This month we get to celebrate our sixth anniversary. I genuinely can’t believe how quickly that has come around but when I look back at the exciting things we have done over the years’, I get surprised at how we have fit it all in.
I guess it’s true that time really flies when you’re having fun. I know that there are people definitely more qualified to write a post like this, with 20, 30 or 50 years of marriage under their belt. So whilst I am not an expert and still have an awful lot to learn, here’s six things I have learned from six years’ of marriage.
Traditions are important
This is something I got incredibly excited about, and still love to make a fuss about to this day. Making new family traditions, as a two (or more), never gets old. Moreover, it’s important to define what both of your new expectations are when it comes to special events or holidays.
For instance, we both don’t celebrate or acknowledge Valentine’s day and for our anniversary, most of our gift is usually a trip away together to celebrate the year passed and year to come, rather than an item for each other. At Christmas, we always give pyjamas on the 24th , buy a new bauble for the tree and go for a walk on Christmas Day. There are a lot more but I won’t bore you with them all. These little things we do every year make special events something to look forward to, so make sure you define traditions and rituals of your own.
You can read each other’s mind
I am not talking here about a new super-natural power married couples suddenly inherit, but instead some weird ability that grows in strength the longer you are together to the point that it becomes just as creepy as it is cool.
You know what they are about to say before they open their mouths, you can sense when it’s time to leave a party even if they are not stood next to you, and you can predict their next steps like when they are about to steal one of your fries without asking. It allows you to work in perfect harmony and silence when it comes to packing a suitcase for a trip or preparing for guests to arrive. It’s something I really love, although I have to admit it still spooks me when Kyran knows exactly what I am going to ask for before opening my mouth.
Marriage is a journey of stages
You will go through many different periods and stages together. Whether that will be living together in your first apartment, learning to balance two busy and consuming careers and a home at the same time, starting a family or experiencing moments of sadness and loss. All these stages will differ in length, and in some, you will feel content and settle into more of a routine. With others, they will completely shake up life as you know it and expect more from you than before.
The key thing here is that although each stage will be incredibly different, you need to focus on three things through them all. Being present and enjoying the moment, being willing to learn and adapt, and being happy. If you can’t find happiness and balance together in your mouldy university dorms, you’re not going to suddenly find it in your dream five bed home many years later. Contentment comes from internal efforts rather than external factors.
You can’t ignore weird quirks
A serious warning here, do not underestimate how irritating your other halves quirks can get if you already find them a little distracting or frustrating in the early days! If their knuckle cracking, leaving their clothes in a pile each night or ability to put empty packets back in the fridge bother you now, you need to find a way to at least deal with them for the coming years.
Yes, you can both definitely make an effort to tone down your quirky habits, but in reality if you have been doing them for thirty odd years already, they’re not likely to disappear any time soon. Case in point, I definitely still fish out way too many odd socks from under the bed on a weekly basis, and Kyran has to deal with my irritating eyelash plucking I do when I am stressed, finding eyelashes all over the duvet and sofa.
Know what it is that bugs you, and either find a fix (for clothes, maybe have a basket where they tend to drop them each night) or if they always eat the last biscuit, stock up on another pack when shopping.
Embrace them where you can. We all have them and it makes life a lot easier if we see the funny or strange side of them.
Real life is the every day
I am not going to lie; there has been many peaks during our marriage over the last six years. However between these highlights is the real day to day, which makes up most of the time spent together. Real life can be mundane, but I genuinely think it’s where the fun happens.
If you start to put a lot of value in making the most out of the little moments, the everyday, rather than waiting for the next big milestone, you will find yourself a lot more content. Laugh every single day. Be grateful for the time spent together.
Take each other a coffee in bed in the morning, do the laundry as your other half hates it. Value the day-to-day routine and then embrace the big peaks when they come around, rather than waiting for the highlights and ploughing through the every day.
Always be each other’s biggest support
One of our vows was to always be each other’s biggest cheerleaders, and I really hope we have stuck to that over the years. Champion what your partner believes in and help them towards their goals and ambitions wherever possible.
You may come across many obstacles when trying to achieve a personal goal. Don’t be another barrier to your partners dreams or wishes, even if you can’t quite see the rationale or logic behind them at the time. I will never be able to colour in the lines, however I love to encourage, shout about and push Kyran’s artistic abilities and dreams whenever I get the chance.
On that note, whilst in a couple it’s beyond important to have shared loves and interests, just like the above, it’s also incredibly important to have your own hobbies and work on shaping yourself as an individual throughout your marriage.
Travel together, but also go on trips apart. Watch shows together, but read different books and learn individually. Have different groups of friends and couple friends. Have you ever been abroad without your partner? Do you have your own hobbies? If not, try something new and alone today.