A few days ago, my hubs and I had our 10-year wedding anniversary. It's one of those moments that makes you pause and ponder. What do you mean it's been 10 years already? Surely, we're not that old yet... right?
No matter how many years it's been, I'm so happy to spend life with my favorite person. I know there will be many more years. And after reaching this milestone, I want to share with you 10 things I've learned after 10 years of marriage.
1) This shit is hard.
Seriously. It doesn't matter how long you've been together before you get hitched. Or how much you prepare. Or how many married couples you know. This. Shit. Is. Hard. There will be ups and downs. Arguments and laughs. Times when you're not sure you'll pull through, and times where you laugh that you ever had doubts. There's no marriage manual. You have to figure it out together. Find what works, what doesn't.
2) You can love and hate your spouse at the same time.
Dude. Nobody knows how to press my buttons like my hubs. He does it on purpose sometimes to amuse himself. Because he knows I can never stay mad at him. Especially when he smiles his cute smile and tells me something silly to make me laugh. I adore him. And I want to kick him in the shin. And I can't bear not to be near him.
3) You will both grow and change.
I'm not the person I was when we got married 10 years ago. I'm still me, at my core, but I've changed tremendously. My husband has changed a lot, too. We became parents pretty early into our marriage and I think that contributed to a lot of soul searching and figuring out what was important to us.
4) Disagreements will happen.
This is normal. Unless you married a clone of yourself (um, ew), you'll find yourself at odds with your spouse every once in a while. My hubs is his own person with his own thoughts and opinions and quirks. Same with me. We don't always agree on simple things like what to eat or why you shouldn't have 5 laundry hampers around the house (seriously, why? Just use one like everyone else! Ahem.). And sometimes we disagree on bigger issues like discipline for our children and finances and politics. That's life. We always know that we love each other, and that a disagreement isn't going to destroy us.
5) Having a partner in crime is the best.
I love going places with the hubs. I love experiencing life with him. I love hearing him laugh. I love getting into shenanigans with him. He's my best friend. He's my love. He's my sounding board. He's my encourager. He's my forever.
6) You will have different love languages.
Have you ever read "The 5 Love Languages*" by Gary Chapman? He essentially describes different ways that you feel loved and affirmed by your partner. I feel loved and affirmed when we spend quality time together. It makes me happy and I feel safe and secure. My hubs' love language, which actually isn't on Mr. Chapman's list, is laughter. He loves when I joke around with him and make him laugh.
7) Having someone know exactly what you need is priceless.
There are days when I struggle with anxiety and depression. Days when I can't get out of bed, or worry to the point of exhaustion. And he can take one look at me and know exactly what I'm going through and what I need and what to say. I can be at 11 and he'll put his wife-whisperer skills to work and I'm immediately calmer and happier.
8) Take other people's advice with a grain of salt.
Other married couples do things differently. Of course they do. They're them, and you're you. Every person, every relationship, is different. No one experiences love in the exact same ways. And that's OK. When people tell you that you should do something a certain way, or to never do something, or whatever it is - just file it away. It might be useful, it might not. But only you and your spouse know what works for you. I hate when I see people getting caught up in what Jack and Jill are doing. Who cares.
9) The love you feel will only grow, even when you think you've reached your limit.
We started dating in high school. We've been together for a total of 16.5 years. People always ask, "Aren't you sick of each other?" Nope. I mean, sure, we annoy each other occasionally, but have I ever looked at him and thought, "OK, I'm done now"? Nope. As we've grown up together, I've found that my love for him only grows. Seeing the man and husband and father he's become makes me feel lucky that fate brought us together.
10) It's worth it. 100%.
I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. As long as he's by my side.
This post was inspired by The Heart issue of Holl & Lane Magazine. It's all about love, relationships, family, and more. Click here to get your copy today!