Marcus and I have been married for 12 years. We were married when we were just 19 year old and didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. What we did know was that we loved each other and made each other happy. We believe marriage is not 50/50 it take 100% from the both of us to make it work. So we came up with the top 3 things we believe are important to make a marriage work. They each tie into each other and of course these are not the only things that are important but they work for us.
I know you have heard this before. The most important thing in a relationship is communication, however it’s not just communicating how you feel it’s being each others best friend. I tell Marcus everything whether he wants to hear it or not. From what happened at work, the pain i felt in my knee, the new recipe I’m going to try, to the chapter I read that I found interesting. I express the good the bad and the ugly of my thoughts. Why?! Because even after 12 years we are still consistently learning about each other. Marcus and I have literally grown up together and our likes have changed throughout the years so it is interesting to learn something new about him. It is also important to communicate because that’s how you will learn each other’s buttons! I know what pushes Marcus’s buttons and I respect him enough to not push them, even when I am upset! I also know that he doesn’t have a serious bone in his body nonetheless I know when he is stressed. Communicating is key!
Marcus has always been the type of man that open doors. He has to open the car door for us no matter what and if I open the door then it’s a hilarious issue (he makes a scene lol).There was a time when he stopped opening the doors for me. I don’t know if he got comfortable or if he forgot but it bothered me and as soon as I realized it I talked to him about it. I asked him, “ why don’t you open the door for me anymore?!” His answer was, “I apologize, i didn’t notice i wasn’t doing it. It won’t happen again.” And it never did. This was about 5 years ago and to this day he opens the doors for all 4 of his girls! Yes he has taught the girls to wait until the door is opened for them. Yeah you may think, it’s just a door, you can open it yourself, but honestly it’s not just a door. Marcus has been doing that for 14 years from the moment we met so it has become our thing. That small gesture makes me feel special and appreciated so that makes it important and relevant.
It is important to know each other’s goals and dreams. That’s where communication and support tie into each other. You should support each other in achieving goals and making dreams come true. It takes sacrifice! Sometimes you will have to put your stuff on hold to help your spouse achieve their goal.
Wait...What did I just say ... yes sometimes you have to put your spouse before you! Listen, you should never be jealous of your spouses success, I’m even making a disgusted face when I’m writing this because it doesn’t make any sense to me. Their success is your success, you guys are ONE! Can you imagine how that conversation would go! Girl...I am jealous that my husband achieved his professional goal in getting promoted and is getting more money than me...WHAT?! That sounds dumb. That is something we would never say. As his wife I try to help him and encourage him to accomplish everything he wants to accomplish. In return he helps and motivates me.
In our situation it took me a long time to find my purpose and what i wanted to do in life. So i focused on his dreams and in return he supported me at home. He helped me with house work and with issues at work until I finally expressed that I wanted to encourage women to be the best they can be. Without hesitation he jumped on board and is constantly telling me how proud he is of me! His support means the world to me and the way we motivate each other is what keeps us going. When you show a genuine interest in your spouse’s dreams you create a bond that is everlasting. It’s a good feeling when you know that your biggest supporter is the person you are spending the rest of your life with.
I will say it again because you can’t say it enough... marriage is not 50/50 it take 100% effort from the both of you to make it work. There is no me and mine, that stopped when you said I do! Everything is about us and ours! Its not my money it’s our money, that’s a touchy subject for most. We both work full time and we have 1 bank account. Bills are paid from the 1 account and we both have access to this account. PERIOD.
Your spouse should know what your day looks like and should be willing to help you get through your day. We talk on our way to work and home EVERYDAY. He knows that once i get off work i have all 3 girls and we are headed to gymnastics so after work he drives into the city to help me with them while we wait for practice to be over. Once we get home he watches the girls while I prepare dinner. Then when he needs to study I will take the girls out to give him some quiet time. Which he hates because he doesn’t like being home alone but I respect that he has to focus. Compromise! Help each other out! If you can’t handle it ask each other for help. It’s simple. Don’t make things complicated. Compromising also pertains to your feelings. In 12 years we’ve only argued three times. Most marital arguments stem from an unwillingness to compromise. Just because you’re the man doesn’t mean that you’re way is right. Just because you’re the woman doesn’t mean it’s ok to react out of emotions. When there is a disagreement, we simply approach each situation with resolution in mind. We never degrade each other and most of the time we simply come to a “happy medium”.
No marriage is perfect and we are far from perfect. However, for the last 12 years we have worked through everything together. In the end it’s about the two of you and living your best lives together. Keep God first in your marriage and everything else will work itself out!