I got married July 12th, 2009 to Christopher Mark Quilala...my favorite person to ever walk the earth! Some of you may say, "You've only been married 2 years, you can't give advice!!". Yes, my marriage is still in the technical term of newlyweds, but my story runs a little different than most. A short back story to mine and Chris' relationship: We met when I was the ripe young age of 17. Fresh out of highschool I moved to Redding, and 1 month later we were falling in love. To say it was a fast whirlwind of emotions is an understatement. We dated for 1 year and were engaged for 3 months. Exactly 1 month after the wedding, we found out that we were pregnant!! Imagine our surprise (since we were NOT planning it at all)! From there we decided to buy a house, which required us moving in with Chris' Grandpa while we house hunted. So breaking this down...... In 1 year we got married, got pregnant, lived with a relative, bought a house, and gave birth to our daughter 2 weeks after we moved into our home! We have lived alone for a total of 3 months in our 2 years of marriage. Here is why I'm telling you our story.....
Everyone says the first year of marriage is always the hardest, but I have to say just the opposite! We had to rely on each other so much to make it thru the craziness of pregnancy hormones, home buying stress, and never having any alone time. All of that was completed during the beginning of trying to figure out what marriage even is! These learning experiences only drew us closer together, however scary it all felt.
"DO or DO NOT, there is no TRY." (Yoda said it best!)
When it comes to common marital issues, trying to fix it just ain't gonna cut it!! Example: You either give the other person what they need, or you don't. Feeding love languages sounds cliche and repetitive, but it's a saving grace. Once you know your spouses love language, you have zero excuse to not feed into it. Be proactive! Keep their needs constantly on your brain! Rack your thoughts for new ideas to surprise, excite, and value your partner. My husband loves video games, so I took that as an opportunity to buy him every single game has, along with his Playstation and Xbox for birthdays and holidays. I make sure to NEVER tell him when he can or can't play, and because of that overwhelming amount of freedom that he has, he never once has turned away a chance to spend time with me over a game. I don't guilt him into doing what I want to do! It amazes me sometimes when I see wives on TV telling their husbands what to do without so much as a please! If they don't get what they want they either try to guilt them into it, or try to be sneaky and manipulate it into happening. Ladies...grow up!! Since when is it ok to control anybody, no matter who they are? You may wonder why I'm addressing this situation, and my only response is.... 90% of women say that they are in control in their home and wear the pants in the relationship. We live in a culture where feminism reigns. It's much more likely that a woman will control the man, than vice versa. So right now, I barely see any situations where the husbands are dominating their wives in a unhealthy manner. Ladies, why do we feel the need to be in such a degree of control? Why can't we just relax and let our husbands make their own decisions? Giving someone freedom is like giving them their joy!
This all being said, my husband doesn't control me! We are a beautiful partnership of giving giving giving giving giving. I love having girl time with my best friends, and my husband GLADLY watches our daughter without me "telling" him to, or even asking! Let your spouse breathe...don't try...just DO IT!! Acknowledge and encourage your partner in every single way. There was a period of time when I was training to become a Pilates instructor when Ella was 8 months old. It required a lot of time and energy, along with taking care of my baby. I had to be at the gym at 5:30am, study and practice. I started letting the house get sloppy and forgetting to laundry. My husband being the amazing man that he is, pitched in constantly...but it started wearing on him. He travels a lot for work so it's a major bummer for him to come home to messy unorganized home! He ever so sweetly told me it was bothering him, and I IMMEDIATELY took action to make changes. Now my house is almost always perfectly clean, and Chris only helps because he wants to, not because I'm not doing it at all! I made a cleaning schedule and I barely miss a beat :) And I can honestly say, not a day goes by that Chris doesn't mention how thankful he is for everything I do to keep our house feeling tidy and homey! It was all in the way he sweetly told me what was bothering him, and then takes the time to encourage me when he saw the change. DO IT!
Physically speaking, intimacy is a major part of marriage. It should be consistent (even if you've been married for 40 years!), not because of duty or need, but because of an expression of true love. I highly recommend that if there are any intimacy issues, seek counsel immediately. Hug, hold hands, and cuddle on the couch. An anonymous person said, "If your spouse likes to have their elbow kissed, you better become the best possible elbow kisser there ever was!!" Something as simple as proactively learning their needs can make all the difference in the world. I can't begin to express the importance of keeping yourself clean and beautiful. This goes for both men and women! Who says just because you got married it means that your spouse should have to deal with you letting yourself go? Brush your teeth, take a shower, and most importantly....go over and above! Keep that body in shape!! Style your hair, do your make up. Pretend like every day is your first date! :)
My final piece of advice, don't nit-pick. Especially in public!! There is nothing more than awkward than viewing a married couple in a fight, and nothing more embarrassing than having your flaws exposed in public. Value your spouse enough to address personal situations behind closed doors. It's no one's business but your own!
Hope this inspires some freedom in your marriage, or gives you some tips towards your future :)
Lyss' Blog Post Book Pick: First 90 days of marriage -- By Eric and Leslie Ludy