Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Time Flies...

Eight years ago today was a Saturday. I was preparing to make the biggest decision of my life (at the time) right here in my hometown.
I've learned so much about myself since the day I said "I Do". Marriage is an ever-changing animal. There are many factors that make up a marriage and I am constantly amazed by how folks make it work. Everyone's marriage is different. Some share loads of laundry while others don't; some marriages have the woman tending to the babies while others have stay-at-home dads. Of all the things I'll list below that I've learned from my eight years I will say that #1 has to be that you can't compare your marriage to anyone else's - NO MATTER WHAT!
The following are from different scenarios that may or may not have happened in my household during the past eight years.

When in an argument with your spouse (no matter the subject) it is not a good idea to utter the words, "Well, your simple mind just can't comprehend this." Nope. No matter how you say it, it won't end up good. Trust me.

When you're trying to get your point across, be sure you've at least pictured a response before you open your mouth. At least then you'll know what to expect. For instance...If you and your spouse are discussing marriage with somone that isn't (married), saying the following is most likely not throwing down your best card: "What you need to do is just find you the ugliest nice person you can find and settle; that's what I did." (Are those crickets I hear in the background?)

Should your spouse lose something of value that just happens to represent the very sanctity of marriage, it might not be in anyone's best interest to inquire as to whether or not they pawned the item in question. Especially if it's during a frantic search of air conditioning vents and sink drains. Not smart - at all.

I have found that raising children is hard work...but it doesn't come close to raising a marriage. It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and even easier to lose sight of how you got there.

I planned a trip for my significant other and I for a spa getaway this past weekend to celebrate eight years of putting up with each other. After a while you get comfortable. There's something to be said for comfort, I think. I mean, ladies, you can wander around in no make up and rollers in your hair and not worry...cause you're married. Guys, you can.....well, we all know what you do when you get comfy...and not worry, cause you're married. That being said, I think nurturing that "first date" feeling could go a long way.

We were "sight-seeing" around the venue and got off the beaten path a bit. My significant other proceeded to do that thing guys do when they're comfy around you....my eyes rolled. "Now if this were our first date, you wouldn't have done that!", I said. (My point here was that after eight years I hope I still give you that "first date" feeling of nervousness.) "If you're looking for first date antics, you're in the wrong place!", he replied. "That's why you get married - so you can be comfortable!" There's truth in both statements, I think. While the comfortable feeling that comes with it is grand, first date feelings are not overrated! It all takes nurturing and it's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget how you got there. You forget who was with you along the way. And sadly, you can forget who you were when you started the journey.

Appreciation is often the first thing to go. I got news for ya'...that ain't good! Keep it out front and use the words, "Thank you! I appreciate that!", as often as you can. We don't think twice about saying something that could hurt the other's feelings...but for some reason we'll go months (or longer) without uttering these words. Think about this...if you're having a party and a guest offers to carry the trash downstairs for you, you wouldn't dare let it happen without a thank you to that person, right? But, on your average Monday evening when supper is going, kids are hollering and dogs are barking it's easy be miffed when your significant other might not think to take it out when it's full. You might ask and they comply...but how easy it is to forget to say "Thanks" when they do. There's the element of expectation there. Don't get me wrong...some expectation is good. But, what if simple thank you's along the way helped make them more frequent. Would that hurt? Not at all. And the beauty of it is that it goes for the guys and dolls!

Learn "I'm sorry". Learn when to insert it into the conversation. Timing is everything. It will only be beneficial to you - I promise.

Make it your goal each day to brighten that person's day somehow. In today's techno savvy world, a "thinking of you" is just a text or email away. Make it happen.

Bottom line...you have to laugh. Everyone else will be, anyway. Life is funny...don't think God sits up there watching documentaries and dramas all day! A little comedy is good for the soul.

Now...go; nurture; act like it's your first date...let me know how it goes!


Jason & Jessica said...

Hey Jenn
Happy Anniversary to you guys!
And I must say how true your words are about nurturing our marriages. It is so easy to take for granted the daily ins and outs that make a family run and get comfortable. I would give anything to tell my husband thank you for taking the trash out because that would mean he was here to do it. :)
I hope you guys had a wonderful anniversary!

Jenn said...

Thanks Jess! It is all too easy to take it all for granted. Too often we treat those most special to us the worst. It's human nature.

LeighAnne said...

Happy Anniversary! I hope you have a great day!!! :)