In honor of my anniversary yesterday I wanted to share with you some of marriage tips for couples who marry young.
We married when I was 23 and Kevin was 24. People tell me that down south people marry pretty young. But around here in the Northeast, we were the anomaly. We had dated in the past and remained distant friends afterwards while I was away at college. We ended up getting together again and got engaged two weeks later. People thought were nuts, and they were right.
We always look back now and say “What were we thinking?!” Yes, our marriage turned out wonderfully, but it could have been the complete opposite. WE BARELY KNEW EACH OTHER! WE BARELY KNEW OURSELVES!
I think that we have the same priorities and understandings in our relationship. Couple that with a fierce love and we’re set. Over the years, we have held tight to a few concepts:
Allow your partner to change.
This is so basic but so huge. The person that you marry will not be the person you find yourself with a few years down the line. People change, hopefully for the better, but people change. Something that you loved about your partner may not be there anymore and they may develop totally new habits and traits. As you change, make sure that your decisions benefit your relationship. Don’t take on friendships with people who don’t respect the relationship with your spouse. Always return call or texts.
Don’t fight the different phases of life.
Life can change in a instant. You can’t change that fact, so don’t try. We went through the honeymoon phase, the broke Grad school phase (when we barely saw each other and when we did we were exhausted), the newborn phases, the house moving phase, you get it. Each phase comes with its own unique stresses. Don’t take this out on your partner and don’t let one person in the relationship shoulder the responsibility. Work TOGETHER to tackle anything you face.
Marry someone who is responsible beyond their age.
Can I be blunt? I met Kevin when I was 19 and I thought he could be pretty boring. Looking back, I see that he wasn’t boring as much as WAY more mature than me. He’d carry on talking about shopping for new car insurance rates while I was more interested in what party was happening that weekend. Well, I’m glad I “looked past” his boring side because he is an incredibly responsible and hard working man. He DOES tell the same stories over and over again though…
Divvy up responsibilities but do each other’s chores.
We have tasks that are unofficially ours. He takes out the trash and handles the pool. I cook and do laundry. But we always know that we are both working towards the same goal. I generally handle the housework but yesterday when I asked him what he was going to do when he got home (he had a half day) he said he was going to scrub the bathrooms so they were nice and clean for Hank’s birthday party. That’s a real man, ladies and gentleman! If you aren’t sure what to do, say to your partner “You seem stressed. What can I take off your plate?” That is music to my ears.
Support their interests.
Kevin is very outdoorsy. He gets super cranky if he is cooped up inside too long. I was the opposite of outdoorsy all my life until I met him. He has taken me camping, kayaking and hiking and I LOVE IT. Now my hobbies are more like reading, cooking and blogging. He always makes sure I have free time for my interests and will often shoulder the greater burden of the kids’ bedtimes so I can get time to myself.