Yesterday my husband and I celebrated ten months married. When you read that you might be laughing at the fact that I’m dishing out advice like a seasoned married person – don’t worry, I’m laughing with you.
Last month I had the honour of being asked to speak at my uncle’s wedding. He asked me to write something from the heart for him and his future husband, and so I put my mind to the past few months of my own life and tried to be honest about what I had learned. Disclaimer – this could all be wrong. Except for the bit about the psychic.
First – here is a picture of the happy couple ❤
1: Your partner is not, except on rare lucky occasions, a psychic
This means you need to learn to explain what you need, rather than assume that your partner knows just because they love you. (Thanks Alain de Botton for this bit of advice, by the way).
2: Love is a second chance
Love is a chance to be the very best version of yourself. To amplify the goodness and kindness in you, and share that with another person. Marriage allows you to do this for the rest of your life. That being said…
3: Nobody is perfect
At our wedding, Sam’s cousin Kevin gave us some very valuable advice. He said
“You choose your partner not because they are perfect, but because they are perfect for you. There is a big difference. They have what life wants and needs to teach you. Some lessons are hard, especially the ones that deal with your ego and insecurities…Marriage will bring out the best in you, it will also bring out the worst. No one will make you happier, and no one will be as proficient at pressing the wrong buttons as your partner.”
4: You must own up
See 3 (above) – nobody is perfect. At a friend’s wedding a few years ago the pastor said there are two phrases that are essential to make a marriage work. The first – I love you. The second – I’m sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me. Hopefully, you get to say the first more than the second, but just in case I’d suggest practising in the mirror.
5: Be honest – to yourself and to your partner
Love and marriage require you to be incredibly vulnerable – to acknowledge that there are parts of you that sometimes feel unlovable and to ask another to love them. This is an act of radical bravery.
6: Don’t worry about how anyone else does ‘being married’
Love is not a competition. There are no marriage Olympics. Your marriage doesn’t have to look a certain way to be good. It has to meet your specific needs as a couple. Love is not in grand gestures – though they can be very nice – it’s in the little things that only the two of you notice. Treasure those.
7: You are not alone
Though the wedding day is a day about just you two, if you look around you’ll notice that everyone at your ceremony is there because they love you, both separately and in your togetherness. This is your support system, and they are not only there for the wedding day.
8: Marriage is not just the wedding
I know that at the wedding you feel like your hearts might explode with love, but amazingly there is still room for more. More love and more happiness. Put as much effort and thought into each day of your marriage as you have into today.
9: Write down your vows
Keep them somewhere special so that you can look at them often. Remember what you’ve promised, and keep your promises.
10: Marriage is magic
Always feel grateful that in the world of billions of people, you found each other and chose each other. Enjoy the adventure and never forget how lucky and wonderful it is to love and be loved.