Today is our six year wedding anniversary, and I asked my husband, Kevin, to join me in sharing six things we’ve learned about marriage. I have NO idea what he’s going to share so here’s to hoping it’s nothing too embarrassing. 😛 Kevin is usually behind the camera, but he’s a huge part of The Butterfly Empire. He deserves to be featured on here more than I do!
I hope you enjoy reading things from his perspective, and if you want him to make an appearance in more posts, leave a comment letting us know!
I included photos of us from the past six years. If you would like to take a walk down memory lane, keep scrolling!
Here’s my six tips…
Allow each other to grow:
This probably applies more to younger couples, but it is so crucial. As most of you know, I was eighteen and Kevin was nineteen when we got married. At that age, I barely knew who I was let alone who I wanted to be. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to spend the rest of my life figuring it out with him by my side. While my core attributes may have remained the same, I am NOT the same person I was six years ago. And thank goodness for that. I am by no means saying that I’m done evolving, but like most decent humans that try their best, I’m getting there. Slowly. Growing is so important, and everyone deserves room to spread their wings. Letting your partner change, and mature without guilt is one of the best gifts you could ever give them. It will take a lot of compromise and communication, but you will thrive together.
Schedule weekly or monthly date nights:
WEEKLY date nights would be best, but I realize that’s spoken as someone who is kid free. So if kids make it more complicated, at the very least, have a date night once a month. This is probably the most crucial piece of advice that I’m sharing today. I cannot stress how VITAL date nights are for a healthy marriage or relationship. Taking time away from work, kids, responsibilities and just focusing on each other is the key to… everything. I don’t want to hear the excuse of money either. Do you think we were rich when we first got married? Ha. Top ramen was a staple in our 600 square foot apartment, and trips to the movie theater were an ancient memory. Make sandwiches at home, and have a picnic at the park. Go to the beach, and watch the sunset. Take a nice, long walk, and hold hands. It’s not so much about WHAT you’re doing. Just that you’re doing it together, and it’s dedicated time for the two of you. Side note… would you be interested in a budget friendly date night ideas blog post? When the budget allows, I LOVE buying a new outfit, maybe a new perfume, using my best beauty products, and prepping for a date night. Just because you have been married or in a committed relationship for a long time doesn’t mean your relationship has to be boring.
Celebrate each other’s little victories:
There’s NOTHING worse than a spouse that belittles your every move. The person who has to evaluate every single step, and nothing ever seems good enough. There’s plenty of negative things in life that will bring your partner down, and you don’t need to be one of them. Kevin recently graduated from a couple classes, and to him, it was no big deal. But I made it a big deal! He put in so much hard work, and I wanted him to know how proud I was. His small victory was important to me. When I first mentioned wanting to start a blog, some of my friends and family critiqued my idea, and left me discouraged. He surprised me with a new laptop. Drastic example, but you get the idea. Actually, it’s the same laptop I’m using right now. Yes, it’s ancient. I call it Old Faithful! 😛 His positive attitude meant so much, and still resonates with me to this day. Bottom line: celebrate every little thing because… why not?
Take interest in their interests:
If you’re married or in a serious relationship, odds are that you have a lot in common. However, you are both unique individuals, and are bound to have different tastes and hobbies. I’m not suggesting that if your partner loves cooking, and you can’t tell the difference between a spatula and a potato peeler that you stress over becoming the next Martha Stewart. Just be present when they’re cooking, help when it’s needed, and have fun together. When we first got married, I had zero interest or knowledge in video games. And Kevin thought mascara was something you applied to your cheeks. Now, on the weekends, you can frequently find me gaming with him, and he often suggests new ideas for a makeup look. You’re going to be spending the rest of your life with this person so approaching their hobbies with an open mind will save you a lot of stress. Instead of fighting and resisting your partner’s passions, try embracing them, and encourage their endeavors. Then sit back and watch your relationship flourish in ways you never imagined.
Find Out Your Love Language:
My friends and family are sick of me talking about this, but I can’t help myself. It gave so much clarity to our relationship, and positively influenced our daily lives. If you’ve never read, The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, stop what you’re doing, and put it on your list right now. It’s a simple read that actually gives you the tools to cultivate change. I’m planning on doing another blog post dedicated to the five love languages so I don’t want to share too much. A couple years ago, we took the love language test, and were surprised at the results. We share quality time, but we had two opposing loves that were complicating our marriage. The book helped us navigate through our differences, and I can’t recommend it enough.
The Five Minute Rule. Schedule Time to Talk about an Issue:
You’re going to argue. That’s just a fact of life. Couples who say they “never fight” are lying, and if they’re telling the truth, they probably aren’t human. Having a game plan for when heated moments arise can save both parties a lot of heartache. Kevin sometimes teases me about my five minute rule, but as someone with a temper, it’s vital. If we are bickering over something, one of us will say they need five minutes. Then it’s the responsibility of the other person to respect it. After five minutes in solitary, your temporary rage will be calmed, and you can approach the subject clearer than before. Another tactic we use is scheduling time to talk. We actually just recently had a big decision to make, and we weren’t seeing eye to eye. Instead of debating until 3AM, we dedicated a time the following day to talk about JUST that subject. It allowed us to mentally prepare/cool down, and made for a much more civil conversation. Some may see this as avoiding a situation, but honestly, it’s a mature way to handle it. You are not ignoring the problem. You’re simply acknowledging that you need time to process your thoughts.
Here’s Kevin’s six things…
This one is pretty obvious, so let’s get it out of the way. Talk to each other! Tell her about your day at work, or share the latest makeup celebrity gossip with him over dinner. Staying up to date on each other’s lives is crucial to a healthy relationship. Sure, I might not care so much that the 413th lipstick of the month has come out, and I’m pretty sure Meghan isn’t hopping with excitement over a new CPU like I am, but even the little things like that are worth sharing with each other.
Quarrels are going to happen, and ignoring a problem isn’t going to make it go away. We have our fair share of disputes and differences but communicating with each other about it has been immensely helpful in both understanding their other’s point of view, and relieving the tension. Sometimes, we even get the darn thing talked out and resolved in the moment, even if it involves a bit of compromise.
Compromise Isn’t a Bad Thing:
Speaking of compromise, it’s a good thing in a marriage! Meghan and I are not the same on may things, which means we don’t always see eye to eye on decisions. It can be a small as where to eat (please don’t ask her, she won’t know either), or it could be a major financial choice that has an impact on both of us for years to come. We can’t have it our way every time, there has to be a bit of give an take in a marriage.
Keep the Spark Alive:
No, not just in the bedroom! Make time for dinner dates, be it at home or out on the town. Bring home some flowers on a random afternoon to show you’re thinking of them. Have a pillow fight, just don’t use the decorative ones with buttons, those can sting. Send a loving text to them during the day, just to let them know how much they mean to you.
Spend Time Together:
We have two consistent choices for spending time together: Disneyland and movie dates. The former is fairly self-explanatory and is scattered across both this blog and Meghan’s Instagram account. The latter is one we indulge in from time to time, especially if it’s a movie either of us has an interest in. We even have our next one planned for later this month to see the new Star Wars together. Who cares if I have to work early the next morning, spending time with my wife is worth it!
Also Be Yourself (Alone Time/Hobbies):
Going back to compromises a bit, we’re both different. We don’t have matching hobbies and activities that hold our attention all the time. There is no way I could sit still and crochet or read a book from cover to cover in one sitting (I think she’s done that once or twice, weirdo). And Meghan wouldn’t be caught dead trying to tinker around a computer’s guts in her free time. Giving each other the breathing room to enjoy our separate hobbies and interests might seem like a contradiction to spending time together, but it’s given both of us the ability to pursue stuff that’s fun for just one of us, without feeling like we’re dragging the other along like a grumpy toddler through the mall.
Care For Each Other:
This might be a mix of a few of the previous points mentioned, but supporting each other is a cornerstone of our marriage. We rely on each other for so many things, whether it’s taking the dog outside late at night, or being by their side after the passing of a family member. Marriage takes a dose of selflessness from both of us to work. Most wedding vows contain something along the lines of “for better or worse”, and it’s sometimes overlooked. We have so much going on in our busy lives, and it’s been vital for us to be supported by our spouse. I don’t think we’d be where are now if we didn’t take care of each other.
Back to Meghan…
Our marriage isn’t perfect, and that is the last thing I want to portray. Humans are imperfect so expecting a perfect relationship is impossible. No matter how much I adore him, there are still times I daydream about strangling him (sorry, honey). But love is a choice. I wake up every day choosing to love him all over again, and that’s magical.
What are some tips and tricks you’ve learned from your relationship?
All my love,