The Unexpected: Marriage Advice

I sat down to pen a little marriage advice tonight. As I mentioned, Bryan and I just celebrated our two year wedding anniversary, and since my friend Mary hosts a wedding link-up, it was perfect. But where to start?

Then I found another link-up (love these things) that allows me to put some context around my marriage advice. Today's topic: What have you learned from the unexpected and how have you grown as a couple?

I'll preface everything that comes after this with the fact that my husband and I dated for 11 years before we got married. Suffice it to say, we didn't get home after the honeymoon and realize that one of us has OCD cleanliness or the other of us never puts his clothes away. We've known these things couples often learn in the first year of marriage for a while. That said, there is always something to learn, both about each other and about our relationship.

Everyone says that your first year of marriage is the hardest. We did not feel the same way. Again, maybe this had something to do our many years together before taking "the plunge" but I think we'd both agree that our hardest years together came somewhere around years 7-9.

So, what have I learned from the unexpected? Learn not to expect much. Don't take that the wrong way. I'm not saying I don't expect anything from my husband—of course I do. And he consistently meets and exceeds those expectations. But you have to have realistic expectations of and for each other and your relationship, otherwise you'll find yourself let down and resenting the other person for it.

It goes without saying that most of life, and thus, marriage, is unexpected. There's a reason for the saying "expect the unexpected." We went through a really rough period last year when Bryan's dad became very ill and was in the hospital for about 5 months. It was horrible and scary and just awful, and was a reality check that we're going to have to deal with some hard shit in the coming years. Watching Bryan's mom keep vigil over her husband was heart-wrenching, but she showed me the definition of love. Bryan and I found strength in each other and we walked away as a tighter unit.

What else have I learned?

My husband doesn't care about dinner. All I've ever wanted is to be that wife whose husband asks, "what's for dinner?" when he gets home from work. And then I set a perfectly cooked meal in front of him and we eat at the table and talk about our days. Instead, I've ended up with a husband who eats frozen buffalo chicken strips for dinner every night on the couch while I eat my home-cooked meal that could feed four people..also on the couch. Don't get me wrong—Bryan eats my cooking. But I've learned that if I want him to eat my cooking, I cannot make him wait. He gets home from the gym and my man is HUNGRY. I've made it clear that when there are children involved, we WILL be eating dinner at the table every night and he WILL eat my cooking. On this we agree.

Routines are good—to have and to break. We all know how easy it is to fall into a routine. Most days, Bryan and I head to work at the same time, go to the gym when we get home, cook our respective dinners (see above), and retreat to watch TV, oftentimes separately. Not because we don't want to hang out but because we have different shows. It takes serious effort to change things up, but you have to. When you don't, it's too easy to let spending entire evenings apart become the status quo, or to let falling asleep without a kiss goodnight become the norm. Marriage is work, people, and part of that means shaking things up. Have date night for goodness sakes!

Independence is key and opposites really do attract. My husband and I are the definition of "opposites attract," and it's vital to our success as a couple. One area where we don't differ so much is in our independence. While spending time together is what we love the most, there are weekends or weeknights where Bryan has a "guys night" and I do the same (with my girls, of course). When he travels for work, he'll be the first to admit that he doesn't mind sleeping in a king bed alone, rather than squeezed next to me and the dog in a measly Queen. On these same nights, my happy place is watching my shows on the DVR without the unsolicited color commentary Bryan so readily provides, especially during The Bachelorette or Real Housewives. But when the day comes that he's coming home, I get excited butterflies in my stomach each and every time. All this to say: It's OK to not spend every waking moment together. In fact, I believe it makes you appreciate and want the other person more.

Obviously there are so many things I have not said, but this is getting long and my fingers are tired. I'll leave you with this:

I know I'm not the perfect wife. But damnit, I try. I can still be selfish, but I can also be selfless. I can be mean when we fight, but I always apologize when I should. I love my husband more than anything and all I want to do is be a good wife and partner for him. So I try to learn from him and learn from my mistakes and do better the next time.

Anyone else have any good marriage advice or lessons learned?
Chits and Giggles


  1. I think 'expect the unexpected' is fantastic advice, we pretty much live by that now as life has thrown us some huge curveballs in the last few years! Your other point about date nights is really important too, all couples should set aside time to spend together. We've been known to set days when we switch off our phones and have no contact with anyone other than each other. Quality time is so important in a relationship!

  2. Hey girl! Thanks so much for stopping by today :)
    LOVE your adorable blog! Newest follower here. I tried to reply back by email but you're a no-reply comment blogger :(
    If you wanna change it here is a link that tells you how to change it:



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