I almost forgot! Our anniversary went by in such a blur I almost passed by this little post, which has become a tradition. I love looking back at another year married and realizing the lessons we’ve learned. This year has felt pretty grown-up; we’re having a baby, our businesses are a focus, and we’re in our first house together. Along the way we’ve had bumps and bruises that have both tested us and thrilled us. Here’s what we learned in year three (for years one and two, go here and here!).
Side note: I know I love to call him Mr. Lovely, but sometimes I’d rather save the extra letters and just type Ryan. So. Introducing Ryan. Ha.
Choose to Find it Funny. It might seem sometimes like we laugh off important matters, but for us it’s a way to stay positive. There have been so many times when we’ve felt overwhelmed as a team or that we were up against something insurmountable, and one of us would make a joke that would make it feel half as scary right off the bat. When we choose to find humor in a situation, it helps us see that it might not be the end of the world after all.
Lean on Each Other. Many hands make light work, and all that jazz. Literally and figuratively. I learned this year, without a doubt, that we are stronger as a pair. We get more done, we have better ideas, we are bolder, kinder, smarter, and better in every way. When I lean on Ryan for support I know that the outcome of whatever situation we are in will be better. And I hope he thinks the same, vice versa.
Give Space. We live together, we work side by side at home, we hang out together — it’s a lot. Don’t get me wrong, we like it that way. But this year I finally started reading Ryan’s cues about when he might just need some space. Usually it’s brain space. Maybe he just needs a couple of hours of quiet while he works through something. But physical space is important, too. We never blame each other if one of us needs a little time alone.
Let it Go. I’m still working on this one, it’s one of my challenges. You know those teeny tiny things that people do that just make you crazy? Don’t call it out every time. Ryan loves to whistle. (I think I might have said this before.) But he doesn’t whistle real songs, just sequences of random notes. It actually, literally hurts my brain. But as many times as I can, I just let him whistle. Because what fun is it if someone is shutting you up or breaking you down all the time? Let the little things go.
Build Up. I feel my best when Ryan gives me words of encouragement or love or praise. From something as simple as “Thanks for getting the mail” to something bigger like “I’m proud of the work you’re doing.” I realized earlier this year that I was letting so many opportunities to build him up pass me by. So whenever we have a chance, we encourage, thank, or just recognize. It’s become important for us to build each other up.
Who else has marriage tips?! Where are you in your marriage or relationship, and what are you learning in this season? I’d love to know the things you’ve found out about making this incredible adventure work. xoxo