Dear Bride Who Crashed Our Concert
I want to tell you what I wish someone would have told me.
Your wedding was beautiful. I can tell. You didn’t miss a detail. You spared no expense. Your wedding party looked amazing and sophisticated despite crashing the small rock concert where I was.
If your wedding was picture perfect, I’m glad. But please know that everything you created this weekend isn’t the real stuff. It’s so far from it.
Know that it will be the last picture perfect day of your marriage. But, that’s where the real beauty lies. Don’t curate your marriage. Let it be imperfect.
I failed twice at this adventure you’re embarking upon. What I’ve gotten good at is weeding through what matters and what doesn’t. I wish I had that knowledge twenty years ago. I didn’t, so I’m giving it to you.
What you’re willing to live with is less important than what you can’t live without. There will be annoyances. Habits that drive you crazy. Quirks. Compromise those if you have everything you can’t live without. Know what those things are and communicate their importance. Reinforce that every chance you can. Appreciate those things.
Know when not to fight. It’s more than just choosing your battles, it’s understanding why you’re fighting. How he loads the dishwasher is nothing to argue about.
If you’re arguing over the dishwasher, the dishwasher is not really the problem. Find out what’s really wrong. Dig deeper.
Be kind with your words. There may be times that you don’t think it’s true, but your partner is listening. He hears what you say but he also hears what you don’t say. Choose your words carefully. Find what needs to be said and say it in the most loving way you can. People are better versions of themselves when you’re kind to them.
Anger has an expiration date. It’s okay to go to bed angry. Sometimes, it’s better to wait to hash it out. Sometimes, you find you wake up and you’re not angry anymore. But, if it’s still there, don’t let it stay too long.
Anger is the most unwelcome house guest you can entertain.
Sex isn’t a weapon. Withholding physical affection as a form of punishment never makes anyone feel better. It’s amazing how much reconciliation you can find with a person when you move the communication from a verbal level to a physical one. And emotional one. Frankly, it’s great sex. Have the great sex.
Temper your expectations. You’ve built a fantasy in your head about what your new life will be like. The house, the kids, the dog. We’ve all done it. Now let it go. It’s a beautiful idea. Let it go. You deserve to have an amazing life but what form that life takes is not often up to us. Bend to your life.
Above all else, never stop working. There will be days that it’s easy and days you just don’t want to. Do it anyway. Ask him to do it, too. Remind him you’re in this together.