Today is Zach and my 8 year wedding anniversary! Believe me, when I say every year we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs but this year really put us through the wringer with working from home the last 3+ months thanks to our global pandemic. However, while some marriages have been crumbling, we’ve been the opposite. I shared last year 7 lessons that help us through the “7-year Itch” many couples go through and I wanted to continue sharing what I’ve learned in the last 8 years.
Have Friends That Know You Both
We regularly meet with some of our closest friends, who we keep up to date on the things we’re going through in our marriage. It’s amazing to have an outside perspective on our relationship – people to tell us we’re not crazy, to help us hear each other, to point out things we might not notice, and to give us advice when we need it. (Which happens a lot.) Sometimes we’ll talk all together; sometimes we’ll talk separately. The point is that they know us well enough to help us through the rough patches and enjoy the good times with us too.
Some of our biggest fights are when we assume something about the other one. Oh I know. It seems ridiculous at the time after we’ve worked it out but assuming that I thought he would get something done or he assumes I know how he would feel after an argument is not the answer. We’re still evolving and changing as individuals and as a couple.
Don’t Change Them:
This seems like such a big thing but it’s so true. You can’t change them and their ways. One thing I started to do was work out in the morning. It gave me something to look forward too, pushing myself to get up and do it again and I feeling so amazing afterward. Fast forward to a few months later and my husband started running again and he also felt the same as well. I never told him he needed to do it, but after seeing how happy it made me, he wanted the same thing. Don’t nag them about what they should do because it won’t change them. Learn to make yourself happy and when they see you changing, they’ll want to do the same.
Have Something To Look Forward To:
While it’s been hard to have something to look forward to after being in our home the last few months and all of our trips canceled, Zach recently shared something exciting! He told me that he had planned a little getaway trip for us in the fall and made it a surprise. I have no idea where we are going and honestly, I love it. This gives us something to look forward together as a couple, away from the kids and everyday life.
Keep Asking Questions:
While we’ve been together for almost 13 years, there are still things I never knew about Zach and vs. versa. Continue to ask questions and learn about one another. While we travel on long road trips, I love playing “21 Questions” just to still see how we’ll answer something. Not sure what to ask- I’ll have a few ideas on topics I’ll be sharing soon.
Celebrate The Good But Work Through The Bad:
This has really challenged us this year. We’ve been able to celebrate some really big milestones the last 8 years of marriage including moving our family to a new state, moving back to my hometown, building a home, promotions, and paying off student debt! While those are such exiting and big moments, we’ve also learned to work through the hard parts of marriage too. Arguments that last into the night. Miscommunication tantrums. We set time aside to talk it out and work through it.
Get To Know Yourself:
Recently I’ve started to really get to know who I am as an individual. Not as a just a Mom, a wife, a friend, sister, neighbor, and aunt but who I am as just me. What are things that I love to do, that make me smile, that gets me excited for what’s next and reading and learning about why I do the things that I do in certain situations? THIS book has really helped me and so has THIS one if you are looking for self-help books. I also have 6 books you can CRUSH this year to help.
Have Hobbies You Do Apart:
While it’s great to have many things in common, it’s also good to separate some of your hobbies too. One of the things I love the most is when Zach cheers me on with something I love to do and vs versa. Zach loves to be outdoors fishing, and golfing while I love being inside reading and writing.
Traditionally gifts for 8 years are bronze or pottery so I found a few that could be a fun idea if you’re also celebrating 8 years this year or if you’re looking for something unique to give your spouse.
While our marriage isn’t perfect of course, we do strive to keep these tips going while we navigate another year of being together. I’d love to share some ideas you’ve learned along the way as well. If you’re interested, I have a few other tips from previous years [ keeping our marriage strong, year 4, year 5, year 6, and year 7 ]