Six years ago, I fell in love with a man. We tied knot, exchanged vows and committed ourselves to spend rest of our days building a wonderful life together. We were so excited to begin our journey together and couldn’t imagine being happier, luckier, or more hopeful about the future. Today, it has been more than six years of our being married to each other and, touchwood, life has been beautiful. We had our shares of ups and downs but that never affected our bliss. Rather, we’ve learnt more than a handful of things over these years and today I thought why not share some of those with you all. I think all of these learnings go a long way and are priceless for a prosperous marriage and would surely help build a strong, loving and trustworthy relation with your partner.
Little kindness goes a long way
Being kind to your partner is definitely something you need in life to keep going strong. Little gestures are always a good idea. Like, you could bring an unexpected cup of coffee, text your partner a sweet “thinking of you” message. You could rub their shoulders or just listen to them peacefully on a bad day. All we need is a way of expression. It’s like a magical potion for any successful marriage.
Our relationship with each other is most important
We love and care for every relation around us, but the best thing we can do for anybody is to take care of each other first. We need to make sure we love each other well all along so that we don’t feel like strangers when we become empty nesters. Plus, building a strong relationship with each other adds to a sense of security and confidence for everyone around.
Defensiveness gets you nowhere
Being with each other day and night, we know each other so well. We are aware of each other’s positives and negatives and we also know how to push each other’s buttons. But over the time we’ve learned that getting defensive doesn’t help and takes you nowhere. But such feelings are a good indication that we need a break and we need to find another way to listen and be heard.
Dreaming together is a necessity, not a luxury
We all have our own dreams and ideas of what we want to do with our lives, but we should make it a priority to share our visions with our life partners before we share them with other people. This gives us the opportunity to cheer each other on every stage. We’ve always supported and made sacrifices for each other in order to make our dreams a reality. We’ve learned that nothing at all will ever come to fulfillment if we’re both being selfish instead of being helpful.
Curiosity is a relationship booster
I’m not the same person I was when we first met and neither is he. Staying curious about each other, taking time to ask questions and then listening and understanding keeps us engaged in our relationship instead of drifting away assuming we already know everything about each.
Expectations without communication leads to conflict
We should be able to communicate our feelings, love, desires, joys and sorrows effectively to each other. At times we might resist on expressing ourselves clearly, thinking it would be better and we would feel more loved if our partner figured out what we want on their own. The truth is, if we don’t ask, we don’t get, and that goes almost for everything. Being brave and communicating would make our lives so much better.
Even great marriages go through really crappy times
Like everyone else, we’ve had our share of rough seasons as well. We’ve gotten through those seasons and I’m sure they’ll come again. But, that doesn’t mean we need to quit or stop working on our marriages. We should understand that what we have together is actually the best, but that doesn’t mean it will always be easy.
You’re never justified for being a jerk
The question is not whether or not you should argue with your spouse. The question is how will you argue? Will you be respectful while arguing, avoiding low blows, name-calling, and ultimatums? Will you approach believing your partner is guilty already or give him or her a chance to explain? It’s okay to be angry but it’s never okay to be unkind and rude.
Apologize and forgive often
Sometimes we all go a little off limits. Committing mistakes is totally humane but where we go wrong is that either we don’t realize our mistakes at all or we realize it late, after the damage to our relationship has already been inflicted. What we should understand here is that as much as we both value kindness and respect, neither of us will ever be perfect. However, keeping a good rhythm of forgiveness will help us sail smoothly through some of the most challenging times. It always worked for us.
Marriages succeed in community and fail in isolation
It’s true that a great marriage starts with a great friendship. But, even if your partner really is your best friend, he or she is not meant to fulfill all of your relational needs. Make every effort to spend time with your friends with or without your partner. Making sure you’ve a happy and a close community of people around is one of the best things you can do to ensure your marriage lasts years and beyond.
This sixth year of marriage has been a beautiful reminder that we couldn’t have come this far without loving and supporting each other at every step of life. We understood that marriage is much more than what we assume it to be. It requires four pillars of love, understanding, efforts and sacrifices to stand strong and steady. It taught us that a little effort and generosity are never wasted.
Years have come and gone, there is much to celebrate, and still, it feels like we are just at the beginning. We’re grateful.