5 Things I've Learned from my Marriage

Marriage is great, is it not? You always have someone to hang out with, there are plenty of opportunities for cuddling, and it is the perfect opportunity to learn! To learn about what? Yourself of course! Well, and how you react to and deal with other people. Having someone to give you feedback and love you unconditionally when you mess up and learn through trial and error is great! My dear friend Sarah from {To Be Mrs Collier} is here to share five things she has learned from her marriage so far! I would have to agree with every single one of them, what do you think?

Five Things I've Learned from my Marriage

On January 14, 2012 I married my best friend. Now I'm not just saying that Mr. Collier is my best friend because that is what I am supposed to say as cliche as it is. But really, he is. I knew from the first time I met him in 2007 that we were destined to be best friends. 

Marriage is a funny thing. It is has literally been the best, most challenging and most rewarding experience of my life and it has only been a short 18 months. I thought that I should share what I've learned in my 18 months of holding the wife title. 

1. Communicating is tough and takes work.  I don't know about you, but when I get really mad, I have trouble articulating what I feel. At least, that is what marriage has taught me. I never realized that my preferred method was to walk away when my blood started to boil and often pout in anger. Mr. Collier fights for us. He pushes and challenges me to stand there in the midst of an argument and say what I feel even when I want to shut him out. I have learned to make a conscious effort to keep my walls down in those moments because he is right. And I always thought that I was a good communicator! Nope. Communicating in marriage can sometimes be like teaching a new language to someone. Sure it is frustrating to have to explain your thoughts in several different ways but I've learned to make sure that what I was trying to communicate was actually what I said. 

2. Don't get mad just because you think that you are supposed to. My parents had their anniversary last month and for the first time in years my mom remembered and my dad forgot. Normally, the both forget because they have a relatively even-keeled marriage. Anniversaries and special occasions aren't over-the-top occasions. Anyway mom was upset because dad forgot. When I asked her what she did for him to celebrate their anniversary her response was,"nothing. The man is supposed to do something for the woman because guys don't care about these things." While I don't agree with what she said, I noticed something. She was mad that she remembered and he forgot but normally they both forget so why does she care all of a sudden? I think that she was just mad just to BE MAD. In other words, she was mad just because she thought she was supposed to. I find that sometimes I do that too. Mr. Collier might say something and I know the socially acceptable response is for the wife to be mad but in truth I don't actually care. But I get mad anyway. I've learned that causing a stink over something I don't actually care about is just a waste of time. 

3. Dating while married has to be a priority. I look around at what I would consider the best of marriages and there is one thing that they have in common. The wife and husband continued to date while married. I think about my grandparents that went to movies every week. Grandma would look at the movie section in the newspaper while grandpa read the sports page. And the sweetest thing was that in the movie theater and in the car, they held hands. Mr. Collier and I have a weekly scheduled breakfast date on Friday morning just to spend that time together. Not only is it a time that we've set aside just for us but it is something that we look forward to every week. 

4. Take the time to make-out.  Remember back to your first kiss nay make-out session with your husband. What did that feel like? How did you feel about the relationship at that time? You were probably on cloud nine with butterflies in your stomach. Living with your significant other can sometimes feel like a roommate living situation. Even if your relationship is passionate in the bedroom, sometimes it is nice to take a break and just make out! 

5. Appreciate the small things. From preparing lunch to cleaning up after dinner, always take the time to notice the little thing your partner does. Never let your partner go unnoticed. It is often those feelings that can make one feel distant, unappreciated and unconnected. Express thanks. Communicate gratitude. 

In addition to these things that I've learned, I'd highly recommend the book "The Five Love Languages" as a way to learn how to connect deeply with your partner. It even gives great ideas to keep your partner feeling loved!  

What lessons have you learned from being married or in a relationship? Do you have any experience with any of the above?