Today things are getting real on the blog and I am sharing the 4 things I have learned in 4 years of marriage. For anyone who knows me, you know that Eric and I dated for a long time before we got engaged or married. We met when we were young and still in college, before we had our lives figured out. That’s not to say that we have it all figured out now…but you know! Our relationship spans over 11 years; 7 years dating, 4 years married, 3 schools, 2 apartments, multiple states and so much more!
We have both changed, grown together, supported each other and gone through ups and downs during our time together, but there are definitely a few things I have learned that support a healthy, loving and FUN relationship!
As I said above, Eric and I have been together since we were very young. Probably before we really knew ourselves or what we wanted from life. Many times, this can break a couple, but for us, it totally made us stronger. We met through mutual friends while we were both finishing up college. We lived several hours from each other and had vastly different plans for the near future. Eric was ready to join the workforce and I was planning to attend Law School.
For any of my fellow lawyers out there or for anyone who pursued a degree post-college, you know that these programs can be extremely stressful, time consuming and relationship-ending. We managed to enjoy my 3 years of law school – and an additional year of school for a masters in another city – and came out stronger on the other side. I will always always be grateful for how supportive Eric was of my dreams to be become a lawyer. He wanted me to go to the best possible school that I could (ie. how I ended up in Boston for my masters) and he gave me the space I needed to study without ever making me feel bad for “ignoring” him. His constant support for my blog (and my support of his many hobbies) make it all worth it! We have also gotten through some hard and sad times together, which despite them being terrible, strengthened our relationship.
This leads me to my next point…which is the importance of keeping a sense of self while in a relationship.
2. Be Together…and Apart
One of my favorite things about our relationship is that both Eric and I maintained our identities. We all know that friend who becomes a ghost once they find the girl or guy of their “dreams”. We both made a conscious effort not to let that happen. We didn’t live together early in our relationship, which made the time we were together more exciting. We also maintained our friendships outside of our relationship. I have a wonderful group of girlfriends who I have been friends with for over a decade and who I still consider my besties and Eric also had a bunch of buddies who he still sees on a regular basis.
We were also able to mesh our friend groups together for fun events like BBQs and Wine Tours, which ultimately made it easier to be together and still have fun with our friends at the same time! Our wedding was also extra fun because every single one of our friends knew each other from years of partying together!
This one is a gimme! You hear time and time again that one of the the keys to relationship success is compromise. Eric and I came from different parts of NY State, which may not seem overly relevant, but our backgrounds were instrumental in our years of compromise leading up to our marriage and still holds true today. While still keeping our identities in-tact, we both tried new things and got outside of our comfort zones. Eric was never really a city guy, coming from a small town in upstate New York. I, on the other hand, came from a suburb just outside of NYC and still work in the city today.
We compromise daily, from what to eat for dinner to where we wanted to put down roots. We don’t always agree, especially while we were renovating our home, but working through those compromises together made us stronger!
4. Have Fun
It is so important to have fun in your relationship! After 11 years, not only is Eric my husband, he is at the top of my bestie list! Aside from getting through the hard times, we always have a blast together! I am a firm believer that your other half should be your best friend and confidant, in addition to your partner in life. Whether we are watching
The Bachelorette Game of Thrones together, cooking dinner, sipping drinks on Thirsty Thursday or exploring our town, we always have the absolute best time together. The teasing and corny inside jokes may be nauseating, but they are part of that fun I am talking about!
Today, we celebrate 11 years together and 4 years of marriage. It has been an amazing ride so far and I can’t wait to see what happens next! Happy Anniversary babe!
Thanks for stopping by! What are some of your relationship tips or lessons learned? Drop a comment below…I’d love to hear from you!