Today is my anniversary.  Sixteen years ago the husband and I stood under a flower strewn gazebo in a non-descript hotel in Vegas and exchanged vows.  And what a ride it has been.  This is not my first rodeo- I was previously married- but that obviously didn’t end well, so here’s some things I have garnered from my life experiences.  These are totally my opinions – not researched or scientific by any means.  And this is really not advice- it’s my thought and musings on the subject of marriage.

1) All marriage’s are different.  Do not judge anyone else’s union.  (To be clear, I am not talking about marriages that are marred by any kind of abuse- that is a subject I am not qualified, nor wish, to discuss) Every marriage is made up of two distinct individuals- how they choose to merge the two halves is entirely their business.  Do not judge. Do not give unsolicited advice.

2) Remember- you are married to an individual before all else.  Yes- there are always outside influences, but make sure you consider what is best for you and your spouse. (My friends Mother has been hinting that she wants to move in with my friend and her husband.  She loves her Mother, but knows there is no way her 28 year marriage could survive that)

3) When making decisions, compromise is always a good path to follow.  But sometimes, one person has to have their choice, even is their partner doesn’t entirely agree.  If no one ever gets exactly what they want, both people are going to be continually dissatisfied.  How do you think your life plays out if you feel like you compromised on every decision?

4) Choose your battles.  Is it really worth arguing about a duvet cover?  Stick to the things that are truly important to you.

5) It’s OK to go to bed angry.  Yes- I said it.  All fights can’t be fixed with an 11pm deadline.  Sometimes you need to think about something.  Sometimes you need to cool off.

6) Life is not tit for tat.  Things are not always fair.  I don’t mean that each half shouldn’t pull their weight in a relationship. Both partners must assume responsibility for all aspects are their lives- but sometimes one person has to take the lead.  If you’re tallying up hours worked, how strong is your relationship anyway?  Is that how you want to spend your time- “Hey- you only unloaded the dishwasher twice last week.  You owe me 1 1/2 unloads.

7) If you’re angry, consider taking a time out.  Five minutes in the corner could stop you from saying things you will regret the moment they come out.

8) Being a parent is stressful and hard.  Having children will not save a marriage in trouble.

9) Money is nice, and one needs it for basic survival- but just because you have money doesn’t insure happiness or a successful marriage.  It will insure a long and complicated divorce though.

10) Don’t compare your spouse to anyone else.  Ever.

11) In-laws.  I could write a book.  They are harder and more stressful than children.

As to my anniversary, the Husband and I will be going out to dinner.  Not something fancy- we will be getting cheeseburgers at a place I’ve wanted to try.  I think cheeseburgers are the best thing ever invented, and my goal is to try as many as possible over the course of my life.  This is romantic to me.  This  is special.  To me and the husband.  Others would disagree.

We will not be exchanging gifts.  I don’t need jewelry or an expensive trinket to mark the day.  I would rather allocate the funds to experiences- things that we can do throughout the year.  Instead of a pricey piece of jewelry, I would rather go to the theater, or take a couples cooking class, or do something that creates a memory.  Memories are more important to me.

It’s nice to highlight a special day.  But you need to create other special days in your married life.  Since our last anniversary, I remember our trying Sri Lankan food for the first time, and loving it.  I remember concert and plays.    Painting class and wine tasting.  Backgammon games and dart games.  Walks around Manhattan looking for wave sculptures.  Staring at sunsets.  And all sorts of other things.  Because being married means trying to make every day count- giving it your all.  Because being married takes work.  Because loving someone is easy- but living with them every single day, taking the good and the bad is hard.  And anything worthwhile is hard.




38 thoughts on “Love is Easy- Marriage is Hard

  1. Vegas wedding get a bad wrap don’t they? But in my experience, I still get plenty of bang for my buck.
    And aside from your point about “it’s ok to go to bed angry” I couldn’t agree more. I find that forcing ourselves to stay up (even if we have to push past 10 for the nasty arguments), the desire to sleep helps us put aside our differences and reach compromises (so long as we agree that i win).
    Great post and thanks for following!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed your post! For so long I lived in a fairy tale and expected all the things that fairy tales teach us like the jewelry, the dinners, gifts….. Needless to say I was always disappointed at the outcome. I don’t think I really got it until almost 10 years of marriage. I am a slow learner I guess . Thanks again and enjoy many more years of marriage!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I met the love of my life (Tim) on the 9th June 1983 we marred in September 1984 but we still remember the day we met and have two anniversaries a year being married for so long has taken work. We rarely argue but we bicker all the time my mum taught us to pick our battles and not to sweat the little things and before getting into an argument to think do really need to prove we are right or can we just accept that we are and he is wrong but he can also think whatever he wants because we know we can’t made him see he is wrong.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Very true! My favorite go to food is peanut butter. I could eat it in a cupcake, on a banana, an apple, off the spoon, with chocolate or as a side with a cup of coffee in the morning. We both love to cook but our favorite restaurant is Alexanders.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Happy Anniversary !!! We celebrated our 32nd in June. I love your post … also agree … it’s OK to go to bed angry … getting a break and some rest and some peace does make the morning seem better. I enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing. jan

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Happy anniversary. I love the list. I would add making sure you spend time doing your own hobbies so that you can come back refreshed to your union. And lots of time for your spiritual life so that your focus is on your higher power and not your spouse.

    Liked by 1 person

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