Growing up I didn’t have many happily married couples in my life. My mom was a single mother. Aunts that were married were in abusive relationships and church folks didn’t seem genuine. I knew that one day I wanted to get married and looked for positive examples to pattern my relationship after. It was difficult. Families on TV like The Huxtables were a fantasy and the The Winslows were far fetching, however I took bits and pieces from every relationship I’ve ever witnessed and crafted a marriage that was both achievable and relatable. Sometimes I call my family “The Real Browns” (a take on Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns). We are a family that laughs together (a lot), worships God and try to set an example for those who may be watching.
Hubby and I got together young, I was 16 and he was 18. We have NEVER broken up! So as of October 5th we’ll be married for 24 years and together for 29. We have truly grown up together. As a young bride I knew nothing about what it ment to be a wife. What I knew is that I loved him and didn’t want to live separately from him. Our parents were not cosmopolitan like parents today and where not allowing us to live together after college without being married. Six weeks after graduating from college hubby and I got married. No long engagement (he didn’t even properly ask me! We just went to buy the rings), no huge wedding party, but our wedding day was exactly how it was supposed to be.
Over the past 24 years I think I’ve learned how to be a wife. I have learned a few lessons and I share them every year with one added to the list. So below you’ll find 24 lessons we’ve learned.
- Keep God first!
- Never say never – I said I never wanted children and then I was bit by the baby bug and here we stand the proud parents of three
- Over communicate – Saying you told him/her about the party two weeks ago means nothing. Put it on the family calendar, create an event on Google and FaceBook, send a text, tweet or put a post it note on the fridge listing how many days are left until the event.
- Pick your battles – If it’s not life threatening let it go. Do you want the kids clean and feed or is it more important that the bed is spread?
- It takes 2 to tango – Intimacy isn’t the responsibility of only one person. If you are in the mood get the party started!
- Blood IS thicker than water – Although you are happily married into the family remember where you stand. Don’t talk about the man’s mama and expect life to be easy, sometimes it’s better to agree to disagree and keep it moving then it is to argue about things you can’t change when their family is involved.
- Marriage = COMPROMISE – Doesn’t matter what the topic you have to compromise on many issues within a marriage from what’s for dinner to where we’ll live you both have to come to a conclusion that makes everyone happy.
- You can’t always be right – “Yes Dear” is a line my brother and sister in law use often. Sometimes you have to say yes dear and move on. You will not be right all the time (I am, 99.9% of the time of course!)
- Time outs are needed – Sometimes from one another and from the kids. Remember that visiting family does not a vacation make!
- Team work – As the Wonder Pets say; What’s Gonna Work? Team Work. When you say I Do you become partners for better or worse so work together
- Never let them see you sweat – I’m not talking about your spouse but rather your extended family and friends. Nobody should know when you and your spouse are at odds with one another! Keep your issues to yourself or seek professional counseling if you are in need of help. Hearing “well if I were you” doesn’t help anyone because they AREN’T you!
- What it took to get him/her is the same thing that will help you keep him/her – enough said!
- No marriage is perfect
- Don’t assume
- If you have an issue speak on it, don’t let it fester
- Be friends and lovers (then you can act like friends with benefits when you role play)
- Remember why you said “I Do” in the first place.
- In sickness and health is real. Don’t say it if you don’t really mean it!
- The kids get older, so make sure you have a relationship outside of the children! Talk about more than homework, housework and parenting. When they leave make sure your house is still a home and a place that you always want to return.
- Laugh together and at each other! Don’t take everything so seriously.
- Water your own lawn! The saying is the grass is always greener on the other side. Well that’s people the other side is watering their law! In this case it’s your marriage. Invest time in your marriage and it will grow and be well nourished.
- Know your love language and theirs. It’s important https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/
- We all change. Be ok with it and accept one another at every turn.
- For Richer or Poorer!!! This year has shown us what it means to live through both.