At the ripe old age of 18 I got married. Life was hard in those first few months, but we managed to push through and establish a normal life as a married couple. After a few years we decided to start a family and eventually added four children to our brood. Throughout the years we’ve struggled with many of the common problems married couples have, including doubt, financial turmoil and that diminishing intimate connection that comes with age. With nearly 20 years of marriage under my belt, I somehow thought marriage would be easier than it was when I was young, but that’s just not the case. Does marriage ever get easier or do you just learn how to roll with the punches and leave the small stuff for those younger couples?
The Past, Present and Future Matter – But Not As Much
One of the things I’ve learned over the years is to forgive and forget. There was a time when I’d spend hours fighting with my husband about the past mistakes, present failures and lack of solid future plans, but at what cost? Instead of dwelling in what has happened, is happening or will happen, use basic time management skills with a marriage twist. Talk about past problems once and for all and put those problems to rest where they belong. Relish the present for everything it has to offer, but be flexible enough to roll with the punches when changes happen. Plan for the future as a family, but leave plenty of time and space in that future for life because nothing, no matter how hard you try, is set in stone 100% of the time. I’ve learned after 20 years that marriage is about enjoying the ebbs and flows of change and adaptation, not using them to cause another argument.
Learning to Move Past Fighting
Marriage fights happen for young couples and seasoned couples. Age doesn’t change that and neither does the number of years you’ve been married. Despite the inevitable fact that you will fight sometime, you can choose not to fight all the time. The most important thing a married couple can change to control fighting and move past the fight is to skip the “buts”. The word “but” has no place in an argument . The words that come before “but” are supportive and affirming; after is nothing more than another spark for more arguing.
Evolving Into Something New
One of the best choices we made as a couple was to evolve past what we thought marriage was supposed to be. Every little girl has this fairy tale idea of marriage, but the fairy tale is often far from the realty of marriage. When we stepped away from our expectations and embraced life things changed; we evolved into a new couple. That’s not to say all the fights and struggles of marriage are gone, but we no longer base those fights on what we expected out of life and what we were given in place of those expectations. We focus on what we have and resolving the problems in the here and now and that’s changed how we interact with each other and our children.
Does marriage get easier with age? I’d have to say yes, but only if you accept change, mature with the relationship and free yourself from any and all expectations forcing you into a cycle of marriage turmoil.
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