10 Reasons Why Our Marriage Has Lasted 10 Years
When I met my husband Justin, I immediately felt a special energy between us; as if we had known each other in a different life. It sounds like a line out of your favorite Rom Com, but it's the truth. We were fast friends; spending endless nights talking and connecting in depths never explored in other relationships. It was real, it was fast...we fell hard. 2 months in I knew I'd marry him.
Fast forward to 14 years together, 10 married, we've learned several lessons about love and commitment...some the hard way, all strengthened our bond. In honor of this milestone in our marriage, I asked my husband to sit down with me and brainstorm 10 reasons our marriage has lasted 10 years. Here's what we came up with. **Disclaimer: what works for us, may or may not work for you..we're just standing in our truth.
1. You're going to get angry...but don't become bitter
Yea....decided to go with the big one first. Your spouse is going to straight up piss you off sometimes. If you are married and have NEVER been angry with your husband/wife, y'all aren't really married. Here's the nugget of advice we have when handling those moments where you're conjuring up some kind of revenge for their display of nonsense or insensitivity- get angry, but don't become bitter. A bitter spouse isn't engaged anymore. A bitter spouse is a resentful spouse...and they're headed down a path of separation...not unity. We both agreed on this :)
2. be you partner's best friend...which is different from any best friend you've ever had
Sure, you tell your BFF what they need to hear, not what they want to hear, and in a marriage that tough love is critical...but so is your delivery. "Truth with kindness", Justin says, "is so important in a marriage. Because this is your person...and you are the most vulnerable with them." Put their heart above everyone else. I will always fight for my husband, and him for me. No question.
3. Listen. Compromise. Repeat.
Not to be confused with giving up on the core of who you are, compromising is essential to any marriage. Really question the weight of the discussions (or arguments) you are having. If you could be satisfied with the ask of your partner, still maintain your personality DNA and make them happy....why aren't you? Choose your battles.
4. have a willingness to be vulnerable
As we discussed in #2, being vulnerable with your partner takes strength and trust. We made a pact to not take advantage of each other's shortcomings. With that in place, we found ourselves giving more of "us" into our marriage...the good, the bad and the ugly. With fewer walls to take down, we were able to grow our relationship to new heights. Trust is a beautiful thing when it isn't taken advantage of. #message
**I had every intention on writing this uber-romantic paragraph and Justin challenged me on the relatability...#compromise.
Understand that your person is not you. They will make mistakes. Learning to forgive them is the key to longevity in any marriage.
6. understand your partner's expectations of you/Expectations of your marriage
Newsflash...we all have them. There are certain things we all desire in our relationships. It's your role, however to fully communicate those expectations to your partner. They're not mind readers. Know your partner and communicate with clarity! Get on the same page early in the relationship...it will save you years of stress.
7. except your partner isn't perfect
We could go so deep with this one, but we are going to try to keep it within the confines of this post. So here goes: we've already mentioned not exploiting your partner's "shortcomings", but you need to accept that they exist. You won't see a lot of these shortcomings in the beginning because your probably viewing the relationship through Snapchat-filtered glasses (we all love a good beauty filter). Truth is, they'll start creeping out after the puppy love wears off...and it does wear off. So when they start to show, these pesky little differences, be ready to deal with them. Some you may challenge and some you roll with. Find out what that looks like for you. Just don't be surprised when you realize they aren't perfect.
8. you get out what you put into the marriage
In order to truly get this message, both parties have to work at the relationship. It's really what we've been talking about up to this point. If you follow the commandments of your relationship, you will hopefully reap the benefits. The willingness is not enough. You can't half ass a marriage and both people be truly happy. Get in there and get to work...forever.
9. don't let life's "noise" distract you from your partner
This is our favorite reason, and honestly...the one that happens the easiest. Life is so distracting. As busy professionals with kids who have their own lives, it's easy to put the relationship on the back burner. Whenever this happens, try to catch it. Schedule a date, block off your lunch hour, or find time to reconnect. Critical nugget here peeps....critical.
10. STAY ROOTED IN LOVE.
We didn't build a marriage on a shaky foundation. Our love keeps us in check. We always come back to love.
We aren't the same people 10 years married that we were at year one....and thanks OK! As a matter of fact, it's GREAT! Along the way, we grew up- together, not apart. We're looking forward to the next 10 years and the growth that comes with it. As long as we keep these reasons in play, I think we'll have several decades of happiness. Here's to 10 years and many more! We hope this resonated with you! Talk to us below!
xo- Justin and Sierra
Photography: The unbelievably talented Brooke Anne Photography...here are a few more photos from our dreamy 10 Year photo shoot with her.