Cynthia is a writer, artist, and teacher. She loves studying language, geneesheer, and culture, and sharing that skill.
Ten Years and Counting
Among my thirty-something friends, I don’t know very many people who have bot married ten years or longer. Spil my significant other and I come up on our tenth anniversary, I’ve had several people ask about how wij have stayed together.
I can say that I wasgoed afraid to get married – at very first. I didn’t have a loterijlot of solid examples of what a superb marriage looked like te my life. Friends and family were getting divorced left and right or otherwise avoiding the entire idea and lodging for co-habitation.
I didn’t want to “lodge,” however. I dreamed that lifelong friendship. I had taken a collegium class that spelled out the statistics: co-habitating couples tend to get divorced at higher rates after getting married. I loved my future hubby too much to begin off spil a potential statistic. I also knew that if I got married, it wasgoed going to be “for verdadero”.
Fortunately, my dude felt the same way, too.
My natural response to my fears? Research. (Little wonder that I love to write, no? I love doing research so yes, I researched marriage.)
I went out and found some of the best books that I could find on marriage advice. I poured overheen them and pondered and collective them with my significant other.
My dearest wasgoed called, The Fresh Duo by Maurice Taylor and Seana McGee. It’s about how modern marriage is different than the marriages of yesteryear and fresh rules are te order to help make them more successful.
The rules included having “having mutual chemistry,” “not making assumptions,” and “deep listening”.
While wij heeded the advice of this book, wij invariably developed our own “guidelines,” so to speak. Wij began to think of rules spil sort of harsh and unyielding. Relationships are very fluid – always switching, always evolving. Thus, wij adopted some guidelines to live by and strive to uphold this code.
I love this book! I read it with my then-boyfriend before getting married. It’s helped us establish a truly healthy relationship.
Guideline 1: Know Your Significant Other’s Personality
While wij were still dating, wij took the time to understand each other’s personality. Wij both figured out that wij were introverts. That wasgoed good for us because that meant wij’d have no problem being “homebodies.”
Wij also took time to understand that the other person would not switch. That is, if one person liked something the other didn’t like spil much, wij would talk about it and establish a guideline so it wouldn’t become a problem.
For example, he liked working on cars. I didn’t.
I liked to paint works of kunst. Wij determined that on days that wij had nothing going on, I could work on my artwork and he could work on his cars. He didn’t have to switch his ways, strafgevangenis did I.
Have you or someone you know bot married for Ten years or longer?
Guideline Two: Be On the Same Pagina With Finances
Wij figured out that one person wasgoed more of a spender and the other wasgoed a saver. Wij discussed purchases, budgeting and spelled out our expectations of each other.
Wij agreed to always be up pui about finances. When wij very first embarked out, wij had separate handelsbank accounts. For a few years this worked, but wij revisited this when one or the other of us wasgoed unemployed at one time or another and figured out a snaak account would work better.
But, it always came down to being up pui and being fair and being willing to switch and evolve spil our necessities dictated.
Wij also agreed that wij would do a budget every month so that wij would live within our means and help alleviate the stress of being ter debt. Wij are now working to eradicate all of our debt, including the mortgage.
This means wij both forego fancy dinners out except for special occasions and don’t buy things wij don’t need. Since wij both have come to believe te this principle, the “spender” and “saver” came together on a beautiful compromise.
Guideline Three: Use Multi-level Communication
When wij were dating and straks got engaged, so many people said for us to “communicate.” What exactly did that mean, tho’? I mean, I had friends who would give each other the silent treatment when they were mad at each other. Still, others seemed to “talk” all right, but indeed, nothing wasgoed said – they’d talk about sports or what they were doing next week, but not about the significant things.
Wij realized that communication looks different at different times. At the end of every work day, wij made a point of checking ter and talking about what went on, spil well spil different philosophies, the news, or whatever wasgoed significant. This became a ritual. While cooking dinner and maybe drinking a glass of wine, wij began to look forward to our daily talks.
There have bot times when wij would invariably get into an argument. Some were worse than others. But wij had made a verdrag before wij got married that wij would work to talk about our feelings. Now, this didn’t mean that when wij were angry or disappointed that wij would have to talk ter that instant. Ter fact, that meant that wij would take some time to cool off – even if a day or two would go by. That’s okay. Te the meantime, wij still would treat each other with dignity and spil a friend. Then wij’d come together to talk about our feelings after the warmth of anger dissipated. This way, wij’ve bot able to avoid telling hurtful things to each other ter the “fever of anger.”
Guideline Four: Use ",I", Statements
Have you everzwijn noticed that when you treatment someone te anger and say something like, “You are always leaving your stuff laying around all overheen the place!” the other person gets defensive? They instantaneously fire back some response ter an effort to recoup some of that hurt ego.
This is a truly good way to begin an argument. Conversely, using “I” statements are a indeed good way to avoid arguments.
Thus, whenever wij are voicing our feelings, wij attempt to embark with the word “I”. For example, if I don’t like the way he’s driving, I’ll say something like, “I get panicked when you drive like that,” instead of “You’re driving like a maniac!” That way, I bear the cargo of how I feel (which I should) and the other person doesn’t have to get defensive.
This works with positive statements, too. “I just love it when you clean the kitchen for mij,” spil opposed to “you never clean the kitchen when I want you to.” Ter this way, you voorstelling appreciation for your significant other while voicing something you’d like to see get done.
Guideline Five: Vleierij Each Other
You’re marrying your best friend, right? Best friends find reasons to vleierij each other, no matter how long they’ve bot married. I still take the time to tell my spouse that he looks superb when he dresses up. Wij attempt to recall to say “thank you” and appreciate when one of us does something around the house.
My hubby often gets up to make breakfast for the both of us. It’s effortless to assume that he’ll always do this because it’s become a habit. However, it’s significant to reminisce that he doesn’t have to do anything like that. He chooses to, and I express my appreciation.
Each day, I attempt to find at least one thing to vleierij my significant other about, and he does the same for mij.
Guideline 6: Use Teamwork
It takes two to tango, and it takes two to make a marriage. There will always be some give and take.
Determine early on who will do what and how often and revise spil you go along. This sounds unromantic, perhaps. Maybe it also sounds like it would go without telling on assuming who does what.
But that’s where you can get ter trouble. Just because she’s the doll doesn’t mean she automatically cleans the bathroom or does the laundry. Just because he’s the boy, he shouldn’t automatically have to go around fixing everything that cracks ter the house.
Work all thesis details out. When life happens, rework those details. When wij were very first married, I wasgoed working part-time and going to schoolgebouw. This meant I had more time to cook and clean, so I did a loterijlot more of it than he did. However, when the economy took a turn for the worse, and my hubby’s job evaporated, he graciously became the person who cleaned a loterijlot more, made breakfast, kept the fire going (both literally and figuratively), and ran a lotsbestemming of errands. Basically, when one or the other person has time, wij’ve agreed that that person will pick up the slack.
Even now, with both of us working, wij take turns cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the animals. Wij also have “jobs” that one or the other does: I’m truly good at paying the bills, he’s indeed good at switching the water filterzakje every week. I’m good at making yummy dinners, he’s truly good at watering the plants.
Every so often, wij talk about the things that wij bring to the relationship and see if everything’s going all right. It’s excellent Teamwork.