Yesterday marked my 13th wedding anniversary!
This picture was taken in 2008 at Taj Mahal, India during our first year of marriage (such a happy and carefree time!) Marriage like raising kids takes a lot of effort ! Reflecting on lessons learned during 13 years of marriage.
1. Ask yourself, is it better to be right or better to be happy? Choose happy and let go of having the last word.
2. What you found quirky and interesting about your spouse at the beginning of the relationship, will become annoying and irritating over time.
3. If there’s one marriage manual I recommend, it is the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Trust me, if follow the concepts in the book, 90% of your marriage conflicts will be eliminated.
4. Silence is better than blurting out regretful words in the heat of the moment.
5. Try the sandwich technique when communicating with your spouse. Sandwich a negative statement between two positive ones. Positive + negative + positive = spared feelings. Instead of “it’s your turn to take the trash out! said in a nasty tone, say (positive) “that’s so nice of you to take the kids out while I get some alone time”, then (negative) “Can you take out the trash on the way out?” then (positive) end with a compliment, “Thank you for being so sweet!”
6. Marrying someone with a large age gap has its pros and cons. It may not seem like a factor at the beginning of a relationship, but there will be ramifications as you move through your marriage and lifecycle. (fyi, my husband is 12 years older than me).
7. Compromise. Each side has to give a little, take a little.
8. Instead of struggling to make your partner do what you want, learn how to engage his/her cooperation (check out #5 sandwich technique) which brings me to the next point……
9. Nagging and complaining never works no matter how much you are in the right.
10. Don’t neglect your spouse after kids are born. When the kids grow up and fly the coop, it’ll be just you and your spouse again (if you’re lucky) , that’s the relationship that really needs nurturing to survive the ups and downs of many years of marriage.
11. Go on a vacation. The daily grind and monotony of life can really wear down a relationship.
12. Be able to forgive and let go. Don’t dwell in anger or resentment.
13. The key to a happy life and marriage is gratitude and perspective.
How many years have you been married? What important lessons have you learned in your marriage?