Saturday, November 04, 2006

One year of marriage, a lifetime of lessons

October 2006 is a stark contrast to October 2005.

Now, I’m sitting in a Starbucks, staring out at the passing traffic and scribbling my thoughts about relationships. Jazz is playing on the loudspeaker and the barista is toasting a multigrain bagel for a customer. The scene is relaxing and patient.

Then, one year ago, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off because I was patching together last-minute plans for my wedding. I racked up 1,000 minutes on my cell phone by calling the florist, the country club, the family – basically, everyone and his or her brother. The scene was frenetic and anxious.

It’s amazing how things can change in such a short amount of time, and it’s good to sit back and reflect. Here are five things I’ve learned from one year of marriage, four years of living together and six years of sharing my life with one person.

1. Unless you’re blessed to have lots of money, finances inevitably will be a source of contention. My husband and I don’t argue that often, but when we do, you can almost always bet it’s about money.

2. It’s a good idea for him to have his friends, her to have her friends and then as a couple, to have couple friends.
You deserve friends who are going to care about you as an individual just as much as they would care about you as a couple.

3. It’s OK to admit to each other your shortcomings.
Some days you might not show your appreciation for her doing the chores, or some times he might have made a poor business decision about the house, but it’s important to let each other know that through it all, you still care and/or you’re truly sorry.

4. You marry your in-laws, too.
This will be a topic of a future blog, let me tell you, but in the meantime, I've learned just how much I've not only acquired a spouse, but gained a second family as well.

5. Bottom line – marriage is a lot of hard work.
For a marriage to be a success you have to keep things stimulated constantly in your home, your professional lives and both in and out of the bedroom. People said it wouldn't be easy, and they're not kidding.

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