How to Survive Your First 2 Years of Marriage

Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

It’s my 2-year wedding anniversary next month and we should have been partying away at Glastonbury and renewing our vows with a Pagan Celebrant — as you do. But alas, I think it’s more likely we’ll be ‘cheersing’ to our achievement with the cats, in our kitchen, with a pretty sizeable glass of gin. And that’s OK.

2 years might not seem like a big milestone, but it’s a massive transition and I think we’re all acutely aware that marriage isn’t always the fairy-tale it’s cracked up to be. So, what’s the secret to getting this far?

Full Disclaimer: our marriage isn’t perfect

Communicate

You’ve gotta communicate.

To be honest, I probably communicate a little bit too much. If something’s bothering me, I no longer let it build up inside me, give the silent treatment and then explode about it a few days later. Instead, I lay it out there straight away. I say what’s on my mind and we try to nip it in the bud there and then. My husband’s from a family that chooses to wipe the slate clean within 5 minutes of something happening so it’s a non-issue, which is great when I do something stupid that I want him to forget about, but not always so great if the issue needs to be spoken about a bit more in-depth. Our communication is far from perfect, but we’re getting there.

Keep getting to know each other

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Before I worked from home, my hubby told me how he spent his days when he wasn’t at work (he’s a shift worker) but I always assumed he was missing the little things out. He literally told me he gamed all day. Fast forward to now, that really is what he does. He games all day and only leaves his computer chair to pee or grab a snack. I never noticed before but sometimes his eyes are so bloodshot from staring at the screen all day. He’ll deny that’s why they’re so bloodshot, but wife knows better. To be fair, he could the say the same about me and my Pretty Little Liars binge-watching. I’ve finished watching the spin-off so it’s time to go back to series one of the original. It’s an obsession.

Share the household chores

Or better yet, do them together.

We’ve developed a routine now that whenever I’m feeling that the house is a complete shit tip, we dedicate an hour or so to fully cleaning the house together and we both do the jobs that the other one doesn’t want to do. We’re lucky that we dislike different things. For instance, we made an agreement that I’d clean the human toilet and he’d clean the cat’s. It’s still up for debate which one is worse.

“The greatest marriages are built on teamwork…a mutual respect, a healthy dose of admiration and a never-ending portion of love and grace” — Fawn Weaver

Make time for date nights

Or date days.

We’re lucky in that we have quite a bit of time together at home during the week so sometimes we’ll have a picnic date at lunchtime. Other times we have spa dates with face masks, massages and a candle-lit bath. I think a lot of us seem to think that a date night costs a lot of money and effort, and whilst the latter might be true, there are so many great ways to spend time together at home that are still romantic.

It’s the little things

This, I think, is the key to a successful marriage.

For as long as we’ve been together, I make my husband a cup of tea in the morning, throughout the day and before we go to sleep at night. A couple of times a week, he’ll make me poached eggs on toast for breakfast with a smiley face pattern of ketchup. I’ll run him a bath when he’s done a 12-hour shift at work, and he’ll give me back tickles if I’ve had a rough day. These are the things we appreciate the most about each other and show the other that we care.

And this is what will see us through in the long-run.

Freelance writer, procrastinator, and lover of cats. Avid traveller pre-lockdown. Future best-selling novelist post-lockdown🤞 Find me at www.amycubwrites.com

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