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The year was 1999 and a boy from the suburbs of Chicago and a girl from small town Illinois crossed paths at a residence hall floor event. That first night he didn’t even notice her, but she still remembers how cute he looked – she assumed he was much older than she was. How wrong she was on that one, as he’ll remind anyone and everyone. [Editor’s Comment: she is MUCH older]
The boy and the girl became friends and he picked on her for living in a small town and she picked on him for his love of all things nerding. Eventually, after deciding they did in fact like each other as more than friends they began dating. After a formal dance they went to together he asked if he could call her his girlfriend. Who knew that this was only the beginning of a long love story?!?
2 houses, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 advanced degrees, many jobs, and 11 years later the story continues.
11 valuable lessons I’ve learned in 11 years of marriage
- You will not always like each other, but you should always love each other
- Your significant other does not have to be your everything, nor should he/she be. You have your own interests and hobbies and you have friends that fulfill other needs in your life. It’s not healthy to expect your significant other to be everything to you.
- You can go to bed mad and sometimes you should. In some instances a good night’s sleep will shine a new perspective on an argument.
- You need to continue to date your significant other: get a babysitter, go out, and refrain from talking about children and family responsibilities.
- You will find new reasons to love your significant other every year. 11 years ago I never could have known what an amazing father he would be and how much more I could love him for that.
- Throw out the gender stereotypical roles that existed in the 50’s. Brian hates mowing the lawn and I hate doing the laundry so I mow and he does laundry.
- Do not compare your marriage or life to anyone else’s. You do not know what really goes on behind closed doors. Love your life and take care of your marriage.
- Be honest with each other when it’s something major and when it’s not. If we hadn’t been honest in that first year we’d both still be eating disgusting cilantro soup. [Editor’s comment: it wasn’t that bad]
- No matter how tough life gets or how bad your day is you still have each other to count on and turn to. At home with this person you can let your guard down and be yourself.
- Be each other’s biggest supporter. The amount of support and belief you have in your partner is directly related to what they will accomplish and vice versa.
- Forgive and forget. It is not healthy to hold a grudge. [Editor’s comment: except that one time Megan threw out a perfectly working microwave] Oh yeah, there was that one. I’ll never live that one down.
I feel fortunate that I was able to meet Brian at such a young age [Brian reminds me that I still wasn’t as young as him] and we have had the opportunity to spend nearly 16 years together already. He is my biggest supporter and sometimes he believes in me even more than I believe in myself. In the last year of making this blog a dream to a reality he has been my biggest supporter. When I reluctantly ran the idea by him a year ago he thought it was great right away. I knew it wasn’t just words either because he’d bring it up in conversation and bring me ideas. In the past year at times when I wanted to give up he didn’t miss a beat when he said no. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without his support, encouragement and unconditional love (and I’ll admit I’m not easy to love).
What valuable lessons do you have about marriage?
Side notes: My editor is getting much more outspoken the longer he has “worked” for minuteswithmeg. And “much older” is actually 53 days for those of you that were wondering –pretty sure that doesn’t qualify me for cougar status. And the cilantro soup – he’s being nice it was HORRIBLE.