Photo snapped by Kelly ❤
We’re back with another post in our Married Life column! 😉 If you missed our last post, Neal weighed in on how life has changed after marriage–it’s so cute, you don’t want to miss it.
One common question I’ve been asked over and over from engaged and married readers is, “what’s the best piece of marriage advice you’ve ever been given?”
This question is a loaded one. So I think it’s tough to answer. However there is one piece of advice that truly stands out from the rest.
We all know the common phrases–”never go to bed angry,” “learn to compromise,” etc. Right?
Those are fine and great–but the one lesson that has truly made a lasting, lifetime impression on me, came from Neal’s parents. They are the true-life definition of “marriage goals.”
They’ve built a rock-solid marriage of 31 years. All while raising three kids (who all grew up to be incredibly amazing humans, I might add). Including Neal’s little brother with special needs–which is of course, no small feat for any parents. They did this all while working incredibly hard to build and maintain successful careers, and being very involved with their community, family and friends. Somehow, they still manage to make time for one another. The level of respect between them is palpable, rare and special.
They are our marriage heroes and role models in every way, and their secret is simple:
Don’t keep score, you’re on the same team.
This has really been the most effective thing for me to remember whenever we encounter a situation that would typically end in an argument, or anytime I get mad or annoyed with Neal in general (whether it is or isn’t justified 😜).
At the end of the day, nothing is accomplished when you approach a situation standing on opposite sides of the line.
This can be a difficult thing for both of us to keep in check, both having strong personalities and opinions and often opposite ways of doing things by nature–but I think this one attitude, more than anything, has helped our relationship more than anything else–even before we were married–and I know it’s something that our marriage will always be rooted in.
It’s easy to get caught up and feel like you’re playing tug of war, thinking the other person is wrong, that they are purposely being unfair or acting in a specific way to upset you. At times, you may feel that you’ve been putting in more work. Or that they aren’t bringing as much to the table in one area of the marriage or another. Thinking this way is only damaging the both of you. Stop keeping score. Drop the tit for tat mindset. Approaching each argument like a battle will inevitably lead to losing the war in the long run.
I think taking a second to step back and see the big picture is imperative.
Fight for one another, rather than against each other. You’re on the same team!
Of course, this is much easier said than done, but it’s a piece of advice that we try our best to live by!
What do you think? I’d love to hear the best marriage advice you’ve ever heard–whether you are or aren’t married! Ready…go!