Thursday, October 17, 2013

Today is our fourth wedding anniversary. Four years feels so established. Three years still sounds like newlywed territory. Four years sounds like A WHILE. Even though it's still a relatively short amount of time, four years feels like a rock, in a good way, the strong and sturdy way.

As far as marriages go, I'd say we're doing really well. We have fun, we're best friends, we still like each other and still get genuinely excited to hang out. Those are the markers for success, right? Here are four lessons about marriage I've learned over the past four years:

1. Rituals are important. Early on, we started taking turns cooking dinner for one another every Wednesday night and we still do it and look forward to it. More recently, we've started having pizza every Friday for dinner, and we get insanely excited for it. It's not just the face-stuffing, it's the company. Making little traditions, sticking to them, and looking forward to them is fun. And rituals or traditions are not the same as a rut! Not as long as you're enjoying them. Which we are. (28 hours until our next pizza date, BTW).

2. Go to bed angry. People never advise doing this, but sometimes, it works. Sometimes, the last thing I want to do is hash it out until the wee hours. I'm tired and I want to go to sleep. And when we wake up, we have a fresh perspective, and whatever was so big the night before doesn't seem like such a big deal.

3. Give each other space. We have pretty different interests: I don't care about Grand Theft Auto (except for the soundtrack. The music is pretty great), and Peter would rather go to the dentist than make Christmas tree ornaments, so we try to take an evening each week to just go do our own thing, outside of the house. It might be going to the gym, meeting friends for drinks or to see a movie, or even just taking an hour to do errands without being rushed. It helps break up the daily work-chores-bed grind and it gives us something to talk about. I honestly don't understand couples who spend 24/7 together - what do they find to talk about?

4. Not everything has to be 50/50. This probably doesn't take four years to figure out, but splitting everything 50/50 isn't necessarily the way to go, whether it comes to bills or chores or closet space. I end up doing most of the chores around the house; Peter does things like mowing the lawn and shovelling snow and fix-it type things. We have our bills and expenses split in a way that makes sense for us without being too nitpicky. We delegate who's picking Eli up from his sitter's and dropping him off day by day, whatever is most practical that particular day, rather than making it someone's responsibility 100% of the time. I know a lot of people who get hung up on things not being 'fair' because they end up washing more dishes or buying more food or whatever, but sometimes splitting those responsibilities right down the middle just doesn't make sense and may actually create animosity. Sometimes you take on more of what you're good at and you pass on what you're not (example: I don't even know how to turn on the lawnmower). Being able to go with the flow a little is important.

Four years in, we love each other as much as ever. That hasn't changed, as much as our circumstances have, with the whole having a kid, house, and dog now thing. Everyone craps on being comfortable and familiar, but let me tell you, there are worse things than familiarity. Having someone who knows everything about you and loves you regardless is not the worst thing that could happen. Having someone who you can be like, you know what, it's going to be a sweatpants kind of night - not yoga pants but bona fide huge grey baggy sweatpants - and they don't bat an eye is awesome. Just as long as it's not every night. That wouldn't be so awesome.

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  1. Happy Anniversary!! We are coming up to 11 years this year, makes me feel old

  2. I couldn't agree more. Surprised? We really, really do have a lot in common.

    Sometimes going to bed angry is the best thing you could do - I do it often! Ha! But really, in the heat of an argument are you really going to try to solve things quicker so you can hurry up and get to bed? Chances are you will go to bed red faced and upset, but wake up laughing about the whole thing.

    G and I have very little in common, so taking time out to do our own thing is important. We also have rituals that bring us together and are very important to us...

    Clearly I just spent my entire evening catching up on your Blog... Yay, lots of comments for you to publish!