Monday, September 15, 2014

I Have No Idea What I'm Doing... But Here's Some Relationship Advice!

The next few posts are going to be a series on relationships. What works, what doesn't. From multiple perspectives, not just mine! Hope you enjoy these love stories - here's what works for me and Andy. <3

Don't forget to follow Oh.em.gee it's Nikkie on Facebook so you don't miss any of the awesome guest bloggers in this series!

I have no idea what I'm doing... but here's some relationship advice!

Andy and I have been together for almost 11 years already. ALREADY! It doesn't seem possible that 11 years have gone by so quickly. Who knew when we started "dating" and being seat buddies on the school bus back in Freshman year of high school that 11 years later we would be married with two kids. Huh. That one's a thinker.

I'm not going to tell you how I'm an expert in relationships - after all, this is the only one I've ever been in! But I can give you some tips on what has worked for us over the years to help us fall in love, stay in love, and find that zone where you are just completely comfortable with each other and have reached best-friends-with-benefits-but-we're-married status. It's a thing, I promise.

1. Be a normal person. This encompasses a lot of things, but for me, primarily means to be a low-maintenance, easy-going, enjoyable person to be around. All too often when I hear of someone I knew in high-school breaking up, or at our ages, getting a divorce, I think to myself (or sometimes when my mouth-filter is off, talk out loud) "well no kidding, she's a crazy person!" or "Duh, he's a weirdo." If people can tell you're a crazy person from outside of your relationship, imagine how much crazy there is within your relationship. Some people are more easy-going and low-maintenance than others... but seriously, reign in your crazy!

Andy has only called me out on my crazy a few times and I think of them was when I was throwing a full-blown adult temper tantrum in regards to food. Usually dessert. Life lesson: Always keep a secret stash of dessert somewhere in your house for your hangry wife.

2. Take time to be with each other. You don't always have to be with other people, whether that's friends or family. Andy and I used to be semi-social people and had to be doing something almost constantly on the weekends or we would be bored. Now that we have kids, our free time on the weekends is precious to us. Sure, we love seeing friends and family, but it's not our top priority anymore. Our nuclear family is each other and the boys. Everyone else comes second. We will never get these times back as a family and the babies are growing up so quickly already! Cherish your family time, whatever you're doing (even if it's nothing!) and don't let anyone make you feel bad about it. Ever!

3. Figure out how you show love. We had to do 3 short marriage counseling meetings in the months leading up to our marriage. It wasn't your typical Biblical marriage counseling, which was great because we are not religious people. It was all about love and relationships. One of the things that sticks out the most was a homework assignment that made us think about how we show love. We discovered that Andy shows love physically, and still does. Hugs, kisses, the physical act of saying "I love you" is very important to him. It's not so much to me. I'm a giver and a do-er. I show love through actions, doing things for Andy, being a perfect housewife, and making him food. Yes, all of those lunches I make him and having dinner ready each night is how I show love. And he loves that I show love that way because it keeps him full and healthy - and we live in a pretty clean house!

Once again, I'm not a relationship expert  - but I feel like I know what I'm doing enough to give you some tips. You probably shouldn't take any advice from me on which bar to go to in order to meet your third husband or how to set up the perfect online dating profile, though. I'd be utterly useless on those topics. What works for you in your relationship? Want to write a guest blog post for Oh.em.gee it's Nikkie? Send it my way and we'll see what we can do!

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