After another Thanksgiving with my wonderful man and family, I’d like to say I’m beyond grateful for my marriage. It’s an almost intimidating thing to know that someone wants to spend the rest of their life with you. Not just a few days or a month or maybe a year or two, but every day for the rest of their life. That’s weird, right? But my husband seems to want to do that with me. I’m not really sure why half of the time, because I tend to be a crazy,emotional, bratty B-word on my bad days. But he does. Marriage to me has become an interesting thing to discuss. I think it’s safe to say I know more than most others my age on the topic, and I am definitely asked quite a bit of questions from my peers. A good amount of people in my social circle are getting engaged lately, and a lot of my single friends look at this in a state of awe. Marriage is this whole new world entirely and I’ve found that many people are fascinated by this world. Before you’ve done it, at least in my experience, it’s kind of this big mystery. But obviously, once you’ve said “I do”, it eventually becomes a part of everyday life again. In one way, it is a been there, done that, kind of thing for me. But I’m a weird case. I am married. But I’m also only 21 and I’m one of those people who regards everything in life with a sense of fascination. On top of that, in my short life I’ve come across my fair share of not-so-perfect marriages. I’m not an expert on marital bliss, but I am currently happily married and the subject does interest me to no end. Actually, my newest goal in life is to become a marriage counselor. I think my life so far is pointing me in that direction. So, if you will, let me practice. For you ladies (or the one or two men who might read this and care) who are in a serious relationship or are just wondering, give me a moment to let you in on the humble amount of things I have learned in my short parade as a married woman so far:
- Don’t pretend. I was having a conversation with a girl I am extremely close to the other day,and she’s having a lot of issues with being honest about who she really is. So instead of ‘fessing up to insecurities and shortcomings, she has resorted to taking these insecurities and shortcomings out on her boy. I tried my best to coax her towards just letting him know whats up. I know for a fact that this girl is wonderful and that her dude is going to love her no matter what. I’ve noticed a lot of girls do this. Pretend to be this saint in fear that he won’t love her anymore once it’s all out there. It’s perplexes me, because my dude knew everything about me in the first few months. We moved in together very early on, and I’ve never had much of a censor anyway. I figured if he was going to love me, he was going to love all of me. After a certain dating experience, I was done with the bullshit at at a very early age. Looking back, I maybe should have weened him into the madness just a little bit. But I didn’t. Future husband had to take my craziness or leave it from very early on. He took it. Because of this, I’ve never had to doubt whether he really loves me. And the fact that he knows every one of my secrets makes him a really good best friend too.
- Live your own Life. Don’t be that clingy girl who has no friends other than your significant other. Don’t wait at home doing nothing until he is ready to hang out. Don’t follow him everywhere and devote every moment of your time to him. Hearing these stories just makes me cringe. No relationship is guaranteed, no matter how good it may seem at the time. You need a back-up plan, good friends to run to and cry on, and some self-esteem. Being attached at the hip will not only annoy your guy, but will more importantly never let you reach your full potential. Find what you love to do, and do it. Without him. Not only will your dude respect you more, you’ll respect and like yourself more too. Relationships need breathing room. Relationships should not consume your whole life or be used as a safety blanket.
- Never underestimate the power of mamas and best friends.You need to like his family. He needs to like yours. You may think you can get around this, but it is damn near impossible. If you have a close knit family (and sometimes even if you don’t), parents and siblings will always be a huge part of the relationship. If my husband’s parents didn’t like me, though they live six hours away, I am certain I would not be happy. He is close to his mom and dad and would always have it in the back of his mind that they didn’t approve. This would probably destroy us eventually. This is the same for me but I think the one person’s approval who mattered the most when it came to my dude was my brother. I remember when he first met Robby and him and his friend made fun of the way he played basketball. Husband isn’t the most athletic man alive. Silly, but as it was early on I seriously wasn’t sure if could be with him anymore. Once my brother did start to love Robby, it was easier for me to love him too. Now they’re practically best friends and I can’t even begin to say how much joy and relief this brings me. Family is a part of you, and doubts in their mind will and should put doubts in yours as well. And just think of all the tension-filled conversations and awkward holiday dinners you’ll have to face throughout the years. It’s sure to wear down even the strongest of couples eventually. Going off of this, if most or all of your friends don’t like the guy you’re dating, there’s a reason for this. That stupid cliche “You don’t know so-and-so like I do.” is pretty outdated and needs to get kicked out of every silly girl’s vocab immediately. They love you and there’s a reason they don’t like the dude. Finally, if he doesn’t like or at least take interest in your friends and family, this means he is simply a douche-bag who really doesn’t care that much about you either. But I think that one’s obvious enough.
- Learn when to call a truce. I haven’t quite learned this yet. Robby and I can’t even play Monopoly together without getting in a fight. But I do know it’s important. Do as I say, not as I do.
- Have your ‘thing’ Having special things to do together makes the relationship sparkle even better than the Twilight vampires when they go out in the sun. Though there is a lot we don’t like to do together, husband and I have a blast thrift-shopping and exploring together. We have our dorky little bowling league we go to every Friday. We like to go to neat little places and love to travel. We’ve already gone to Vegas this year and we’re planning Louisiana in early January and then Colorado in the summertime. We love adventures, and we go on them together. We turn into kids again when we’re around the other. Sharing common interests bonds us and makes us not just lovers, but really good buddies as well.
- Accept Imperfect. Sure, have some guidelines and some standards. Don’t settle. But don’t be that girl who makes your dude walk on eggshells just to please and/or not offend you. Lighten up, yo. You never know what you’re missing out on when you’re out there looking for Mr. Perfect. Ps: He’s not out there.
- Have more than just love.
Love isn’t enough. I don’t like that quote that says it conquers all. Anyone can love somebody. It’s the other stuff that should accompany love that’s harder to come across. Robby is more understanding of a guy than I could ever ask for. He supports me and the fact that I’m younger and still a student. Actually, he even calls me his ‘investment.’ He believes in me. He also understands that I am younger than him and need to live my younger life. He puts up with and even enjoys the late night parties and all of my many friends that are constantly at our house. He even participates in my group projects. He’s happy for me and he’s constantly encouraging. He listens. He likes to cuddle. He lets me fully enjoy my youth, and I’ve never once since being married felt like I’m missing out on anything. There are a few things I know would be different if I hadn’t already tied the knot, but I just laugh when I think about living any other life than the one I have. I feel like I have it all. I get to be twenty-one and still come home to the best boy I’ve ever known.