Being in a relationship with the same person for 10 years is no easy feat.
You will feel the highest of highs and at some point the lowest of lows. You will experience death together, the loss or growing apart of friendships, you will break each other's hearts and rebuild them piece by piece. At least, that is what I have had to do.
In our one and a half year of marriage, I have had to humbly accept the fact that yes, despite being together for so long as a couple, marriage is a whole different ball game.
Being married millennials and creatives living in Los Angeles on the pursuit of our dreams, we have not been able to follow the same "marriage rules" our parents, siblings or any other married couple we know has. What may be completely out of the question for our parents -- i.e. studio sessions with the opposite sex well past 12 am, meeting anywhere you can to get a script finalized or working with people one-on-one in their homes is definitely not ideal -- it's a large part of not only the LA creative culture, but also the industry. It often puts us in positions that are uncomfortable to say the least, but we are learning and growing through it together.
While we are both still getting the hang of what it means to be married and making, breaking and rewriting our own rules as we go, I have found a few things that help me stay sane and keep moving forward no matter what, the main thing being not sweating the small stuff.
1. Sh*t happens, let it go.
I used to be crazy. Not in the literal sense but I definitely fell under the category of crazy girlfriend. I broke TVs (well just one), yelled and cussed in his mother's house, threw things during arguments -- I was that girl. I had a lot of mental turmoil I hadn't dealt with from my past relationship and let all of that negative energy seep into the next relationship. Every little thing triggered me into a full-on meltdown. It didn't matter how small or big the issue was, I reacted the same. Everything that went wrong felt like the end of the world to me and I simply could not let it go until the situation was resolved to my liking while ignoring his feelings and how he might have wanted to handle the situation.
In taking a step back and really looking at not only how bad I was hurting him but also myself, I made the decision to start thinking, acting and reacting differently. You have to realize that everything that someone else does is not a reflection of how they feel about you and not allow everything that doesn't go how you want it to, to push you over the edge. When you face conflict with your spouse, ask yourself is this going to affect me tomorrow, next week or next year?
There are so many fights we now look back on and laugh, not even remembering why we were mad or what we were fighting about in the first place. If it's something small, you have to start letting go, sis or you will literally drive yourself crazy.
2. Keep your girlfriends out of your bedroom.
Your girlfriends should not know every intimate detail that goes on in your life. Every fight, misunderstanding, and makeup session does not need to be relayed to your girlfriends. I used to tell my friends everything; it was my way of getting things off my chest and just feeling better. Before I got married, I made the decision to stop doing that. It's not that I don't trust my friends but I also know that confiding in them is in no way going to fix whatever situation my husband and I are going through.
How many times have you confided in a girlfriend, then you and your man resolve your issues and your friends brings the issue back up to you and you find yourself back in that negative place emotionally?
It's not that they are purposely trying to bring up old news, they could just be checking on you, but now you are mad all over again. Or maybe when you first confided in them, they were more mad than you were, which made you think you should have reacted differently or more harshly to your spouse. Unfortunately, even when well-intended, sometimes girlfriends can heighten disagreements between you and your partner. As much as you may just need a good venting session, try instead to write out your thoughts -- get everything you need to say out, every curse word, every bad name -- then delete it. Try talking to your spouse once you are calm and let him know how his actions affected you and really listen and try to understand his feelings as well. If you absolutely feel like you have to tell a friend, tell one that is non-judgemental and understanding so you know you won't be hearing about your fight weeks later from her.
3. Trust your gut.
I have an amazing intuition and my husband does as well. We know when we are lying. We know when something is wrong, even when the other one is smiling and seemingly happy. And we know when to give the other person space. As creepy as it may sound, my husband is literally like my twin; we share many of the same bad habits and we just seem to know each other deeply. In trusting your gut, you have to know what you should make a big deal over and what to let go of. You should also know that no girlfriend's advice is going to be greater than your own intuition and feelings. It doesn't matter what your parents, society, or best friend feels you have to do, you know what you feel is right in your marriage and what you can or cannot live with.
Look at your own moral compass and decide what situations are things you two can move past and what are deal breakers, and talk about them as the topics come up.
You chose your spouse for a reason. You loved him and decided that in some way your life would be even better if you marry him. Marriage, especially as millennials, will always come with a learning curve but if you married the right man, despite anything that can and will come your way, the good will definitely outweigh the bad.
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