10 Things I Learned in the Fourth Year of Marriage
We did it! We made it through another year of marriage! It’s been four years of marital (somewhat)bliss, which means I’ve shared three other posts just liked this one – 10 Things I Learned in the First Year of Marriage, 10 Things I Learned in the Second Year of Marriage, then 10 Things I Learned in the Third Year of Marriage. With each year, I feel like I’ve learned a ton while also feeling like I know nothing. Marriage is hard work! Whoever tells you different is either lying or hasn’t been married very long. We’re now moving into our fifth year and we are constantly trying to be better partners and understand each other’s needs. One week will be easy peasy, then the next will a rough one. We definitely haven’t perfected the whole marriage thing, but we still love the sh*t out of each other and want to continue improve as individuals and partners. At the end of the day, we really respect each other and want to make the other person happy, which makes for a constantly improving relationship. And I feel very lucky to have someone that respects me as much as I respect them. Brian is pretty damn great and I feel very lucky to have met such a wonderful man.
This year has been very different than our first three because Brian was unemployed. We’ve been together for 8 years now and the first 7 included him working 6+ days a week, usually 10 hours a day. But last April I was finally able to get him to quit his job so he could pursue other things. The stress of his old job was slowly killing him and I wanted him to be able to find something that not only made him excited to wake up every day, but something that he felt passionate about. I told him to take the summer off then we could start brainstorming ideas of different career paths he could take. He’s been down a couple different roads, but still hasn’t found exactly what he is looking for. And now we are in a pandemic, which obviously changes the job market. So he’s still on the hunt! Some days he feels good about it and other days are tough. Brian is a really driven guy who doesn’t like to sit still, so time off with no end in sight can be frustrating. But hopefully he will find his next calling in life that gets him excited to wake up every day.
This year was not only big for Brian, but it was a big step for us. We bought a new house, we sold our old one, and we also bought a rental property, all while being around each other 24/7 and having a dog that tried to die on a couple times. These big purchases and expensive situations were scary and nerve racking, but sometimes life is all about taking chances and seeing how it goes. We not only learned to be around each other at all times, but we learned to take some chances. And so far, I’m really glad we did. I’m just happy to have a partner who is willing to take chances with me because that’s what this year was all about.
Now let’s get into what I learned this year!!
- Therapy is bomb. I started going to therapy for non-marriage related things, but obviously Brian is a huge part of my life so he comes up more times than not. And my therapist has been incredibly helpful with giving me small tips that have made a huge difference in our relationship. I can’t recommend therapy enough, especially when it comes to better understanding yourself so you can move forward with healthier relationships.
- The topic of children. I’ve voiced my opinion on this topic many times here on the blog since I’ve never been interested in having children and I don’t feel like it’s something that is talked about much since it’s often shunned by others. This year I felt a tad different, I felt like maybe having children WAS in our future. And I have been quite vocal about that with Brian. But now that we are in a pandemic, those feelings have changed for both of us. We don’t know what is to come and how our lives may change in the next year, so we just don’t feel like it’s the right time for us. But the main thing that we have done is stayed open and honest about those feelings. Having kids is a big f*cking deal that will change your lives forever so we want to make sure we are ready for that, especially with a pandemic that will most likely change our world forever moving forward.
- Support hobbies. I shared this last year, but I think it’s so important. I think a spouse should have things they enjoy doing on their own and their partner should support those things. Brian is OBSESSED with golf. He played 100 rounds this past year and even took a handful of trips to golf. Golf is expensive and time-consuming, but he loves it. So I continue to support him because I know it will bring him joy. A happy partner is a better partner.
- Always hire movers. Every marriage should have a contract with one line should be included in it – must hire movers. We moved this year and even though the movers sucked huge f*cking ass, it was still SO MUCH BETTER than trying to move everything ourselves. It saved our marriage.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in proving that you were right or your partner contradicted themselves, but what’s the point at the end of the day? That YOU feel good in that moment? This is a hard one for me that I’m not great at, but I’m learning to hold my tongue because it’s just not worth it most of the time, and it makes the other person feel less than stellar. That’s not a fun relationship.
- Just ask. If you really want something done or you’re annoyed that your partner hasn’t done something, JUST ASK. I used to get so annoyed when Brian wouldn’t do something then it finally clicked one day that all I had to do was ask. And if it was something I wanted him to do without me asking, I would tell him how much I appreciated him doing that task in that moment. Sometimes we make things harder than they need to be and expect others to know what we need, but simply asking takes out all the stress and guesswork. It really just makes the relationship better AND easier.
- Think outside the box. Brian has struggled at times throughout this past year not knowing exactly what he wants to do and when I feel like something is off, I constantly ask him what’s wrong. But he doesn’t respond well to that and we don’t really get anywhere. So I have to try other tactics…like simply giving him a hug. I am not a physical touch kind of person, but he is, so I continually try to communicate in ways that work for him instead of myself. This is something my therapist has helped with – thinking outside the box and connecting with my spouse in a way that works for him instead of me. And it has really worked!
- Cuddle more. Like I mentioned above, I’m not big into physical touch…but Brian is. So I’m trying to cuddle more and be more present with the hubs. Physical touch is important to Brian, but it also makes us both feel closer to each other. So I try my best. I kind of suck at it still, but I’m working on it!
- Learn to admit when you’re wrong. This is actually something I’m pretty damn good at. I know when I’m wrong and I’ll admit it before the fight builds into something worse. And Brian is the same way. Neither of us like fighting and we want it to be over as soon as possible. I’m proud to say we are both good at this one, but I thought I would keep this one in because most couples have to work on this skill throughout the years.
- Acceptance. I have come to accept the fact that Brian will never close his dresser drawers, no matter what. It’s just not in his skill set. He does so many other things and he works at improving himself in so many ways…but not when it comes to his drawers. Every time I walk into our bedroom, at LEAST one drawer is open. It annoys TF out of me, but I can also simply close them. I’ve accepted this imperfection in him and he has probably done the same for me, he just doesn’t write about it on the internet.
Love is a hell of a journey, that’s for sure. I’m excited to see what this next year holds, especially since we are in such uncertain times. Luckily I have a person that I love being around, even through the sh*tty times. If you’re not married yet, be sure to find someone you enjoy being around 24/7 because you never know when the next pandemic will have you quarantined at home. 2020 is a real eye opener for couples. Love you, Brian. Thanks for being an amazing husband.
Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.
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