10 Things I Learned in the Third Year of Marriage

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Since my husband and I got married in 2016, I started sharing a yearly recap of what I learned that year. First I shared 10 Things I Learned in the First Year of Marriage then 10 Things I Learned in the Second Year of Marriage. We just celebrated our third year of marriage last week with sushi, ramen and champagne then kicked off our fourth year of marriage this week with a bang. I’ll be sharing more of those details on the podcast this week!

But before I get into the fun times we are currently in, I gotta talk about 2018. And 2018 was a tough year. No getting around it. I went through a tough time personally and my husband went through some health issues and big life decisions. But all of those frustrating and upsetting times in 2018 led to a really exciting change in our lives in 2019. We learned a lot this year and we grew even more. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t always fun, and it took a lot of tough conversations. But all of those hard times have led to a stronger bond and a better understanding of each other. It’s safe to say, I’m pretty f*cking pumped for 2019. Now let’s chat about what I learned this year!

  1. Communication, communication, communication. Learning how to effectively communicate with your spouse is the absolute most important thing when it comes to a healthy relationship, in my opinion. And we continue to get better and better at it. In the past I would just hope my husband would do something so I wouldn’t have to ask. But here’s the thing – he’s not a mind reader. So instead of just waiting and feeling annoyed, I just ask. I ask for help, I ask for a favor, I ask for whatever I need. He always helps and then I don’t get annoyed. I communicate my needs and he’s there for me. It solves so many issues before they blow up.
  2. I’ve learned to express my feeling and fears for the future, even when I feel like they are not being heard. This was something I had to do many times in 2018 and I sometimes worried it was falling on deaf ears, but I kept expressing those feelings throughout the year. Because those fears matter, especially when there are 2 people involved. But continually expressing myself throughout the year really paid off. And I hope my husband does the same for me in the future when I am going through something that needs to be addressed.
  3. Supporting hobbies, even when they don’t involve me. This hasn’t been very challenging for me since my husband and I are pretty independent. We do a lot of things without each other and I personally like that. But I have definitely become more aware of how important those hobbies are for him and I try to support him whenever he wants to take part in them. I think supporting your significant others hobbies, even when they don’t interest or involve you, is so important to ensure that they are living their most fulfilled and happiest life.
  4. I’ve become much more patient over the past 7 years we’ve been together. My husband and I are polar opposites. I think about something for about 3 minutes before I act on it while he thinks about it for 3 days. Even in conversations, sometimes I feel like he forgot we were even talking, all because he’s thinking long and hard about his answer. I’ve learned to appreciate this because when my husband finally decides something, I know it’s a good decision. Patience is definitely a virtue. A virtue I haven’t mastered yet, but I’m getting there. Maybe.
  5. I’ve learned to hire someone to do something around the house instead us trying to do it ourselves. We aren’t handy. At all. As much as I’d love to save money by doing it ourselves, we will just cause more issues if we try to pull that off. And I’ve learned that the hard way many times. So instead of headaches and fights, I just hire someone to do it instead. Sometimes you just gotta face the music and realize your weaknesses.
  6. In life, sometimes you gotta take some chances. This couldn’t be more true in our lives right now. My husband made a huge life decision this month and he’s about to leap into the unknown. He’s taking his career in a new direction, an unknown direction. And we are making some big financial decisions at the same time. But sometimes you just gotta jump and see where you land. And since we don’t have kids or debt, this is the best time to do it. Learning to support your spouse when you don’t know what is ahead can be scary, but it may also change your lives for the better.
  7. After another year has passed, I’ve learned that I still feel no pull or want to have children. This is something I look at every single year because I never know if those feelings will change. And even though I see children as a great piece of the puzzle for so many people, I don’t feel ready to have one myself. I really like where our life is right now and I’m not ready for that to change. I have no idea if my feeling towards children will change in the future, but right now, I really like where we are.
  8. I’m slowly learning to become less selfish. I’m a pretty damn selfish person. I have just always done what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. And luckily I can still do that most of the time. But the longer I’m with my husband, the more I notice how he puts others first before himself. And I definitely strive to be more like that.
  9. I’ve learned to deal with the fact that my husband will never fully close his dresser drawers. I walk in and 3 drawers will all be slightly open. He hates fully closing them. I just need to find a dresser that has the soft-close drawers in hopes of no longer dealing with that annoyance. He’s pretty much the best in all other aspects so I think I can deal with the dresser drawer situation.
  10. I’ve come to realize that house renovations can be hard on a relationship when you have no idea what they will look like. I’m thinking next time we do another renovation, we will go on a vacation during it. Sure, that’s a totally unrealistic goal since renovations take a million years and a million dollars, but sometimes you gotta dream big. Especially when it comes to the happiness of your relationship. Right? Right.

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Cheers to humbling third year that taught me so much. I have a feeling 2019 is going to be our best year yet!

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.

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29 thoughts on “10 Things I Learned in the Third Year of Marriage”

  1. man, communication is ALWAYS going to be a thing… your lessons learned are ones others can learn and grow from, too. i still struggle with communicating with my husband, and i have trouble conveying my issues and asking for help as well, so the reminder that others struggle with it is always helpful and makes me feel less f-ed up. congratulations on making it three years without killing each other! (don’t be offended (although i know you aren’t offended easily) – i say this every year to our kid on her birthday. “happy 5th birthday! we’ve managed not to kill you for 5 years!”)

    1. I love this! I tell my older teenagers they killed their cute toddler selves. But I’m stealing your line. My oldest turns 19 on Sunday and I’m putting this in his (homemade) birthday card.

  2. I love these posts!! Its great to hear what works for other couples and implement these things in my own life. Relationships can be hard but the right ones are so so worth it! Excited for you and Brian and his career change!

  3. This might be the first time I’ve ever actually commented but I just have to say I feel like I just read your destination wedding recap blog yesterday. Where the F does the time go!?! Marriage is very personal thing, so thank you for taking the time to reflect and share these details with the Internet. The fact that you’re self-aware enough to make a list like this shows your dedication to your marriage and willingness to continue improving it. It blows my mind how many people just blow by year after year of marriage and never stop to evaluate if needs are being met.

    Best of luck to Brian in his next career move!

  4. Don’t ever doubt your desire to be Childfree. That was a dealmaker for my partner and I. We are super happy together and have no FOMO whatsoever about kids. Continue to be true to yourself and each other!

  5. I love all of these! Let me tell you your post about communication is soooooo true! We’ve been married not quite 3 years and we have a child and let me tell you that is straining on a relationship! I totally respect the fact that you know you don’t want children at this moment! I was a suuuper selfish person before my daughter and when I had her I put everything into her and it takes a lot out of you. But it’s not for everyone and I appreciate and respect the fact that you know that! However, that being said I didn’t have my 1st (and only child at this point) until I was 37! So bottom lone is there’s no rush! I like your attitude about wait and see every year! You have so much going on having a child will drastically change that as I’m sure you realize! Thanks again for sharing. Love seeing your posts and appreciate your genuine nature :).

  6. Thank you for saying again that you’re not ready to have kids and probably never will. I am 37 and my husband is 40. He’s wanted kids but I never have. We are still very happy together after nearly 10 years of marriage, and if we’d have had a family, we’d both be stuck in jobs and companies we hate and never have had the chance to both own and grow successful businesses. And let’s be real, home girl here likes her afternoon naps and workouts without finding a sitter! I’ve adored watching you grow as a blogger and person, and I adore you more every time you post or podcast!

    1. i definitely feel like it’s important to share those feelings because I don’t personally have that many people in my own life with those same feelings so at least i can express those feelings to people i haven’t met. it’s nice to know other people have those feelings and that it’s OK. being a mom is great and not being a mom is great. you just gotta find your own happiness in this world, even if it doesn’t look like the social norm.

  7. If I could suggest a book to read it would be the Enneagram. It was an absolute game changer when I found out my husband’s personality type. Granted, I didn’t like the reasoning of it all but once I accepted it and gave him grace ( and him with me) it made a world of difference. It totally turned our marriage around. Hope this helps!

    1. omg that’s ALL some of my friends talk about. i really need to take that test and have my husband take it too. it sounds like it’s super informative and helpful for all relationships

  8. I really, really like and appreciate these posts. I’ve been married for 5 years, together (including marriage) for 10 and I resonated with this SO much, since we are experiencing the same. Sometimes I wish you’d talk more about your relationship more but I completely understand your want and desire and need to keep it private. Also, my hubby is the SAME way about the drawers. Used to put me in such a bad mood in the morning seeing it (ok, exaggerating, but ya know), but after reading this, you’re right: he has so many good qualities that I’ll overlook that (and remember your suggestion for a new dresser lol), and his wearing shoes in the house (my pet peeve, especially when we have two littles roaming around). Thanks for such a relatable and fun entry/blog. Your writing, recipes and you are appreciated.

  9. Omg I FEEL YOU ON THE RENOVATIONS!!! We are just finishing up our master bath remodel (except that we’ve stuck on punchlist items for TWO WEEKS… why?!?!) and I completely understand how stressful/aggravating it is. I almost don’t want to complain to people because I’m sure they are like, “stfu, you’re getting a new bathroom, you spoiled brat” in their heads, but until you’ve lived it, you just don’t get how frustrating it is… not to mention the stress that it puts on your relationship! My husband and I have gotten into the dumbest fights ever over the silliest stuff I think because we are both just so stressed and tired of living in a construction zone! Not to mention the daily phone calls, last-minute decisions, and hiccups that you have to work through.

    We’ll be moving out of this house into our “forever house” in probably five years, and we’ve already decided that if we need to do any renovations on the new house, we will be doing all of them before we move in. This has shown us that we are NOT renovation people… and that’s ok! And on the bright side, we have an awesome new bathroom that we are loving 🙂

  10. Love this so much! All great points. Only warning I would give, we’ve tried the old leave so they will do our bathroom while we are gone on two different times. Just about nothing got done while we were gone both times. Other jobs, needed more materials, couldn’t find X, Y, Z, blah, blah, blah. We were available by phone and called every day to check in, but yet when we returned just about nothing was done. My next idea is the house next door is an Airbnb and I’m thinking about renting it and staying next door and not telling them we’ve moved. I don’t know what else to do. We have a small historic home with one full bath. It’s hard to be here for the reno, but they literally said they couldn’t find the tile. That was in the spare bedroom. That is next to the bathroom. Despite never mentioning this while we were on the phone. with them. Yeah, I don’t know either.

  11. Is your husband an engineer or something sciencey like that? All your 10 things are completely relatable but #4 especially – my husband is a mechanical engineer and he will look at things from every freaking side, come up with a few different solutions, and overthink things completely. Used to drive me nuts but now I realize he’s just being thorough and I have to let him do his thing before I push a decision. Thanks for the great post Juli, and congratulations to you husband for taking a leap with his career!

  12. Love it Juli! I have been following you since 2013 and just love that you keep it real. My husband and I were married April 2016 so it’s fun to see your anniversary and reflections pop up at a similar time <3 I agree with all your points except for the dresser drawers;) My husbands annoying habit is that he leaves his boxers on the floor RIGHT NEXT TO the hamper….which our Shar Pei then immediately grabs and runs to the front yard lol Learning to be more and more selfless each year is huge and so stink'n hard to admit. I give myself grace if I promise to never stop improving, I don't want to ever "settle" for who I was last year…growth is so much more fulfilling!

  13. I love that you do this! Takeaways from marriage and doing them every year is a great idea. My husband like, SLAMS, the dresser drawers…so idk which one is worse haha.

  14. Great article I can’t wait to see what you will share next year. We will be marry 10 years this August and I had learned that he never fills his gas tank, each single time I borrow his car the tank is empty.. BTW he knows his car and not matter how empty it is…. he always assure me I can make it. I had learned in this 10 years that even though the gas tank drives me nuts, I can’t imagine my life without this guy. No one loves me like does.

  15. Number 9- I feel like everyone has their little quirks . We have been married for seven years and I had to get over the cereal bowl near the sink that he reuses every morning and get my own tube of toothpaste ?
    Communication! Yes especially for us is making sure we don’t have expectations that are not communicated or that gets us in trouble

  16. We have done 2 big renovations while being gone on 2 weeks vacation. Our kitchen one year and our bathroom last year. I wasn’t for it but my husband insisted and even though they obviously weren’t finished, it sure felt a lot shorter. I did not regret it!

  17. Omg, my husband does the same thing with his dresser drawers!!!! Haha. I just asked him if the soft close feature would make a difference. His response was that he’d get back to me on that. ?

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