It truly blows my mind that Ben and I have been married for three years. I can still remember meeting him for the first time at Five Guys. Our first kiss at our friend’s house, the first time he asked me out claiming he had a Chili’s gift card he could use (something he’ll never live down LOL), the day he found a job in Florida and secured the fact that he wasn’t moving away. These moments are all crystal clear in my mind.
These three years of marriage have been some of the best and most insightful for us. Loving your best friend is the easy part, but marriage itself is something you nurture every day. You’re a team, a unit. You’re building a life together and that’s not without some lessons along the way.
I thought it would be fun for Ben and I to share three lessons each that we’ve learned from our marriage. All of these are drawn from our experiences over the past few years.
At the bottom of this post I’m also sharing some anniversary gift ideas that I bought/considered buying for Ben. The traditional gift type for your three year wedding anniversary is leather. Ben went the Apple Watch with a leather band route for me and let me tell you – I am OBSESSED. I collaborated with Bearpaw to gift him these comfy slippers. I also picked out this toiletries bag for Ben so he could stop using Ziploc bags for his bathroom goods when we travel. Both gifts were a hit (and bonus: we only had to do a photoshoot with one of them).
Go with the flow.
I’m a homebody through and through. 9/10 times I’d rather be home watching a movie than to be out and about around town. Kahla is the total opposite of that. She receives invites to a lot of events and opportunities because of her blog. At times, I’m hesitant to accept every plus one invite (mostly because of how comfy our couch is, haha), but I’ve learned to go with the flow. The opportunities and experiences always end up being a fun night out for us. They also allow for better memories to be made than that of me sitting at home on the couch watching The Office reruns.
Listen. Be there. And keep listening.
This lesson is an important one. Kahla’s mind can run, sprint a loop, and run back. She has a talent of overthinking everything. Whenever we’d talk through issues or thoughts she was having, my first reaction would be to tell her not to worry too much about them. I’m a very logical, laid back person. I worried that if I fed into the thoughts she was having it would make things worse and she’d be more stressed out. I’ve learned that letting Kahla talk through her thoughts and helping her connect the dots on why she is feeling or thinking a certain way is vital. It never makes anything worse. If anything, it helps her. Letting Kahla get those thoughts and reasonings out into the open gives her mind ease.
Just because you’re married doesn’t mean the efforts end.
Make time to go on date nights, spend quality time together, and make each other feel special. Nothing has to be extravagant. If I know Kahla had a long day at work, I’ll make sure the house is clean before she gets home and have a glass of wine waiting for her in the fridge. Little gestures like that can really make a difference.
Share your calendars.
Hear me out on this one folks. Ben and I are in a very busy season of life right now. Between work, blogging, friends, etc. it’s hard to keep our weekends straight sometimes. Sharing calendars has been such a simple game changer. It saves us from overbooking or assuming we have a free weekend when we actually don’t. Any time I accept an invite to a blog event or make plans for us, I immediately create a calendar appointment on my phone and invite Ben to it. Yes, even if it’s an event like having my dad over for dinner at our house.
Don’t always assume that because your spouse takes over a household task that it means they love doing it.
I always joke that Ben does the cooking in our house since I don’t know how to. Okay, maybe it’s not really a joke (cooking chicken literally terrifies me). I always just assumed that he ENJOYED cooking. When I finally asked him about it, he laughed and told me he’s “cooking for survival”. Overdramatic response? Of course, but the lesson here is still the same. It wasn’t fair of me to assume he loved doing it just because he took it over (although on some level I do believe there’s a part of him that enjoys cooking – you should see the man with his seasonings). One of my 2020 resolutions will be to learn how to cook a few dishes. He deserves a night out of the kitchen and I’ll finally put these Pinterest recipes to use.
If I have five minutes to scroll through my Instagram feed, then I have five minutes to do something thoughtful for my husband.
Ben has always been the thoughtful one in our relationship. He’ll bring me home surprises, he buys thoughtful gifts for anniversaries, he’ll hear me say “I still need to get dinner together for Nash” while I’m getting ready and he’ll handle it even though I didn’t directly ask him to do it. Ben just goes the extra mile to put a smile on my face and make life a little easier for me. I on the other hand need to slow down at times to remember that thoughtfulness is important. It never has to be a grand gesture. Lately we’ve been into hiding little sticky note love notes for each other to find. They’re like little mini day brighteners.
Can you relate to any of these lessons? How long have you been married for? Let’s chat in the comments below.