GUEST BLOG POST -- May Challenge: M is for Marriage

Friday, May 17, 2013

I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason, and Donavan entering my life is proof of that. Donavan and I became friends in middle school and since then have shared countless laughs, cries and memories. From family vacations to a crazy senior week, Donavan has always been one of my rocks. With her living in Virginia and myself in Pa., staying in touch of course is difficult with us both having our own busy lives. But when it comes to Donavan, when we speak, we pick right back up as if time never passed. The smile on her face every time she sees me (followed by a huge hug) makes my heart melt to know I am blessed with such a beautiful, caring and generous best friend. Luckily for me, I am now honored to have another new friend, her husband Kyle, who is a great addition to the "crew." Don and Ky -- wishing you both a lifetime of happiness. I cant wait to experience what you both have!! Xo OH P.S. -- Donavan is a blogger herself. Check out her blog which all started from Kyle training for a marathon and what now has become a constant part of Donavan's life. 

As of today, I've been married for exactly 23 months. That's 700 days, or 16,800 hours ... I'll stop there but it's a TON of minutes (I obviously did the math). I realize that doesn't make me an expert on the subject, especially when I think of my parents and in-laws who have been married 35 years, but I've learned more about marriage in the last 700 days than I ever thought I would.

Let me start by saying I have an AMAZING husband. Many of you don't know me, but I'm not the easiest person to live with. I'm strong-willed, talkative, cranky when I'm hungry, stubborn, loyal to a fault, opinionated and I snore when I'm congested (which is often). My husband is some of those things too, but he's also patient, kind, considerate, thoughtful, analytical and damn sexy. I am pretty sure he got the short end of this stick and I am so lucky that he fell in love with me.

But, that doesn't mean that my 16,800 hours have all been sunshine and butterflies. Granted, most days have been really good. Kyle and I rarely have big arguments and have been fortunate to not face a tremendous amount of adversity in our relationship. However, we're two 20-somethings who are trying to learn how to make a life together while trying not to forget to pay our mortgage, overcook our dinner or want to kill each other. There are many days that marriage is HARD, but luckily for us, there are more days where marriage is fun, exciting and a little challenging (we're both competitive, so that's a good thing).

There are 3 big lessons that I've learned about marriage in the almost 2 years that I've been fortunate to call myself a wife.

1) Communication is key. I'm pretty sure this is the one piece of marital advice I've heard the most, but it is SO true. Even when you think you're so close that you can read each others' minds, you can't. I can't tell you how many tiffs Kyle and I have gotten in simply because we left out a detail or didn't confirm something with the other person. It's incredibly important to say what you are thinking and how you're feeling.

2) Take time for your relationship. This is hard, especially when you have a wide circle of social friends. But, if they are true friends, they will understand if you miss a girls' night out or a happy hour to spend time with your partner. I've have FOMO (fear of missing out) in a bad way on many occasions, but the joy I get from a quiet night with my husband is worth it. Life is so busy that it's easy to forget that you married someone because you love to spend time with them. Do it more often.

3) Do things you might not want to do when the other person wants to do them. That was wordy, but what I'm trying to say is that, when your wife wants to go to a concert but you would rather watch a movie, sometimes you need to go to the concert. The times that Kyle's thoughtfulness (arguably my favorite of his many wonderful characteristics) impresses me the most are when he does something that he knows I really want to do, even though it's not something he wants to do. It's important to make your partner feel like his or her needs and wants are important as yours, and it's usually pretty easy to take a few hours of time to do something for the other person.

I'd love to hear some of your marriage lessons, so please leave them in the comments. I can't wait to continue to learn along the way as I celebrate many more days, months and hours with my husband.
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