As most of you guys know, Allen and I recently celebrated our 5 year anniversary being married in Hawaii. Since we’ve been together for a total of 10 years (crazy how fast time flies!), there are quite a few things I’ve learned. I’ve openly talked about my marriage before… it doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t come naturally (especially once you get out of the honeymoon phase (trust me), you have to put in time and effort, just like anything else. I think it’s easy for people to assume that my marriage is perfect, but it’s not. We’ve been through our share of ups and downs and growing pains, and that’s the beauty of marriage.
With that said, we decided to pack up our MCM bags and just getaway for a few days to celebrate this huge milestone of ours. We brought the whole family with us so this MCM duffle bag really came in handy. Allen doesn’t need much when traveling (guys have it so easy when packing, don’t they?), so he packed a good portion of his stuff in there, as well as a few of Chloe’s favorite toys. He’s actually obsessed with it because it’s the perfect size for a getaway bag. It’s super roomy and stylish at the same time.
Marriage, like any other relationship, takes tender love and care. Just like anything you want to grow in your life, marriage too must be nurtured. Marriage isn’t always rainbows, sunshine, and Hawaii beaches, so today I’m going to share with you guys the 5 things I learned after being married for 5 years.
1. COMMUNICATION REALLY IS EVERYTHING
We’ve been together for 10 years now, so he should really know and understand everything about me by now, right? WRONG! This is the #1 thing that I struggle with in our marriage. To be completely honest, I’m not much of a talker… I never was and still really am not. Growing up, I was always the silent one in the family and in school. I’ve always had a hard to expressing my own feelings and quite frankly, I’ve undervalued the importance of it. With that said, once we got married, I had to change my attitude about communication because I soon realized it was what could make or break us.
Every day, Allen and I always take time to catch up even if it’s just for 15-30 mins. This might sound cheesy, but I’m going to share with you guys a little game we play before we go to bed because it helps us not only tell each other what we did, but how we felt during the day as well. We both take turns sharing with each other 3 things that happened during the day and how those things made us FEEL. It not only helps us communicate and update each other, but it also makes me really conscious throughout the day of what we’re doing and how we’re both feeling.
2. DATE EACH OTHER
It’s easy to fall into the trap of “oh we’re married now so we don’t need to date.” No matter how busy we are, we always try to find some time for date night. I think the purpose of “dating” someone is to not only spend time with them, but also get to know them. I remember when I was getting to know Allen, I would be so excited to find out more about him: his friends, his family, his past, etc. It’s easy to assume that you know everything about someone after being with them for so long, but it’s super important to always be curious. There is always something to learn about your significant other, just in different ways as the years go by. Another cheesy fact… but sometimes when Allen and I go out on our date nights we act like we’re still boyfriend and girlfriend!
3. COMPROMISE IS KEY
I’m an Aries so I learned that I’m pretty stubborn when it comes to things so this is something I had to really work on. Being married will bring out the differences in two people and that’s ok. I’m being tested on this more and more each day, especially now that we have Chloe. Allen and I were both raised differently, so naturally, there have been a few differences when it comes to how we will raise Chloe. There’s no a right or wrong way, but sometimes you just have to compromise and meet halfway. And remember… it’s not about who’s right or who’s wrong.
4. HUMOR AND INTIMACY
There is no one that makes me laugh like Allen does, and I think it’s because he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s soooooo goofy and inappropriately funny at times that you can’t help but literally LOL! It puts things into perspective about how marriage should be fun and enjoyable and not so serious all the time! Also, keeping it sexy (even after having a baby) in the bedroom! Don’t undervalue the importance of intimacy as it’s another form of “connecting” with someone.
5. GETTING AWAY
It’s always healthy to change up the scenario… whether it be a full-on vacation, a mini staycation or even simply a night away it’s important to have time together with just the two of you. As you guys know, I’m a huge believer in staycations because when we’re at home we are usually set in our ways of doing things. I’ll be on my laptop working and Allen will be watching TV (usually after we put Chloe to bed), but when we are staycation-ing, we’re forced to do something different than our usual routine. Instead of catching up on our TV and laptop time, we might go for a walk to watch the sunset or do something that we usually wouldn’t do. Staycations are painless because you really don’t need to pack that much and instead of a traditional suitcase, all you really need is a good oversized duffle bag like this one from MCM that Allen has. It’s super lightweight, roomy, chic and easy to throw your weekend necessities in… Allen is actually really obsessed with it (there are seldom things that he actually gets obsessed with so this is good).
I can’t believe that 5 years have come and gone, and I can say with absolute certainty that I’m ready for the next 5 years and beyond! I think the most important part of marriage is to be open and to constantly be learning, growing and evolving with each other. For those of you that are married or have been in long-term relationships, what are your relationship tips? I would love to know!
And a big thank you to MCM for partnering with me on this post to showcase their beautiful collection while sharing my relationship tips & stories. You can shop the collection HERE!