Marriage

I’ll never forget the first fight Kenny and I had.  It was soon after returning from our honeymoon.  We were in the grocery store on our first official married shopping trip.  It all started in the cereal isle.  We were buying Cranapple juice.  Kenny wanted to get a generic brand.  I insisted on Ocean Spray.  Yes, Ocean Spray was $4.00 – over double the price of the generic Cranapple juice, but hello!  Ocean spray tastes better!  My mom always bought Ocean Spray and well… I wanted Ocean Spray.  Kenny wasn’t having it.  Next up was hair spray – once again Kenny wanted to buy some cheap generic junk.  What!?  Hairspray from the grocery store?  Uh. no.  I would be getting my Paul Mitchell from the salon thank you very much.  It went on like this for the next hour – Kenny trying desperately to buy the cheapest possible option, going on and on about our sad little budget while I fought tooth and nail, desperately trying to hang on to the life I was used to under mom and dad’s roof.  We finally came to blows in the broom isle.  There was just NO WAY I was sweeping my floor with that cheap piece of crap broom…

{February, 28th 1997 – the night Kenny and I were engaged — looking WAY too young to get married!}
The famous “Cranapple fight” is one we remember and laugh about often.  Thankfully we’ve both matured quite a bit since then (at least we like to think so!).  While we don’t fight over what to buy in the grocery store anymore, we do have VERY different personalities and have to work hard to keep our marriage a happy one.  

Last week I went to a wedding shower for a friend.  Before presents were opened, each guest was asked to share a bit of marriage advice for the soon to be bride.  I felt myself saying amen and amen to everything that was said.  Great advice for anyone about to get married and even better reminders for those of us who have been married for a while.

Here’s some of the advice that was shared:

- Don’t be in a rush to have kids.  Enjoy that special time together when it’s just the two of you.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Really.  Your spouse will do a thousand little things that irritate you. Let the little stuff roll off your shoulder.  You’ll both be a much happier couple if you do.
- “You can be right or you can stay married.”  When you can tell an argument is escalating, be the one to step back and say I’m sorry.
- Make date nights a priority.  ESPECIALLY after you have kids.  Prioritize and plan for time together with just the two of you.
- Don’t think that your spouse can read your mind!  Be specific about what you want/need in the relationship.
- Time apart is good!  It’s important to have things you enjoy doing together and it’s important to have your own hobbies and interests.
- Don’t look to your spouse to make you happy.  Prioritize yourself.  Make time for the things you love that bring you happiness each day.
- Don’t talk badly about your spouse to friends/family.
- Make sure your spouse knows how much you appreciate him/her.  (several ideas were shared about ways to do this – phone calls, notes, little surprises here and there…)
- Make sure that even with the craziness kids bring to your relationship your spouse knows that he/she is still a priority.
- Be a team.  Don’t worry about whose job it is to do what.  Always chip in and work together.
- Have fun together!  Remember to laugh and not take life too seriously.

I threw that last one in myself.  A little advice to me from me. 
And we both lived happily ever after.  Drinking Ocean Spray Cranapple juice all along the way.  
;)
p.s.  I’d love to hear any other sage advice if you have something you’d add to the list!

Comments

  1. says

    Ok, so your husband was here checking out our house today! Sorry, not for sale…but I would love a new neighbor! Aside from location, you should also consider that I bring my favorite neighbors home-baked goods quite often! ;)

  2. says

    that is all great advice! i think the best advice i’ve heard is to take the word “divorce” out of your vocabulary. i think a lot of people jump to that thought (even if they never act on it)- and it can really tear down a marriage. also- think of things for the long-term. it will stop you from saying something you might regret later!

  3. says

    Try not to argue in front of the children. They don’t understand what’s going on and it will stick with them the rest of their lives. I know from experience.

  4. says

    Great words of wisdom. We have the ‘christmas tree’ fight that we laugh about and learned much from :). Enjoy. Be Happy. Appreciate each other and each day. I love that our relationship continues to grow and get better. Time in St. George helps, too!

  5. says

    All good sound advice! I would throw in, don’t chew over your spouse’s shoulder while eating crunchy cereal. It will irritate the heck out of her and cause her to throw your spoon across room.

  6. says

    The cranapple juice fight! Haha! Our was “the bobby pin in the toilet fight”. We’d only been married a couple weeks, and were sharing the mirror in our teeny tiny bathroom as we got ready to go to the temple. I was sticking bobby pins in my hair and accidentally dropped one in the toilet. My husband asked if I was just going to leave it there, and I said, “Yes. It should flush,” and first fight ensued. We continued fighting all the way up to the temple entrance, where we turned around, went home, and husband marched up the hill to school, still mad as could be. I cried for 30 minutes, thinking he’d left me, and humbly stuck my hand in the toilet and pulled the bobby pin out. Right about then, and very apologetic husband came home. We worked things out, discovering that we weren’t really fighting over a bobby pin, but trying to figure out what our roles should be. Lesson learned? Fights are rarely ever about the little things that start them. There’s usually a bigger problem that needs to be worked out, and it takes patience and charity to do that.

  7. says

    we had the same fight in the grocery store on OUR first married grocery store trip :)

    my little bit of advice…never go to bed angry or as the bible says “let the sun not set with you in a provoked state”!

  8. says

    Great advice Erin! I said Amen to many of your ideas and D and I use them as well. Marriage is hard, but great if both people put in the effort!

  9. says

    So funny. My new husband and I had the same arguments on opposite sides. I bought one “Tide” box and then sneakily continued to refill it with generic stuff from the time it was empty so he’d think we were using his favorite :)

    Never make disparaging remarks about him to others. Sometimes that’s hard because a real gripe session with girlfriends seems so cathartic. But friends, mothers and others never forget long after the disagreement is over.

  10. says

    Best advice ever is “Choose your love, Love your choice.” Times get hard and sometimes what keeps us together is remembering we chose this person and our “job’ is to love them even when we don’t like them very much! :)

  11. Lisa says

    Hi Erin, I just wanted to say hi and let you know that I am a fan of your blog all the way over in Perth, Australia! I discovered it a couple of weeks ago and am addicted to reading your posts every night before bed. I love your advice and tips on organising and you are a great read, very funny and entertaining! Cheers from an aussie fan :-)

  12. says

    The best lesson I learned when I was first married was to not tell my parents about any little disagreements. A year later they will bring it up and you won’t even remember what the fight was about!

  13. says

    We will be married 19 years this year. Sometimes I don’t even know how the heck we’ve made it this far, we are such opposites! One thing’s for sure, we never let “divorce” be an option, or even a word in our vocabulary. We are both from broken homes and made a vow that we would never, ever do that to our family. Our kids see us argue and they see us make up. I think it’s a healthy balance and teaches them that even if you disagree or have a fight, it’s OK. Just so long as you still love and respect each other and make up soon. That is what our kids see, and hopefully when they get married and have their first “fight” with their spouse, they will know that it’s a normal part of marriage and will not assume that their marriage is doomed, LOL.

    Also, praying together. As they say, a married couple that prays together stays together :)

  14. Anonymous says

    Great advice, thanks! A little advice I have to share that I wish I had followed better is to not change (too much) the person you were when you fell in love with each other. Like I’m sure that when you were dating, you had a lot of fun together, and laughed at his jokes, and didn’t nag him, etc. Continue to be that same person!

  15. Anonymous says

    No doubt about it, marriage is hard work.

    I wonder, though, what would have happened if your husband had insisted on the generic for everything and never changed his mind?

    What if your income hadn’t gone up and he didn’t work hard to progress in his career?

    My husband hasn’t changed much from the newlywed generic profile. It took him over 8 years to agree to have children, and now 14 years into marriage, we have only one child (a blessing) and my husband continues to nickel and dime everything, would never agree to allow me to stay home with our daughter, and works many, many hours and is away from home so often yet has never once been promoted. I try to remain positive, but it’s not the life I hoped for or have worked hard to help try to build.

    I think sometimes if the other person doesn’t grow, it makes marriage quite complicated to make a happy one.

    I do believe strongly in the list you provided…if both partners are willing to do it.

  16. says

    So funny. We have the ‘brand’ disagreements quite often. I go for what tastes best and is better quality, he goes for cheap. Plus isn’t Ocean Spray usually 100% juice, verses the cheap stuff with a little juice and a lot of sugar? I tell the hubs that in the long run it will save money because we will be healthier, and then he sees the light. :)

  17. says

    great advice!
    mine would be: never buy cheap food. haha.
    and to Anonymouse @May 23, 2011 1:00 PM – your story is so sad. one of my greatest blessings is a husband who has grown! my prayers go out for you!

  18. says

    Advise I got at my bridal shower from my YW leader was, “Take time everyday to talk and touch so you really connect.”

    I was sort of embarrassed at the time but now I see her wisdom. Even holding hands, cuddling, or a big hug and a kiss goes a long way!

    Love your stories Erin!

  19. says

    That is one priceless image–I may never look at cranapple juice the same way again:) I think that’s wonderful advice–especially saying what you need. I know so many gals who just want their guys to figure out what they want without saying it, and it usually doesn’t work that way!

  20. Kath C says

    Resolve + Compromise are two words that come to mind. Always work to resolve the argument rather than trying to win the argument. Compromise – give in to a few things you are not overly phased about, and you will get the same back.

  21. says

    This post has perfect timing for me. I am currently 11 days from getting married myself. Thank you ladies and Gents who have provided tidbits of wedding advice.
    Something I learned in pre-marital councelling was to put your feelings in a box. We as women tend to get emotional and take what the men in our lives say the wrong way. This has already saved us some arguments! He says something in an unkind way untentionally, I put my feelings away and ask calmly what he ment and then tell him how I originally understood it. Usually he apoligizes and tries to watch how he says things to me so I won’t take them the wrong way.

  22. says

    I LOVE this post!

    Since I can’t seem to sleep tonight this post inspired me to write my speech for sister’s upcoming wedding! Thanks so much. I’ve been trying to think of a list of ‘rules’ to add in to my speech! They have their own little set of really silly rules they started when they first started dating and joke about all the time, so I wanted some serious things to replace their “rules” with:)

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