So, last time I shared some things I'd learned about marriage from living with my parents for nine months. Let's continue that, now, with number 3:
3. People don't really change (see #2), but they can still surprise you.
After 29 years, I'm pretty sure there are things about each other my parents still don't get. Despite how well they know each other, they are always learning something new about the other person. The key to this is not taking your husband for granted, and not pigeon-holing him into some pre-defined box. And it means not falling into a rut -- it means trying new things, as a couple and as an individual, and expanding both your horizons and your ideas about the other person.
Case in point: Our honeymoon was The Hubs' and my first real trip together -- our first time on a plane together! -- and I discovered something new about him. He's a generally reserved person around people he doesn't know, but he surprised me by chatting up our cab driver, asking him if he was from Aruba, what restaurants he recommended, how the tourism season had been this year. It made me love him even more!
4. It's about the bad times. I cringe when I hear or read people talking about their relationship and saying, "95% of the time, things are great, but that other 5% makes me want to end it...". Nothing is rainbows and puppies 100% of the time, but the tough times shouldn't make you want to run every time. In reality, it's the lows that define you as a couple. No matter how bad things get, you should always have each other's backs. And realizing that the tough times are just as important as the happy times in building your relationship makes them easier to bear and makes you less apt to want to throw in the towel at every little bump in the road. I can honestly say that, even when The Hubs and I have hit a rough patch, I never think it's lacking. Our relationship is great 100% of the time, even when it's not, because we're always a team and we're committed to making it work. And I know my parents have had tough times too, but how they've navigated those challenges has made their marriage last for 29 years.
You might notice these marriage lessons aren't super idealistic or romantic. What can I say? I guess I'm a realist at heart. But seriously, it's not all butterflies, people!
Anyways, enough lecturing. In only a short ten days, we'll be closing on our first house and reentering the grown-up population, at least in theory. While I did say I've enjoyed living with my parents, I'm more than ready to leave. It was nice being taken care of, but after a while I started to feel like I was losing the adult part of my identity. Come home from work, watch TV until mom says it's dinner time, eat dinner, watch some more TV... yeah, it sounds fun in theory, but after a few months, the grown-up part of you starts to feel guilty and a little unfulfilled. Who knew I'd miss dishes? I think we're more than ready for the adult responsibility headed our way!
P.S. This blog has a semi-new design and some new pages on design and decor ideas for our new house. What do you think? Soon this blog will feature more of our trials and tribulations in home ownership, like remodeling, decorating and figuring out how to use a riding lawnmower. Yes, apparently I have to learn how to mow a lawn. There are some adult responsibilities I'd rather leave to my imagination...