Today is my fifth wedding anniversary and Jay and I have had some pretty incredible adventures packed into five short years. Even though we've settled into a somewhat "normal" routine, my life with Jay is a constant flurry of activity. No two days are the same. We still work opposite shifts so that one of us can be with our son at all times and that's really changed the dynamic of our relationship. We cling to the weekend hours that we have nothing to do and can spend time together.
Jay and I are still babies in this thing called marriage and we still have so much more to learn and a lifetime to do it, but as we celebrate our fifth anniversary today, I give you five things I've learned in the five years we've been married.
Compromise Is an Absolute Necessity
Jay and I come from two different backgrounds and while there are many things that our families share in common, they couldn’t be more different when it comes to child-rearing. Jay’s parents were and are still very involved in every aspect of their kid’s lives and my parents always pushed us to be independent and decisive and they still do. It’s not a matter of Jay’s parents being wrong and mine right or the other way around. It’s about me and Jay taking what we've learned from our parents and meeting in the middle of where we’re each coming from to parent our son the best way we can.
Finding Humor in Things Is Crucial
Our imperfect marriage has had plenty of ups and downs. Jay is lighthearted and loves to tease while I’m more serious and matter of fact. Allowing myself to lighten up and laugh has been healing in some of the more difficult situations we’ve found ourselves in. Jay has the incredible ability to throw me off course when I start getting on an angry tangent by making me laugh and I have no doubt that this has saved us from what could have been some very damaging fights.
Listening Offers Validation
How many times have you been talking to someone when you clearly see them drifting? Their eyes shift, they start talking to others, or they fidget with things around them. It hurts. It hurts when you have something to say and the people you’re talking to make it obvious that you’re not worth their time. It’s not just outside the house that this has a tendency to happen and I’ve learned that even if Jay is telling me the longest, most boring story ever, I need to give him my attention so that he knows that he’s worth my time and that he matters to me.
I'm not talking about war in the sense of marital spats. I'm talking about war in the sense of others slinging bullets into your marriage to try to cause hurt and mortal wound. I've learned that when everything and everyone is fighting against your marriage, you both must join forces and fight for it and for each other. You must be willing to step forward and take a sharp piece of shrapnel for your love.
You Will Find Yourself Constantly Falling in Love
Just when you think the thrill of marriage has faded....BOOM! Your spouse will do something that will totally catch you off guard and make you fall even deeper in love with him. For me, it's whenever I stand on the side and watch Jay with our son when he doesn't know I'm watching. Jay is hilarious and when I hear him and our toddler singing and joking around, I find myself all sorts of attracted to Jay all over again.