Ten Things I've Learned about Marriage

This was originally written as a guest post for The Scribble Pad, but in case you didn't get to click over, I thought I'd share it here too!

I met my husband, Kevin, nine years ago in college. It was love at first sight. You know the scene in the movie Sleepless in Seattle where Meg Ryan's 'mom' talks about meeting her husband?

At one point I looked down, at our hands, and I couldn't tell which fingers were mine and which were his. And I knew. Magic. It was magic. I knew we would be together forever...

Well it was just like that. Magic.

And then we got married. And I found out that marriage isn't magic. And it isn't a movie. It's real, hard work. But you know what? I wouldn't change a thing.

Here are a few things I've learned in the five years that we've been married:

1. The first year is the hardest.

2. Don't over-analyze. If he doesn't look happy, he's probably just hungry, tired, or maybe his team just lost. It's got nothing to do with you. Even though you might be thinking about your relationship 24/7, he's not. If he's actually upset with you he'll let you know.

3. You're stuck with each other (if you meant your wedding vows anyway), so there's no point in staying mad. Forgive and move on, but learn from your mistakes.

4. Don't be afraid to say you're sorry. It's not a competition. It doesn't matter who's right and who's wrong because you're a team.

5. Show your appreciation. Find your partner's strengths and praise him for them: Kevin is an amazing cook, great gardener, loving father, and I've never once had to mow the lawn.

6. It's the little things. I never felt more loved than when Kevin painted my toenails for me when I was so pregnant that I couldn't see my feet.

7. Laugh. If you can laugh together, and better yet, make each other laugh, you're golden. Laugh in the face of adversity. Laugh at his bad jokes. Just laugh.

8. Don't expect more than he can give. Kevin isn't a romantic, but for so long I would watch a good chick flick and think, why doesn't my guy do that? And that just leads you to a bad place. Instead I remember the things that are great about him: He's incredibly intelligent, crazy handsome, handy around the house, makes me laugh, and always tells me that he loves me. (Not to mention the things I already listed above).

9. Love your partner how they need to be loved, not how you want to be. I love kisses, a gentle touch here, a compliment there. Kevin doesn't want or need any of those things. He needs words of affirmation, (ahem) physical intimacy, and someone to listen to him. It took me a while to figure this one out, but it's so important.

10. And lastly (and maybe most importantly) be happy with YOU. If you're confident in your worth as a person, have your own interests, and respect yourself, your partner will respect you. And mutual respect = a solid foundation for marriage.

The butterflies, the romance, the excitement may fade, but if you respect each other, love each other, and laugh together, your marriage will be lasting.


  1. This is so excellent, and I actually just shared this with my husband! We laughed, agreed, and hugged. I'm so glad you shared this! :)

  2. Thanks for this post. As a newlywed, I have to remember these things. I think me and my husband are very similar to you and yours!

  3. Directions Not IncludedOctober 15, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    So very true. We've been together for 10 years and everything you said ring so true.

  4. Love this!! Beautiful post and great wisdom shared. :)

  5. Glad to hear you ladies could relate to this. Sometimes it seems like everyone else has the perfect, easy marriage.

  6. This is a great list. Better than anything I've read in a book. So true, from someone who's only been married 1.5 years. I will use this a guide to our marriage!

    xo, Anna of (green gable)

  7. Lauren,
    You are so wise. Who's your Mama?

    Love you



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