he distracts the kids with Play doh when I’m in the middle of editing photographs. I’ll often happen upon a scene of my family – perhaps watching from behind as Mike holds the kids’ hands on a walk – and it’ll take my breath away how happy we are and how incredibly blessed we are to live the life that we have.
- Laugh and Be Youthful. Find your fountain of youth through laughter. I still recall my wedding counselor asking us “What makes you and your husband so special?” And I answered “Laughter. He keeps me young by finding ways to make me laugh”. I’ve lived by that statement every single day. We’re very fortunate to be able to laugh things off – even our fights. So laugh often and deeply with each other.
- Find Yourself. His greatest gift to me, aside from loving me, is his support in helping me pursue and live my own dreams. I have my own passions and goals. I love that he lets me live them. I often remind myself to let him live his – even if it’s at a poker table, every other Friday. 🙂
- Choose Love. I was at a wedding a couple weeks ago and the bridesmaid reminded the couple that they chose each other for a reason and to always choose love to help guide your way. It stuck with me because it was so simply stated. When things are hard; when life gets rough; Choose Love.
Happy Anniversary to my awesome husband. It feels like we just got married yesterday in our small country church in Maui. I’d choose you all over again! And I’m not just saying that so we can throw an epic vow renewal ceremony. 🙂
Photos courtesy of Mike Sidney Photography
Natalie Patalie says