I am in no way an expert when it comes to marriage. We have been married for a whole 3 years. What I am an expert on is how I can make MINE work. That being said, we have learned over the years how to become a team and not constantly pulling in different directions. We stay on the same paths even with different opinions, hobbies and goals. How? How can something so unison work with such opposite goals and hobbies? How can you stay married to someone who seems like they are never home? Don’t you want to be with someone you can see everyday?
What my husband and I have come to realize at an early start to our lives and our marriage is that we are still two separate human beings. Our own person. We have our own thoughts, decisions, goals and likes. We are two separate people who love each other.
Trust in any relationship is hard. My advice for this is to not associate with anyone who will willingly let you doubt your relationship for no good reason. I struggled with trust during our first deployment. I knew it was the wives I surrounded myself with. I allowed them to manipulate my trust and thoughts about my husband. I was hurting him with my doubts and assumptions. Take everything with a grain of salt. Is it worth assuming? Go to your husband. If you hold it in, it will not solve itself. You have to understand that they work long hard hours that require their utmost attention. Having a true understanding of their occupation can really help with this. They do not work a “9-5”. They truly want to be home with you and give you all their attention.
Listen. Ask questions. Ask about their day. Talk. It is that simple. The only way to heal something is to talk about it. It helps with your inner peace. Make sure when you are listening, it is to understand how the other feels and what they want to say not to have a response. That was another big struggle for me in the beginning of our relationship. I was a very defensive person. I always listened to respond and not respect what my husband was trying to say. It refrained him from actually opening up to me about anything because of my reactions. I slowly started to understand this and the moment I learned to admit my wrongs and apologize was a huge milestone in our friendship and marriage. He started to open up again and talk more freely. No walking on eggshells. You talk to your friends about whatever, why not your husband? They are your ultimate best friend. Shouldn’t they understand you and support you the most? Learning to communicate the right way brings a whole new level of respect to each other. Not to get mad, jump to conclusions. The other is more likely to open more to you if you don’t react in a negative way.
This took some practice. Aspire to be who you truly want to be and achieve it. When your spouse is away is when you have to take on a new persona. You have to play all the roles. What does that mean? No, that doesn’t mean to act like a single woman who don’t need no man. It means to become a woman and wife who gets shit done. You have to find strength. No one is there to pick up the pieces and to take out the trash. I think this is a great reason why my husband and I have such a great marriage. I decided that I wanted to be a woman who people aspire to be. I made goals. I dreamed big and I am achieving it. I learned to live my own life while being married with a toddler. You are still living your OWN life. That doesn’t mean that it has to be put on pause because your boyfriend or husband is not home. My husband LOVES and supports all my goals and dreams, just like I support his. No, we don’t have the same goals or dreams. In fact they are so far opposite but they are our own and we know they are achievable because we SUPPORT each other, not dependent on each other. I depend on my husband for his support and love.
Allow your spouse to help. Do not be a Mrs. Do-It-All when they are home. That is not fair. Frankly, I am always down for my husband to help when he can. He knows it is his responsibility to do the dishes. I despise them. There has to be a balance. I know when my husband has a lot going on at work and my neighbors are not around, I gladly mow the grass. One less thing he has to do later. Whereas, he gladly takes our toddler to CrossFit with him to let me sleep-in on Saturdays. Team work makes the dream work. After all the chores and help is given do not hesitate to let each other know how much you appreciate each other and THANK THEM.
All relationships have to have compromise. I know everyone is different on what they are willing to sacrifice. We compromise our time together. My husband loves to compete for CrossFit. (Quite good, check him out on Instagram @cfstetlow). He always asks before going to the gym or to a competition if I am ok with it. We have a level of respect for each other. I know that he loves CrossFit and that it is a goal and dream to achieve the games. I do not ever want to hold my husband back. Mine always has to do with my career. I am quite obsessed. We both have to compromise our goals and dreams to make time for our family over everything. Sometimes saying no to something that we truly want is good. Making memories with each other and with our family is something you will never regret or forget.
When it comes to the end of the day just love each other more than the day before and grow together. Life is about living and learning. Nothing is perfect and neither are you. Learning to accept that and accept each other’s flaws can really benefit you in the long course of your marriage.