This blog, in honor of Valentine’s Day is all about L-O-V-E.
The best advice I’ve ever gotten, the powerful preacher & how to reach the peak of happiness in marriage.
These are my own experiences and short stories that relate to marriage but whether you’re married, dating or single I think that anyone could relate in their own way. Happy Valentines Day, Spoiled friends!
The best advice I’ve received
- We all go through marriage lows, right? There was a point in time where I swear, every time I asked my husband to do something, he would say no. He didn’t care if I went and did it, didn’t care if I went with my friends, family or a stranger for that matter…he just was so buried in work that he had no time or interest in any of the fun things I proposed to do. I remember telling my dad, “he is so boring”….I’ll never forget what my enlightening and always positive dad said back to me. He told me, very seriously and with a somewhat disappointed look, that he was shocked I would say that. That I should change the way I looked things; swap the word BORING to CONSISTENT. My husband is consistent. Which is a GREAT quality in a man and in a marriage. The man who may need constant fun, adventure or stimulation may think that as you become older, more tired or busy with kids at home that you’re no longer exciting enough. The little light in my brain went off and I heard the “ding”, Consistent is good.
- A very smart, angelic, beautiful person close to me told me how when a man and a women come together in marriage they start to become more alike or rub off on each other. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Help him work on his weaknesses by giving him your strengths and visa versa. An example of this that I’ve touched lightly on is fighting. We all do it. I used to fight so dirty. When I’d get in a fight with my husband when we were dating, I would say such hurtful things going straight for the jugular. I would scream, cuss and just say whatever I felt in that moment. He never did it back. He never yelled, called me names or said things that cut deep or left scars. He would walk away. It would infuriate me. He didn’t see the point in fighting. He would say it was so ugly and not worth his time. I translated that as him not caring (real healthy, right?). When I asked him why we weren’t engaged yet, he often brought up how I needed to learn how to fight nice. Talk calmer. Communicate better. That he could not marry a women who would cuss at him, call him names or scream at him. I’m no idiot, I changed the way I fought. If I would have rubbed off on him, what kind of marriage would we have? Would we even still be married? It could have been a really unhealthy situation. His kindness made me better.
- My mom has always shown her advice; anyone who knows her would agree that if there was a real trophy for a real wife-It’s for her. She has shown and taught me to always be the kind of love I want to receive. It’s okay to be both tender and hard. No matter what, to always be an advocate for your spouse and fight for the happiness in your marriage that you deserve.Bad times come and bad times go. Be a bad ass wife weathering the storm so you get to fully enjoy the sunshine that comes after the it’s over.
The Powerful Preacher
One morning, I was listening to powerful preacher, Joel Osteen. He was talking about relationships. I was moved by his words about the 80/20 rule. It was the most true thing I’ve ever heard and such an “aha” moment to me. The 80/20 rule basically is focusing on the 80% of greatness in someone and letting go of the 20% that’s not so great. When we meet the person who we want to spend our lives with, we love and focus on the 80% that’s great about them and we put blinders up to the 20% that we don’t love so much. As time goes on and we get more comfortable or the newly wed stage is over, we start getting so irritated by that 20% and forget about the 80% we fell in love with. Then we harp on our partner about the things that bother us and stop praising all the good. What we focus on becomes magnified and it consumes us. Bring back the 80%. Love them for the 80% and let go of the 20%.
How to reach the peak of happiness in Marriage
If you ask married couples when was the hardest times in marriage and when it became more smooth sailing, it’s different for everyone. Half of the people I knew told me that the first year was hell. The other half said that was still honeymooning and then it got hard. Some told me once you get past the first few years it’s easier. Others got past the five year mark and shit hit the fan.
I realized there was no real time frame. It had nothing to do with the amount of years you were married. It had to do with ONE thing.
In my opinion, the time your relationship really gets to the peak is when you both come into yourselves completely.
There’s was this really huge revelation in my marriage when we each came into our own completely as individual human beings. When we loved and understood ourselves completely.
I don’t care who you are, you cannot experience a love with another person fully that’s healthy, happy and true until you love yourself that way.
When you’ve felt whole all by yourself.
For me personally, I thought I always loved myself and that I was whole. I realized I wasn’t because I was constantly needing approval from other people. I wanted my parents to be agree with everything I was doing, I wanted my inlaws to think I was good enough, I insecurely worried if I didn’t hear back from a friend that maybe they were mad at me. If someone asked me to do something, I would say yes even if I was exhausted because I didn’t want to let them down. I realized, I was trying to make everyone happy and get approval from everyone around me and while I was doing that, I lost sight of what actually made me happy.
I remember the day so vividly that I had this awakening. I woke up a few months before I turned 30 years old and asked myself, what are you doing? Who are you? What do YOU want? What I was doing was living a comfortable life, I was putting everyone before myself to make them happier or better and I was suffering because of it. I conformed to become who I thought was worthy enough in the eyes of everyone else but the funny thing is, that wasn’t even who my husband fell in love with. When I asked myself what I wanted, it was simple. I knew I wanted to have a happy marriage, a family and evolve as a woman who I was proud to be.
During this season in life, we were “happy” living a very unhealthy and empty life of “fun”, basically just coasting through life waiting for it to just change by itself.
Then came the defining choice for change. The two of us were in Colorado, driving through the beautiful mountains listening to music. I turned it down and told my husband I had to make some changes in my life. We have great communication so it was easy for me to express what I was feeling but then I backed it up with actions. Pete’s a supporter, a really awesome side line coach. Naturally he was on board, enthusiastically. We got home the next day, I started working out which made my mind really clear, gave me energy and more confidence. I worked on a charity event that touched my heart which naturally fed my soul. I manifested happiness. I actually put out the the universe that I was going to work on myself to make myself so healthy-mind, body and soul that I would make my 30’s the best years of my life.
During this time, my husband was doing a little soul searching himself, which is his own story but he was just checking boxes one after another as far as goals to become an even better man.
A few months passed by and it was crazy how that changed our lives individually and then together, taking our marriage to another level. We found out that we were expecting our son five months after that Colorado drive. God made no mistakes on timing because I’m so grateful our son is here for this version of us. Our healthier lifestyle, a common vision for our future and this great happiness made our love grow wild.
When I blossomed, I no longer need this nod of approval from everyone anymore because I am so confident in the decisions I make, the way I live and the love we share. My parents won’t agree with every decision we make but when I explain to them why we make these decisions, they understand and support us because they love us. I don’t feel like I need to conform to be what or who someone else thinks is good enough because I know who I am is even better. And my friendships are stronger than ever because the people who stayed for this are the ones who don’t make me feel insecure.
With growing comes pains a lot of times. Since this time of self growth or growth in our marriage, we’ve seen some relationships with other become distant or maybe even non-existent. That’s okay. If the people around you don’t want to see you grow or grow with you, you cannot change that and you don’t have to keep trying to force it because at the end of the day, it’s weight bringing you down. You can only accept the change and hope that one day, maybe they’ll come to their own self realizations and hopefully you can come back together stronger.
When all the noise is gone, the weight is lifted and you look in the mirror; you have to love the reflection looking back at you. Its riveting.
The love that now fills my house and my heart is consuming, light and feels like home. Don’t get blinded by the social media love you see from strangers and let it make you feel like yours isn’t enough. You don’t have to have a perfect marriage to be in a perfect marriage. My love doesn’t come in the form of roses and gifts, there’s no bow on it. We don’t have a “picture perfect, social media worthy love” that shows us sitting on a mountain top at sunset or dressed in designer clothes at a fancy candle lit dinner today. It’s us, waking up with a kiss and a coffee sitting in a messy kitchen. It’s a little boy who watches his parents show consistent love to each other, share their strengths with each other, and putting each other first. It’s loving ourselves, each other and our life completely.
Let your love grow; for your self, your marriage and for the tiny humans who are learning by watching you and hearing you. Choose love.
Find joy in all of your journey