This time next week I’ll be back east in Pittsburgh to celebrate two of my best friends nuptials! I was friends with both Nicole & Sean before they became inseparable and honestly I couldn’t think of any other Yinzers that are better suited for each other.
As we approach their big day, I wanted to give them some marriage advice. I will preface this by saying yes, I am indeed single, and that no, I have never been married, or even in a serious relationship for that matter.
Before the relationship advice police pull me over (marriage license and registration please…) I want to protect my street cred by providing evidence that I’m [somewhat] qualified to give this advice.
My grandparents had the marriage that I’m convinced inspired Nicolas Sparks to write The Notebook. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with my Poppy bringing flowers to my Bema’s hospital bedside, telling her she was the most beautiful woman ever, and holding her hand as she took her last breaths just a few days later. Til the end of my Poppy’s days, not a single day went by where he didn’t mention how wonderful she was, and I know they happily celebrated their 64th Anniversary together on August 26th.
I’m also fortunate to be a product of parents that will be celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary this October, and hey I didn’t turn out so bad so their marriage must mean something if it made me right? RIGHT?! (Mom & Dad please keep your comments about me to yourself…)
So here is some advice that has resulted from a 23 year study:
1. Compromise– it’s impossible to bring two people together and have them agree on everything. Sorry, it just doesn’t happen. It’s all about give and take, but also be careful to avoid keeping score. Remember, you’re both on the same team here, so it’s about coming up with a game plan where you both win.
2. Faith– through all the trials and tribulations my parents have gone through, they both have said that what helped them through was their faith in their religion. Faith doesn’t always have to be religious [my take on faith], but it’s important to share a core belief that you can root your relationship in.
3. Your Relationship Always Come First– I actually have to accredit my friends Lisa and Drake for this. The parents of three beautiful children, one day Lisa said ‘Our relationship always comes before our kids’ and at first I was caught off guard by this statement. But I realized how important it is to make sure that you’re continuing to develop and strengthen the relationship. I’ve often heard of couples who put their relationship in the back seat to their kids or work, then one day their kids leave the nest, they’ve retired, and they barely know the person next to them. The person you marry today won’t be the exact same person 20 years from now, and that’s OK! Go on dates. Continue getting to know each other. Try new things. Keep the spark alive.
4. Small Gestures Go A Long Way– Growing up I witnessed my father bring home ‘Just Because’ flowers, or on Sunday’s my parents would go for a drive to just ‘look at houses’ (they love architecture and home shows). Over time those small gestures accumulate into a large display of memories.
5. Highs and Lows– They’re inevitable, but sometimes when you’re on a high your partner may be at a low. It’s important to learn to be compassionate for your partners lows, and likewise being able to celebrate your partners highs even if you’re in a low.
6. Don’t Lose Sight of the Things You Love– My Bema use to go to her Bingo games with the girls and my Poppy use to love spending time out in the garden. By allowing yourself to grow and do the things that you like, you bring a happier, more complete self to the relationship.
So that’s a single gals advice on marriage. I’d love to hear your thoughts! What marriage advice do you have?