I could have titled this "10 things we've learned in our marriage," but that doesn't have the same ring to it. (See what I did there?)
A friend recently reminded us that there is no failure; only feedback. Over the past decade, this Republican/Democrat, introvert/extrovert, sports lover/theater nerd couple has gathered a lot of feedback on what works. And perhaps, more importantly, what doesn't.
Here are 10 mistakes we've made in our marriage:
We didn't start counseling sooner. Counseling is like personal training for marriage. I cringe to think where ours would be without it. I still contend that for every child born, I could have used 4-6 family counseling sessions.
We haven't always kept a budget. Let me rephrase: we haven't both been
wanted to be included in the budgeting process. Thanks to Money Peach, that has changed.
We've lost the fun. Our lives didn't change drastically after our first son was born. After baby #2, we moved to the 'burbs: no friends, low funds, and now two kids. So, we restricted ourselves (justifiably). We're still learning how to find the fun and remain financially responsible.
We've forgotten to "fill our water bottles." When our tank is on empty, it's hard to fill up the other's. Step one: realizing when we're on empty. Step two: figuring out what makes them full (exercise, friend time, hobbies). Without these, water bottles are empty and attitudes are snippy.
We've ignored our Mom/Dad temperature. Let's be honest: this is usually me. Chances are, if my water bottle is empty, my temp is high. I now alert my husband if my temp is high, or he proactively asks me. This has resulted in fewer blow ups. (Fewer, not zero.)
We've put each other in a puddle of shame. Oo, this one... my husband is forgetful, and I have a short fuse. When we criticize each other about these flaws, we put the other in the puddle of shame, alone. When we validate each other, we stand in the puddle, together.
We haven't always accepted our differences. Opposites attract; living with your opposite is tough. We suffer when we wish the other could be more like us. A few weeks ago, my husband praised my over planning of snacks. It was one of the nicest compliments I've ever received.
We've spent too much time on our screens. I know that we're the *ONLY* people who do this... But seriously, I look forward to seeing him all day, and then I sit with the screen in my face?! Constantly working on this one.
We've let an argument ruin our day. What a waste of energy and time this is. While it's not wrong to disagree, we sometimes let it seep into the rest of our day, or worse, our weekend. On our mature days, we reach some sort of consensus and agree to stop being Debbie Downers.
We've forgotten to take pictures just the two of us. This means: 1) We're focusing too much on the kids and they are the subject of our photos. 2) We're not doing enough together just the two of us. How have I forgotten to take pictures with my favorite person?
There has been so much growth for us over these past ten years: literally, figuratively, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I look forward to learning more, and to choosing to be married to this guy every day.