I'm getting married in approximately 10 days. I've been with my fiancé, Jordan since late 2008 and we've been living together since the end of August. There are a few things I've learned throughout our time together that I want to impart with my readers.
Never go to sleep angry - As hackneyed as it sounds, take time to cool off and show a little tenderness towards your partner. Set the anger aside and be the bigger person by reaching out without mouthing off at each other. All it takes is for you to initiate the conversation. Kiss and make up!
I'm a rather patient person with an extremely bad temper. My fiancé and I argue over the most trivial things and this is how a usual fight goes between Jordan and I:
How do we resolve it?
It's usually me who approaches him after a heated argument since I begin it majority of the times. No matter how it kills me to admit it, I'm usually the one at fault. I've mentioned in the past how crabby I can be. I'll get dramatic over the smallest things and feel utterly guilty afterwards. A little cariño goes a long way. Being the way I am, I have come to realize that annoyance takes much longer to abate than anger itself. I can be irked for an hour and not want to be around people while when I'm angry, I'll be calm after I let out what's on my chest. Maybe that just goes for me.
This leads me to my second point...
To attain marital happiness, know when to apologize - When you're wrong, you're wrong and when you're right, you're right. Excuses only dig a deeper hole. Apologies don't always have to be serious. Be creative and repair your misunderstandings through simple gestures like a hug or tease her/him about something that you know will make your partner smile. One of the memorable apologies I got from my fiancé was when he made me giggle after an altercation.
Jordan approaches me as I push him away
Jordan: You know, you look sexy when you have an angry face.
Toni: Oh you shut up! I'm mad a you... (I try to secure a serious look.)
(Our eyes lock as he presses his face against mine. He gives me a big bear hug and then kisses my cheek as he wraps his arms tighter around me.)
Jordan: Are you okay now?
Toni: I love you, thank you.
Don't lose your individuality - Don't get me wrong, it's nice when you enjoy the same things your partner does but what about what you like? Keep in mind that s/he fell in love with you because of who you are so retain your hobbies. Do your hair the way you like it, continue to dress how you normally do prior to being with him, laugh the way you always have. Have a girls'/boys' night out! You don't have to be with your partner 24/7. Lets not smother the significant other. Everyone is dependent to a certain extent but living and breathing your partner to the point of doing every single thing with them is a summon for unhappiness. People prefer to be around those who are themselves. Don't put up a facade. Smile and show him/ her why s/he fell in love with you in the first place.
Talk about an awkward situation.
Love is not absolute - Like every other feeling, love ebbs and flows. Don't expect to live in a fairytale but rather, translate your dream relationship into a reality. Treat your partner the way you wish to be treated. Think twice before you speak and learn to listen to yourself. There's a huge line between hearing yourself and listening to what you're saying. What may seem frank to you may be hurtful to someone else. Keep things exciting by engaging with your partner in new ways.
You don't know how to cook? Learn to make your significant other's favorite dish.
Is s/he stressed at work? A quick massage can ease his/her stress.
Embrace your imperfections - There are times when we want to be perfect for our mates. Then again, I ask myself; WHY? You know you're with the right person when s/he makes you want to be a better person. It's when you feel at ease because a void has finally been filled. The traits peculiar to you make you endearing. Don't change that for anyone.
I like how Jordan's right dimple comes out when he laughs really hard or that he grimaces when I wake him up for work every morning. It's those little things that make me smile and say, "That's my papo."
My mom inculcated so much family values in me during my youth and one that left a mark with me was a saying in Filipino that goes something like, "Marriage is not like rice that you spit out when it's hot." I'm of age to marry though it may be too soon for some. I wouldn't dive head first into a relationship if my heart wasn't 100% into it. There will be inevitable rough patches, the usual highs and lows but those will only further fortify our relationship.
One other thing Jordan and I like to share:
Use alliterations - This may sound a tad corny but it works for us. Movie Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Shopping Saturdays, Wacky Wednesdays and so on. Why not? Change it up and add more flavor to your week! It surely keeps me looking forward to the succeeding weeks. Shopping Sunday just passed! ;)