My husband and I met at Mohawk, we have enjoyed eight blissful years of courtship, we survived the long distance struggle shortly after graduating while we both moved away to begin our careers, we bought and renovated a home together, we started a business together, and planned a wedding for 250 guests with relative ease. So after saying our “I Do’s” and settling back in to regular every-day life we thought things would continue on in a similar fashion and we were right…for the most part.
When we first got engaged, we received a plethora of unsolicited marriage advice from kind heart-ed well-meaning people who drove me to drink and I promise I won’t subject you to the same nauseating list of fortune cookie sayings. Instead, here’s a list of the things that you won’t find in a fortune cookie, but you sometimes need to hear:
- The honeymoon phase is NOT the best part, life together IS!
- There are certain topics that are GUARANTEED to start an argument but that doesn’t mean you should avoid them.
- Putting effort into romance is important and is the responsibility of BOTH parties!
- Sometimes, cutting the lawn or doing the dishes CAN be more romantic than a fancy night on the town in a stretched limousine. (and sometimes it’s not…)
- The way your parents did things is NOT the only way those things can be done.
While everyone may believe that their way is the right way to load the dishwasher, make the bed, sort the laundry, cut a milk bag, set the table etc, the point is that your partner has chosen to help take on this task and is trying to contribute to the household effort. That’s what should matter, and that’s the lesson I learned in the first six months of marriage.
Now I’m sure there are a few single folks out there reading this article thinking it has no tid-bits of wisdom for them to take away but this isn’t specific to romantic relationships. These deep meaningful connections are the building blocks to life and they can be found and developed with a friend, sibling, parent, partner, spouse, neighbour etc. It’s also important that you don’t try and avoid these challenges by only associating with people who think the exact same way as you. It’s actually fun to work through these differences together and have these conversations with the people in your life; in the end it will strengthen the bond you have with one another. Plus, you never know when someone may introduce you to a new way of doing something that actually makes more sense than the way you’ve been doing it your whole life. (2-0 in our house, not that we are keeping score…)
I am glad I have a partner in life that I can fight with, laugh with, fix stuff with and write very public articles like this one about. That is because we support each other, encourage each other and look after each other every single day. My wish for all of you reading this article is that you have or find someone in your life that you can learn and grow with, and share this amazing adventure called life with. In the words of Sam Keen “We come to love not by finding a perfect person but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”
– Kat Clark (Cullen)
Broadcasting – Television & Communications Media, ’10
Follow Kat @katkx947