5 Marriage Tips from My 5 Year Long Honeymoon // Portland, Oregon Wedding and Engagement Photographer
I have been extremely blessed in my marriage to my amazing husband, Tyler Mick. He's so supportive, caring, and loving. I love how we are often mistaken for newlyweds, even though this year we're celebrating 5 years of marriage. (Today's our anniversary!!!) Yay! That seems like a milestone number while at the same time feeling like it's barely been any time at all.
I have learned a lot over these past 5 years, and I'm absolutely certain that there will be an astounding amount more to learn. I thought I'd share some of what has made these past several years feel as though we never came home from our honeymoon.
1) You'll never be able to read each other's minds.
My husband is actually the one who brought this one up. For as long as we've been together (going on 7 years), we still can't read each other's minds. We, or maybe especially me, try to figure out what he's going to say before he says it, but truthfully we're better at finishing each other's sandwiches than sentences. (Yeah, that was a Frozen reference...)
2) Learn to rest. And do so together.
This is probably one of the hardest things to do in our culture—rest. We never take a break; we're always going. A common hello is "how are you?" "busy." But as a couple (and individuals) we need rest to refocus and come back stronger. I encourage you to find ways to rest together. If there's not something that you both find restful, take turns engaging in the "activity" that brings your partner rest.
3) Know your partner's personality type.
It's been helpful over the years to learn why Ty and I work, think, and relate the way we do. When we've learned something about each other, that helps us to love and respect each other better by doing what's best for the other instead of only what we think is best. If you didn't know it already, everyone is different and we all have our strengths and weaknesses. But when we learn to fit the puzzle pieces together we can empower each other by picking up the slack where the other person needs a bit of help.
A helpful resource for to learn more about the personalities and traits of you and your spouse/spouse-to-be is by taking the test over at 16personalities.com.
4) Learn the difference between "it's ok" and "I forgive you."
It was a huge eye-opener to me when a friend pointed out the difference between "it's ok" and "I forgive you." The first is saying that there was no offense against you, and there is no need for the person apologizing to feel guilty. The second is recognizing that there was an offense, but that you guys will work through it. That's the whole point of marriage, it's a commitment to working through things together. It's definitely not easy, but it's so worth it.
(That does not mean that you should allow abuse. While forgiveness is a part of that situation, safety comes first.)
5) Laugh Often
Ty and I find ourselves laughing so much. It's a part of our personalities, sure, but finding joy in everything from the big events to the everyday moments brings out something special in a relationship, especially a marriage. Life is definitely a lot better when you can laugh. There's the old adage, "laughter is the best medicine," and maybe it's especially true for marriages.
There's no need to take my word on this, here are a couple of articles/studies about how laughter is good for relationships: :)
- "…studies of happy marriages, especially those lasting more than a half century, find spouses often ascribe their marital bliss in part to laughing together." The Humor Code and an article from The Week.
- A study by Laura E. Kurtz and Sara B. Algoe suggests that shared laughter, not just one person making the other laugh, is especially good for relationships.
But how to introduce more laughter into your marriage? Well, an article by Psychology Today suggests tickling each other, but I'll leave you to decide on that one. There's another study that suggests that reminiscing about laughter has a positive impact on relationships. So that seems like a good place to start. :)
"If you prioritise the things in your life that might make you and your partner laugh, I would say there is a good chance the behavior is likely to follow," Laura Kurtz, researcher and lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina.
Have another marriage tip? Tell me about it in the comments! :)