Relationship Lessons Learned
A number of us were asked to write our future niece a letter she could read prior to marriage to my nephew Jacob back in August. I have grown and learned so much about love, relationships, and partnerships, over the past 20 years. And I am still learning and growing. But here was my letter to her.
Speak in Love (always and often): this is so hard, but every time you open your mouth (no matter how mad, hurt, annoyed, etc., you are) think about your words. Once you say them, you can never take them back. Words can cut like a knife. But work on speaking in love.
He is your best friend: I have never had a best friend that was my partner/spouse until now. Having someone that I can share everything with, who can look at me or know by my tone of voice, how I am thinking or feeling, is pretty amazing. Knowing each other deeply is key. Always keep learning about each other.
Date night: keep going on date nights. Even when the kids come. Make it a commitment on both of your parts to go out to dinner or go to a movie twice a month. This keeps you connected. Makes you both have to prioritize each other and your marriage.
Help each other to grow: I remember reading an article about a wife/mom who was throwing a fit because her husband said he wanted to go to grad school. In the midst of her venting to her best friend, her friend responded wisely, “you can (today) choose to grow with him and support him or you can choose to grow away. He is asking you to grow.” Support (equally) each other’s dreams and hopes. Grow together. Become better people, together. Bring out the best in each other. I have known many couples who devoted a majority of their time to bashing, ripping on each other, and degrading each other (verbal and emotional abuse) and your relationship with not withstand these hurtful fights, words and abuse. This is not love. This is a tactic to keep someone small, devalued, and scared. You will grow apart (words push people apart)! Don’t go there. Learn to love, value and respect your partnership and grow together.
Respect, respect, respect: respect each other at all times. Honor each other at all times. If you don’t respect each other, then you don’t love, care, or uphold, etc. your relationship. Your respect for each other, your roles, contributions, work, etc. to this life together is important and knowing that are appreciated and valued by each other is vital.
Those are my words of wisdom, encouragement, love, and support. Welcome to the family my dear. I am here if you need anything. From one wife to another, wishing you the very best and with lots of love!