Eight years ago yesterday, Ryan and I officially became college sweethearts. And, three years ago today we pledged our love and lives to one another in front of our family and friends. It’s hard to believe that our wedding day already is a distant memory – sure, we still look at our pictures from time-to-time and reminisce about the day, but we’ve experienced and accomplished so much since then. Time flies when you’re having fun, as they say! Don’t be fooled, though – marriage is hard work. Ryan and I work at our relationship every single day, and we continue to learn about each other in the process. In honor of our wedding anniversary, I thought it would be fun to share what we’ve learned from three years of marriage from each of our own perspective.
What I’ve learned in the first three years of marriage is not what you might think.
The old adages of don’t go to bed angry and marriage is about give and take always seem to apply to most everyday circumstances. But when I think about it, what I’ve learned most is that marriage is not about ME. It is about US. It is about what WE decide is important to us, and that is the only thing that matters. Sure, there will be your everyday struggles, but it is a different mindset to think about what is not just best for you anymore, but best for our family.
The biggest lesson that I’ve learned from the last three years of marriage is that communication is key.
This probably seems obvious to most people, but it can be harder than you realize. As someone who grew up pretty self-reliant and rarely asks anybody for help, I have a tendency to let things bottle up and go unresolved if I can’t figure it out myself. While this certainly isn’t the healthiest habit for my own well-being, it also isn’t an ingredient for an open and honest marriage. Ryan (like most men) isn’t a mind-reader, no matter how much I wish he was. I often remind myself that when he asks me if something is wrong or if he can help with something, I need to tell the truth and not just shrug it off as nothing.
Above all, after eight years together there’s still nobody else that I would rather share this life with. Ryan, above all else, is my best friend. He makes me laugh to no end, and I know there’s nothing that he wouldn’t do to ensure my happiness. To have a partner like Ryan along for this crazy ride is the ultimate gift, and I can’t imagine anybody else by my side as we navigate life and marriage together.
Here’s to many more years and adventures together!