Two Big Lessons After Two Years Of Marriage
Yesterday marked our second wedding anniversary. It seems crazy to be celebrating two years when my parents will be celebrating their 35th anniversary July 4th. It’s so important to cherish every little memory, no matter the number :)
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage…
Remember that children’s song? Well, we’ve lived up to the stereotype!
Within the past five years, we met, fell in love, moved to New York and then Connecticut, bought our first home, and got pregnant. Typing that out gives me a sense of whiplash, because so much has happened in such a short period of time.
Ryan and I really did experience one of those fairytale love stories. We met at a time in our lives when we were both at our lowest, and it was as if we were brought together by the forces of nature to remind us how special we are and how precious life is. Read our full love story (full of wedding photos and videos!) in this post.
Marriage is an incredible blessing. I feel so fortunate to have found a partner who truly gets me, and who loves me for exactly who I am, flaws and all.
That being said, marriage is definitely work, and Ryan and I always talk about how the work is essential to the longevity of our relationship. The minute you stop wanting to do the work is the minute things are over.
We’ve learned so many lessons in the past two years—about each other, about our relationship—but I wanted to focus on the two biggest ones that kept coming up today.
1. Life is about the little things.
Ryan and I have this saying we remind each other of constantly. In a moment, one will say:
“It’s about the little things…”
And the other one follows with:
“…there’s nothing bigger.”
It happens randomly, but I cherish those few seconds when it does occur. It’s our way of staying true to who we are. No matter what we have, own, or accomplish, there’s nothing more important than our time together, and what we believe the “little things” in life to be.
Living where we live in Fairfield County, Connecticut, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the “stuff” we think we need. The status symbols of society only attempt to help us forget what should truly bring us happiness.
Social media has only made this worse. By literally seeing what everyone else has on a daily basis (think Instagram Stories or Snapchat), it’s easy to lose sight of all of the amazing aspects of your own life without even realizing it.
This is one reason that we both never take social media too seriously (Ryan is rarely a part of my Instagram stories on purpose!), and really try to unplug on weekends.
We’re a society of overachievers, consumed by the “stuff” and making money.
The stuff being houses, cars, fashion accessories, and anything that I would consider to be materialistic.
If you know me personally or have been around for a while, then you know all of the above are a part of my life. Ryan and I are blessed to live in a beautiful home and own a few nice things.
But I always say if everything were taken away tomorrow, I would continue to live my life just as I am now. The little things are what matter. I would happily give away whatever “fancy” possessions I own in order to live a life that makes me happy and is filled with love. I don’t need any of those possessions to be happy—nor have I ever.
The little things are what make our love strong day in and day out…
…like when I sleep in and wake up to a note written by Ryan on a paper towel telling me how much he loves me and how proud he is of whatever I’m accomplishing in my life, no matter how big or small it may seem.
Or when he won’t let me go to bed without a kiss, no matter how tired I am.
Or how he thanks me every time I put the effort into making dinner.
We both do our absolute best to make the other feel loved. Big gestures are great (like gifts or trips), but again, it’s the little things you do for one another that add up over the years.
It can be as simple as a hug and kiss every night before bed, holding hands as you walk to dinner, leaving a post-it note in your partner’s car before they head to work that says, “I love you,” a hand-written card (or paper towel in my husband’s case) for no reason, a home-cooked meal, organizing a room or closet that they haven’t had a chance to get to yet, etc. You get my point!
There’s nothing bigger than those little things, and when you both have this down pat, there’s no stopping the power behind your relationship.
2. Patience and communication are the keys to relationship continuity and growth.
I wrote a post all about the five keys to a happy, healthy relationship here, and I touched on patience and communication quite a bit. Instead of repeating myself, I thought I’d update you on how this has been working within our relationship lately with the addition of my pregnancy.
Pregnancy, like marriage, is a blissful time, but can also be quite draining depending on how the pregnant woman in the relationship is feeling.
My first trimester was quite challenging, and because I was feeling so ill, it was even more important for me to communicate to Ryan properly, and for him to practice patience with me as I navigated those difficult months.
He went into our pregnancy knowing that it would be hard for him to truly understand what I was experiencing physically and emotionally, and this really helped when times were tough. He also signed up for the What To Expect emails and read the book Dude, You’re Gonna Be A Dad!, so he was prepared for the moments that threw us both off guard.
His preparation was an aspect of his strong ability to communicate, which I admit he is better at than I am. He always wants to talk things out and depending on the situation, I tend to want to hide. He pushes me to work through difficult moments and I always thank him afterward. (And trust me, there were several difficult moments and tears during that first trimester!)
On my end, I did my best to share whatever I was feeling, which included both feelings of excitement and feelings of confusion and regret. We worked through these together, since we both knew the negatives were a result of crazy hormones, but it was important to address them in the moment.
And patience? Well, I’ve become more impatient during pregnancy, and this is something I’m working on. Ryan as been as patient with me as ever, doing his best to remember that our little baby girl has taken over my body and I’m somewhat of a zombie most days.
Instead of getting upset when Ryan forgets to do the dishes or creates a warzone in his closet, I remember what we discussed in #1. The little things are important, and the silly things like messes are not important, and therefore not worth an argument. If something really starts to bother me, I have a calm conversation with him, but if it’s not a big deal, I tend to take care of it myself.
We are a team through and through.
It’s been an amazing two years. We’ve had so much fun, and I know our journey is just beginning!
Thanks for being here, and I’d love to hear if my lessons resonate within your own relationship!