This article about love and relationships comes to us from guest writer Kelli. She recently married the love of her life and is practically a superhuman person - she does it all! Enjoy her 6 tips to living in a happy, healthy relationship with your best friend!
So nearly 6 months ago I walked down the aisle and said “I Do”. My husband and I had always talked about getting married and starting a family since we’ve been together. We’ve always been committed to one another and take our relationship very seriously. Marriage was the next step for us, to announce to our family and friends that we’re going to do life together and to make that promise in front of them and God. So even though we’re newly married and have so many things to learn there are so many things I want to share about our relationship and things I’ve learned along the way.
1. No relationship is better than another. Sure you see the wife that gets flowers from her husband at work, or the couple that has everything in common, but guess what? That doesn’t make their relationship any better than yours. Would I love to have my husband to pick out a chick flick for us to watch, sing show tunes with me, and then sit at the table and do crafts? Well, of course but we ‘re not that couple. We have our own incredibly beautiful way of connecting and spending time together. Focus on what you have not what someone else does.
2. Compromise—it’s not a dirty word. I remember when my life revolved around me and then suddenly, I had to ask my husband what he thought about paint, the couch, the floor, and essentially everything. I don’t know about you, but I love getting my own way...maybe it’s because I was the only child until I was 10 or maybe I’m just a brat. Regardless, my relationship has taught me to compromise because you HAVE to. Otherwise one person will always be bitter or resent the other for making all the decisions in their relationship. And sure, we both still get our way every now and then and if it’s an important issue, we sit down and really talk it out—why it makes us uncomfortable, why we’re having a hard time agreeing, and really figure out the root of the problem.
3. Stop nagging—this is something that I need to work on more. I have this lovely habit of nagging all the time—you know what I’m talking about: “these dishes aren’t going to wash themselves”, “did you seriously put your dirty tissue there?” or “Why would you move the chair and not put it back?” I hate that I nag because it is so counterproductive. If my husband came home after a long day and started going on about my hair on the sink or my jewelry spread out everywhere you better believe that I would stay right where I was and give him dirty looks. It’s not productive and it makes people feel bad.
4. Ask for help—so you’re part of a couple but that doesn’t mean you can read each other’s minds. Sometimes the floors need vacuumed, the laundry is backed up, the sink is full and you just really need some help, so ask for it. Now remember asking is NOT nagging, they’re different and usually get a different response. Asking isn’t “I really wish you’d clean up after yourself!” That’s nagging and it’s not productive. Instead just saying, “Hey babe, can you take out the trash and help me with some housework today?” The response is much better because he feels like you NEED him and hey, you’re part of a team!
5. Complaining to others—so you might not nag to your partner but something happened that really made you mad, so what do you do? You pick up the phone or go to work and tell anyone and everyone that has ears who will listen about it. STOP IT! You aren’t doing yourself any favors. So now your mom, sister, aunt, co-worker, and whoever else are mad at him now too. And guess what? They won’t forget it. So even though you might forgive your partner and patch things up, they are keeping a running tally of your partner and all the things that he should be doing better. Now when you hit a real rough spot in your relationship, they’re going to be the first person to help you air out all this dirty laundry rather than help you through your problems. So instead, find one or two people that your really trust- people that are not only invested in you but people who are invested in your relationship and want to HELP. So at my wedding, along with many others, there comes a time in the ceremony where the officiant asks everyone in the crowd if they will do everything that they can to support your marriage and keep it together. Which they respond “we will”. I have 2 dear friends that love me and my husband so when I’m angry or need to talk through a problem they are there to help me through it, to support my relationship, and to help me find a way to resolve it.
6. Be proud! Alright, the secret it out. I love my husband. And although I spent my entire life thinking I would marry a very different type of man (like the romantic comedy type), I got the perfect man for me. As much as I think how blessed I am to have found my soulmate on a daily basis, I don’t say it enough. I think our society has really gotten into the practice of telling people when they do something bad, but your relationship should focus on all the GOOD things. So build your man up and tell him how wonderful he is and point out those great attributes that you made you fall in love with him.