10 Things I’ve learned in 10 years of marriage, and a bonus going into this year. That makes 11. I got all acronym-y on you all for this post, but it was just too good to pass up. Jennifer and David pictured above just got married this past Saturday and I wanted to share all the great nuggets of wisdom I have collected over the years. The key to any good marriage is COMMUNICATION, which I have acronymized (not a word, but should be) below.
C – Constantly communicate. Communicate your needs, communicate any dissatisfaction, communicate inadequacies, communicate your love through actions, not just through words!!
O – Offer your service to your partner. Katie and I washed each other’s feet 10 years ago during our wedding service as a sign that we were there to serve one another. When you have kids, serving each other becomes paramount, as you have to be willing to put the other person before yourself. Sometimes you gotta suck it up and unload the dishwasher, clean the baby bottles, or just take the kids so your spouse can have some time to themselves. The nice thing is this is reciprocal and contagious. Selfishness just leads to arguments and dissatisfaction.
M – Make them a priority. Life is about the choices we make. We can choose to focus all our effort on work, entertainment, or something other than the relationships we hold most dear, but that is a dark and empty road.
M – Make love on a regular basis. Gross dude. Well we don’t have to be weird about this. Having sex is part of a healthy relationship. Make sure your partner’s needs are met, unless they are kinky as hell and it is something that is outside of a comfort boundary for you. A wise man once said, you gotta connect on a deep level and connect in the sack.
U – Understand that this person is going to die. Yeah, I went dark on you. You are going to die too. No one knows when, but take advantage of the time you have NOW!! Regrets suck.
N – Never leave each other angry. If homegirl and I get into an argument and something then happens to one of us, I would hate for that to be our last interaction. (See Letter U above).
I – Invest an interest in the other person. Katie has really pushed me to pursue photography as a career and it has made our whole family and lifestyle much more fulfilling.
C – Call each other out on your bullshit. (In a loving way of course). Katie calls me out on stuff all the time. Not in a mean way, but we just keep each other in check.
A – Assess the relationship. Is it strong or weak? Where does it need improvement? It’s easy to think your relationship is great when it could actually be a sinking ship because you are not communicating your assessment of the relationship. If you are not on the same page, get on it, or seek counseling.
T – Tell the person you love them. Simple. Do it and mean it.
E – Engage in the moment. Get off your GOT DAMN phone and pay attention. “I vow to love and serve you, and to check my cell phone and pretend like I am engaged in the conversation.” This doesn’t cut it. Relationships take work, practice, and communication. So COMMUNICATE!!