Thought Catalog

3 Crucial Things I’ve Learned About Love From 3 Years Of Marriage

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Tom Pumford

It seems like just yesterday I was walking down the aisle getting ready to say “I do”. It’s now been three years since I said those two small yet meaningful words, and wow, so much has changed! My husband and I have come a long way in our relationship, and I couldn’t help but write down three of the most important things I’ve learned thus far.

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

I’ve come to realize that the dishes aren’t always going to get done right after dinner. The laundry isn’t always going to get washed on our designated wash day. My plans and expectations won’t always be met as fast as I want them to be met. But that’s okay. I’ve learned to relax, to not get frustrated when things don’t go my way. I’ve learned to be kind in the mist of crazy hectic schedules, and to kick our feet up and put my to do list aside. Marriage isn’t about making sure everything is perfect. I don’t have to be the perfect wife, with dinner on the table at 6 o clock sharp, and the house spick and span. There’s no point in putting undo pressure on myself, or on my husband, when in reality, that stuff won’t matter in the long run.

2. Patience is indeed a virtue.

This one goes along with my previous point. When stuff doesn’t go my way, I’ve learned to be patient. I’ve learned to trust in my husband, and his timing, and his guidance. He leads us in the way he sees fit, and even though I sometimes go bonkers trying to speed life up, I’ve come to learn patience. Whether it’s a small thing such as a household chore, or a larger event like finishing a degree or moving on to the next stage in life. I’ve learned to take each moment as it comes, step by step, trying my best to show patience in every situation. Whether that means waiting until it’s the right time to have a child, buy a house, or get that new car, it’s important to have patience and wait for the right timing.

3. Listening.

This one word action is something I still struggle with on a daily basis but am intentionally striving to work on. When you’re with someone all the time, it can be easy to tune them out during conversations. When the hubby starts talking about wrestling, supplements, or his dream car, it can be so easy to nod my head and continue doing whatever I was doing. But lately, I’m realizing that just because I am not interested in what he has to say on certain topics, doesn’t mean I should nonchalantly or half listen. Instead, I’m learning to be an active listener, trying my best to focus and engage in what he has to say, even on the not so fun things. He’s a guy, after all, and he listens to me talk endlessly about Taylor Swift’s drama and my thoughts on where we need to travel next, so the least I can do is return the favor. I’m learning to put down the phone, close the computer, and shut the book, because when I look back on my life, I want to know I gave our relationship everything I’ve got, even in those little everyday conversations. My husband’s the most important person to me in the world, so why shouldn’t I give him my undivided attention on the daily? He deserves it more than anyone.

These past three years have taught me more than I ever dreamed it could. I talk more about what I’ve learned about relationships in my new book, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Surviving Her Twenties, that comes out through Thought Catalog later this summer. TC mark

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