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Today marks 8 years since my lovely husband and I got married. The day started with a little rain, and then it brightened up into blissful sunshine. This really sums up our 11.5 years together so far! We’ve had a little rain along the way, and a few storms, but today, to mark our 8th wedding anniversary I want to share 8 things I’ve learned in 8 years of marriage.
I’ve written this post in advance as Thomas and I are enjoying a well deserved day together today! We are going to do a little shopping, eat out and spend time in each other’s company while Daisy is at Nursery.
8 things I’ve learned in 8 years of marriage
You are responsible for your own happiness
In the past, I have let other people really influence my happiness and unhappiness. Then, over time, and with age, I came to realise that you can be responsible for your own happiness. Someone can make a rude comment to you and you can choose to let it wash over you.
By realising that I am the master of my own happiness my marriage has flourished. If Thomas is under stress, perhaps with work or something else in his personal life, then I can be there for him, make sure home is taken care of and still stay happy myself.
This helps Thomas to be able to switch off from his stress, if he wants to, or means he can talk to me without worrying about ruining my evening or upsetting me. I am always happy to listen and be supportive, but I have also learned to switch off from the worry of things by allotting time to things.
Always be changing
I am a completely different person to the one I was in 2007 when I met Thomas. I am kinder, happier, more generous, much less bitchy and just generally a nicer person.
Personally, I like to feel that I am a work in progress, always. Working online means I am exposed to lots of interesting and insightful blog posts, social media posts and news articles. I can always be changing, in a positive way.
You don’t need to have the same interests
Thomas and I are quite different people. I love to spend lots of time writing, chatting online, reading and watching trash TV. Thomas, on the other hand, is happy to leave his phone on silent, barely use the internet and he loves anime.
It’s fine to have different interests, as long as you give each other time to enjoy them. I’m not interested in anime, try as I might, and that’s ok!
Sometimes your partner will gradually learn to enjoy some of your interests, but if they don’t then you can always find new interests you love together.
Disagreements are a normal part of a healthy relationship
There have been times during our relationship, and particularly our marriage, where we have had some huge disagreements. Shouting matches. I mostly mean myself here. These are few and far between, but as time has gone on I have come to realise that disagreements are a normal part of a healthy relationship.
We have learned not to shout at each other, much, and to voice our opinions, and disagreements, in a way that isn’t too harmful to one another. We don’t have to be on the same page all of the time but we have learned to disagree in a way that doesn’t lead to hours of bad feeling.
Don’t go to bed on a row
I can only think of one time in our 11.5 years together when we have gone to bed still mad with each other. Life is too short, as Thomas and I know so well, and I think if you take one thing away from this post it should be this. Do NOT go to bed on a row.
You really never know when a night together will be your last one and I think this has helped our marriage hugely.
Children change everything
Before Daisy was born we thought our marriage was the strongest it could be. Then I finally got pregnant, after a very long period of infertility, and had a difficult ride.
Daisy was born, by c-section, and the whole thing was quite traumatic for both myself and Thomas. Daisy changed everything. Our outlook on life completely changed.
Things that previously felt important were pushed to the wayside and life changed completely. Our priorities are just completely different than they were before. Now I prioritise time with my family, over time earning money. And that is just one small example really.
Things don’t have to be 50/50
Some of the roles within our marriage are quite old-fashioned. Or traditional as people who don’t know better might call them. What I mean is I am responsible for a lot of the childcare, but this is because I work from home. Not all areas of our time together are split 50/50, and that is fine. As long as you are happy with the split.
We have a household chores system that we follow, #Teamtomm, and Thomas will happily complete a whole day of this when he is home from work. When he is at work I’m happy, most days, to do washing, chores or life admin.
If we are home together then we will usually team up, and both make an effort. Adding up all of the jobs around the home would probably show that the split is almost 50/50, but sometimes the scale tips towards either one of us. That is fine, and we are both happy with the distribution.
When it comes to childcare I would say Thomas puts a lot more time in when he is home, than I do, because I am self-employed and try and fit in working where I can. Taking a break when self-employed can be a stretch at times for me and Thomas understands!
It is ok to want time apart
Sometimes, especially since becoming a parent, I just want some peace. No-one talking to me. No demands. Time not to think about anyone but myself. This is ok! For me, I like to enjoy a day at home, with no-one around.
For Thomas, he likes to go out, get his hair cut, maybe run a few errands, or pop to the cinema to see a film I’m not interested in. Sometimes I head away for work events or social events with friends.
I think absence makes the heart grow fonder and from time to time it is nice to have a little reminder of just how excited I am to get home to my little family each day.
Bonus thing: We need more photos with the two of us in!