Updated: Sep 11, 2019
Marriage is hard, but it's also the best. Learn how to still feel like yourself when you let someone else into your world.
Marriage is hard. Anyone who tells you it’s a walk in the park is probably lying to you. I wouldn’t call myself a marriage expert after a little over a year of going through this crazy thing, but I do feel like I can look back at this past year and give advice around what we thought worked for us. But not everything is black and white (I’m an enneagram 1, so this is hard for me to say), so do what works best for you and your spouse! You know your marriage better than me, so take my advice or leave it, I will not be offended. Here are three things we’ve found have worked for us over the past year to help us feel a little more sane when everything around us is getting crazy.
#1: Have a workout routine:
"Learning to live in the same space as another human being is difficult."
There, I said it. In the first few months, I found myself getting more frustrated about small things than I normally would. I couldn’t think of what had changed, but then it dawned on me… Before we got married I was a spin instructor, so I was working out at least 5 times per week. After the wedding, we moved and I couldn’t keep my instructor gig. I was so infatuated with this new person I got to live with that I let my workout routine go. The next week, we found a gym we could both go to and man, I felt so much better getting back into the routine of working out. It seems like such a small thing, but it has incredible effects on how you feel and your mental health. Take my word for it, finding the time to work out will have so many positive benefits on both your health and your marriage if you’re both feeling at your best. I know it’s hard to start out, but try going to the gym or working out just two days a week and go from there. You don’t need to start at five days a week, you’re just going to quit two weeks in because it’s too much.
#2: Get some hobbies:
Jake loves working on cars. He has a 2000 Trans Am that’s his baby. So anytime he needed to work on it, I was in the garage sitting there talking with him or trying to help with something. Now, let’s be honest, I don’t enjoy cars, I don’t really understand them, but I love my husband and I want to spend as much time as I could with him. Me on the other hand… I don’t feel like I’ve really ever had hobbies. I could never get into sewing, calligraphy was taking me too long to learn, I’m not good at painting, the list could go on and on. But since buying our house, I’ve found that I love working on the interior design of our house and taking care of our little garden out back (shoutout to the family we bought the house from for planting all these veggies!). So now when he works on his car, I work in the garden and we keep the garage door open so we can just wander to see each other whenever we want to. Finding a hobby gives you that alone time you need to stay sane even if you’re within 20 ft of each other.
#3: Be honest about your money, but don’t get crazy:
One month before our wedding, Jake and I sat in a booth at Texas Roadhouse (all the rolls and cinnamon butter *insert drooling face here*) and made a budget. Now it wasn’t anything crazy and it was kinda rough, but we were both in steady jobs and knew what our monthly income would be together. We estimated out what food would cost, my student loan payments, internet, phone, health insurance, date nights, etc. Do this before or even early on in your marriage. It makes fights about how much is being spent in a certain area totally go away because you both know how much it will cost. Here’s the game-changer (at least for me): talk with your fiance or spouse and decide on an amount that can be your “fun money”. We decided each of us would get $150 per month each that we could spend on whatever we want during the month. So if there was something that we want that was $200, we have to save up our fun money account. We found this was a great way to feel like we could still spend money on things we each found important that the other may not see as crucial (i.e. car parts for Jake and new sweaters for me). Make a budget. It takes 30 minutes and will make your life so much easier in the long run.
Like what you hear? Let me know in the comments what you think is the best piece of advice!
What have you and your spouse learned that you think has helped you both feel a little more sane when things get crazy? Let me know in the comments!.