Thursday, January 14, 2021

Year 3

Here is my 3rd annual recap on all the new things I’ve learned about my husband and our marriage. One fun fact about me and my husband is that we’re complete opposites. I’m more of an introvert and he’s a total extrovert. He’s a social butterfly and I tend to be more of a moth, just hiding in a dark corner somewhere. I have such a set routine, that I don’t like to meander; I don’t like to go anywhere unless I positively, undoubtedly must. 

Now we all know 2020 hit us with something completely unexpected. . . COVID. As for us, we both continued to work throughout this ongoing pandemic, physically going to work; which means we didn’t experience the at home, you’re smothering me, I need my space, quandary a lot of couples experienced or continue to experience. We have been cautious but Covid didn’t stop us from living or thriving.

1. We purchased a home together in April. Our first big purchase! Did I mention we did it together? We’re official homeowners! With that said, I think we hit a major milestone in our marriage – at our own pace of course. Because let’s face it, you’re not racing against anyone else but yourself. So, yes, we’re always in 1st place since we don’t have anyone else to compete with. It’s okay to toot your own horn occasionally.

2. I’ve preached the choir about this one before and I’m re-listing it because it has seriously made our marriage a lot better. Asking for help with chores around the house has been life changing, it has been such a sigh of relief. I’m grateful when my husband does the dishes or when I get home from work and all the laundry is neatly folded. Which brings me to number three. . .

3. Saying the words, “I appreciate you” go a long way. A simple acknowledgment also suffices. “Thank you for cleaning out the kitty litter.” Trust me, we notice when certain things get done around the house. I try to compliment him and say positive things all the time. Especially, since I know that his love language is words of affirmation.

4. He is very supportive of my thoughts and wants in life. He listens and gives me advice. He pushes me to do better, be a better person, especially in the scholastic and educational department. Both of us have to be in agreement, synced with our decisions, or else arguments and disagreements are bound to rise. So, he pushed me to finish my graduate application and re-assured me that I was good enough to get into the program of my choice. I’m so grateful for that.

5. We’ve worked out our co-parenting quirks on how to address my step-kiddos. Last year I mentioned that at times when I would ask them to do certain chores, it didn’t translate properly. For them it felt as if I was nagging or specifically singling them out to do a simple, everyday self-care act, such as taking a shower or brushing their teeth in the mornings. I get the same reaction from Damian, but if I yell at him to get his butt up and do it, he just sighs or mumbles things under his breath and eventually does it. He doesn’t take it personal at all because it’s just mom being mom.

My step kids would responsd with, “Nah, I’m good” or sometimes they don't respond at all and at times they just roll their eyes. (Tween-teen stuff.) So now if something needs to get done (showering, brushing teeth, picking up after themselves etc.), I just tell my husband and he asks them directly. They respond to it a lot better. It seems to be working, so we’ll keep at it. We just had to find a way to make it work and we did. Like I said, being a stepmom is a tough job. But we both try really hard. Kudos to us.

6. Date night or day day. (I think that's a thing.) Setting time aside to spend time with one another, without the kids or our friends, is such a healthy and important part of marriage. We go to dinner or to our favorite breweries and just talk about our week.

7. It’s important to be off your phone when you’re with your loved one, be present in every form. If one of us picks up the phone and it’s not work related, we tell one another about it and we put our phone down. Give it a shot.

8. Finances are a big marital issue but we've knocked this one out the ballpark a few years ago. A big percentage of failed marriages are due to finances and lack of commitment. We downloaded the Dave Ramsey EveryDollar app after we got married, and it has really helped us out over time. We put everything in the app and we discuss almost every purchase that’s made. If juggling money is an issue, I highly recommend this app!

9. A mutual commitment and respect towards your partner is HUGE. There has to be equality in the marriage as well as realistic expectations from one another. And of course, TRUST. Not trusting your partner is like jumping into a river and not knowing how to swim. Your marriage will drown. It will not survive.

10. Don’t bottle it in. If you have an issue or feel like expressing your feelings, pull your partner aside and let him know what’s going through your head. Again, we're not mind readers; they don’t know what you’re feeling or thinking and vise versa. So, talk it out.

11. Never go to bed angry. This is your lifetime partner. Use your words. 

12. Hold his hand. If you're not into PDA, do it at home. It's so intimate, yet a simple act of love.

And that wraps year three!

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