Monday, August 6, 2018

7 Pieces of Advice for a Happy Marriage

Today, we’re celebrating seven years of marriage. It’s gone by in the blink of an eye, but at the same time, our lives have completely transformed. We bought a house, had a baby, Matt graduated med school,  I navigated going back to work postpartum, Matt graduated residency, we bought another house, Matt started his first job as a physician, we had another baby, and we travelled to St Lucia, London, Portugal, Denmark, and Finland 6 whopping times. Even as the world keeps spinning and our lives keep changing, and we’re certainly not the people we were when we met at 19 years old, it all just feels like we’re exactly where we’re meant to be. So today, I’m bringing you 7 pieces of advice (for 7 years) that I think are critically important for a happy, healthy marriage.
  1.  You don’t have to agree on everything, but make 100% certain you agree on the following things: how you spend your money, how you spend your time, and whether or not to have children. I really think that each of those are critical pillars, and when there’s disagreement over one, the whole foundation can crumble. 
  2.  Words of affirmation and acts of service. These two love languages are everything. There isn’t a day that goes by when we don’t tell each other how thankful we are to have each other, and how the other person is a great husband, father, wife, mother, person, friend…in other words, “I see you. You make me happy. You’re doing a great job.” Everybody needs validation, especially from their partner. On the acts of service end, it’s all about the little things. I make him his morning coffee. He loads my bags into the car. He’ll get up with the kids and let me sleep an extra hour on the weekends. I’ll tell him to head to the driving range—that I can hold the fort down for a little bit. It’s the give and take that makes it all work so well.
  3.  Surround yourself with mutual friends who will strengthen your marriage and bring out the best in you. Find your tribe and laugh with them. If you’re lucky, travel together. If it’s challenging to get away, drink wine and make memories while the kids all play. It’s one of my favorite things to do.
  4.  Model the kind of marriage that will make your sons want to grow up to be good husbands, and your daughters want to grow up to be good wives. This is so critically important to both of us. I have no doubt in my mind that our boys will make the BEST fathers and the BEST husbands. They’re always learning, always watching…and sensitivity, vulnerability, and humility are traits learned from modeled behavior.  
  5.    Rarely will both of you be strong at the same time. Take turns being strong for each other. Life can be really hard sometimes, but knowing that your struggle can be divided between the both of you makes it that much lighter to carry.
  6.    Marry your best friend. This sounds so cliché, but really. Matt’s the first person I want to text to tell anything. We can’t stand being apart and want to do everything together. We have the most inside jokes, laugh the hardest together, and understand each other more than anybody else could. Everything is just more fun when we’re together. Find that person for you and marry them.
  7.  Set big goals for the future. Dream together. It doesn’t matter if they come true right as you would have liked, but a common, shared purpose—something to drive toward together—keeps the day to day more intentional.  A lifetime of adventures is what it’s all about.

 First picture of us from 2005
 Lisbon, Portugal
 Medical School Graduation
 London, England
 Baby Oskar
 Travel with kids...slight difference.
 Baby August

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