10 Lessons from 10 Years of Marriage

In a couple weeks I will be celebrating 10 years of marriage.  I am no marriage expert, which my wife will gladly be a reference for that.  However, I have learned a thing or two the hard way during our journey together.  Enjoy these lessons I’ve learned and comment below.

1) Let go of ME in order to become WE 

The first rule of marriage is to come to the understanding that it is not the melding of two individuals, but the creation of one.  This is not an situation like when two friends become roommates and you have to figure out how to squeeze the toothpaste, or where the dishes go in the kitchen.  Marriage is more than that; it is the beginning of who you will grow to become.

2) Don’t worry, it gets better

The first year is hardest.  End of story.  The good new is that if you can outlast a Kardashian marriage, then it’ll get better.

3) Marriage doesn’t change everything, KIDS change everything

It is no small feat to make it through the newlywed stage.  However, surviving your first child is exponentially harder and deserves even more praise.  It is the hardest and most rewarding thing no one will congratulate you for ever!

4) Gender roles are an archaic construct

This was a big one for me since I went back to school to become a teacher and my wife was the main bread-winner.  The issues I had surrounding that were solely mine and unfounded.  A marriage is no place for gender-specific roles.

5) Extended family is not your core family  

My wife and my kids ARE my family.  Everyone after that is considered extended.  I may love my parents and siblings, but they became lower on the priority list after I took those vows.

6) More kids Doesn’t  always mean more problems

When #2 came around, we knew exactly what we needed to do, and it was a great experience.  If a #3 pops up, then that will be more awesomeness under one roof.  It’s all a matter of perspective.  Kids are a gift (not accidents), and should always be treated as such.

7) You don’t have to be perfect, you only have to try  

When I started connecting with dads online, I found that there is no such thing as a Parenting Expert.  There is no formula for raising kids.  In all truth we don’t have to be the perfect parent.  All we have to do is love them and continue to try and do better.

8) Being romantic isn’t always grand gestures

You may have Googl’d, Bing’d or Yahoo’d some stuff today, but have you OGLED your spouse?  The security of how much you are still attracted to your spouse is much more effective than a European vacation.  However, it doesn’t hurt to try the vacation.

9) Open Your Mouth  

A marriage can be saved before it is ever in danger just by being open and honest with your spouse.  If you are bothered by something, work together to come up with a solution.  Do not bottle it up and lash out or worse confide in someone else about your marital problems.

10) You are not alone

You are not the first person to experience whatever you are going through.  Find a support system to encourage and build you up.  Find people who love you AND your spouse, and allow them to be a support for your family.

~JB

 

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The Beginning
About ManvDadhood

I am a man, and by my wife’s standards that makes me flawed. My challenge to parents, and to myself, is not to teach my kids about the kind of person I hope them to become one day, but to become that person today.

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Comments

  1. The hardest part for me lately is letting go of ME to become WE. I’ve been dedicating the last two years to giving my wife the opportunity to go back to school and it has taken its toll on me and now I want some time to myself.

    What I have to keep reminding myself is that with her going back to school it will make for a much better WE later.

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