Looking for marriage advice? Here's what I learned in the first six months. | The Blissful Poet

Looking for Marriage Advice? I Can’t Help You

Today marks our five-month milestone since our wedding. We’ve been married a grand total of (almost) one half of a year. I can’t really offer advice because I am by no means an expert on anything marriage-y. Or relationship-y, really. Will I ever be?

But I am a good student, and things like this are great for learning — but only if you’re open to it.

Looking for marriage advice? Here's what I learned in the first six months. | The Blissful Poet

I can’t tell you what to expect, because every couple is different, and each person brings unique baggage to the relationship depending on his or her past. Sometimes there’s just no way to know the entirety of something until you’re experiencing it for real.

I could tell you you’ll learn more about your partner than ever before, and that might be true. But here’s the kicker: you’ll learn more about yourself than ever before — perhaps even more than you wanted to know. Maybe you’re a horrible cook. Maybe you’re reeeeally bad at apologizing. Maybe you’re so impatient even the TV gets a verbal lashing every time it doesn’t turn on quickly enough. Whatever the case, relationships are bound to bring all your ugly parts out screaming, no matter how artfully you try to quell them or pretend they’re not real. It’s just going to happen.

Thought marriage was the cure for your insecurity? Yeah, about that… 1185926_587380371300021_1452053067_n

If you think marriage is the cure for whatever insecurity you deal with, think again. Marriage, by its very nature, is meant to change us. I also believe it’s ultimately meant to improve us, but growing up doesn’t happen without growing out of whatever comfortable state you were already in.

When it comes down to to it, marriage will magnify even your deepest insecurities. You will feel them more than ever before, because there’s nothing like the most intimate of human relationships to draw the dirt right out of you.

Don’t get me wrong — marriage might actually erase some of your worries. Seriously. I no longer have to worry about who will watch Jeopardy with me on a nightly basis. It’s so great. But you’ll probably have to wade through some other stuff, too.

If you want help, you have to be honest.

If you’re lucky, your partner will patiently walk through your insecurities with you. But you’ve got to be completely honest about them, and that’s the hardest part.

“The most important things are hardest to say,” Stephen King has written. “They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out.”

Which makes it so. dang. hard. to tell the truth sometimes because of how ridiculous it can sound. But it’s even worse to let it simmer until you explode.

Tayler Beede over at Nitty Gritty Love offers this gem of advice about being honest. Whew! Glad I’m not the only one who tells the “I’m fine” lie too often. Maybe practice makes perfect even applies to situations like this. Or at least practice makes better. That’d be okay, too.

Being an open book takes practice for some people. It’s usually much easier to hide behind excuses. Doesn’t that make us easier to handle?

Actually, no. Because whatever’s actually bugging you will always come back to the surface.

There are ways to get better at this.

As a writer, I work through my problems on paper. I write everything out so it becomes clearer to me. Sometimes putting things down on paper allows me to leave them there and get some distance from them, too. Then I can come back to them with a different perspective or a clearer head.

I also communicate much better on paper and would much rather write someone an eloquent letter than stumble my way through a hard conversation. Sometimes that’s okay, especially if there’s a lot you need to say. But ultimately you need to be able to talk about it, too. A letter could just be a good starting point.

Relationships are hard, but if everything is perfect all the time, then someone isn't being real. | The Blissful Poet

The big picture: Relationships are hard, but if everything is perfect all the time, somebody’s not being real. Sometimes believing the best about someone is like hoisting yourself up and over the monkey bars using only the strength of your spindly, untoned arms while the rest of you hangs there like a sack of wet Bisquick. Some days it is HARD with a capital H and a half. But every intimate relationship — whether it’s a marriage or friendship — has its challenges, so don’t be discouraged.

Besides, if you have a complete meltdown and he still looks at you first thing in the morning as though you were the greatest work of art he’s ever seen, then you’ve found a good one.

I know I have.

 

10 comments

  1. Winifred M. Reilly

    Love the line practice makes better. After 35 yrs of marriage, I’m still practicing and hopefully still getting better. 🙂

  2. Meghan B

    Thanks, Winifred! I guess relationships are always works in progress.

  3. bronxboy55

    Happy Seven Months (today). I’ve been married for twenty years, and sometimes I still feel as though I have no idea what I’m doing. The learning never stops, as you described so well in this post. At least the opportunities for learning never stop.

  4. Meghan B

    Thank you! That seems to be the general consensus: the learning never stops. I’m trying to look at that as a good thing, though!

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