The key to my marriage.

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When we met it’s certainly was not love at first sight. We did not get along and I thought he was a little goofy with his skater shoes and braces. He felt the same, but through our complete hatred for each other blossomed something very real.
We moved fast. Probably faster than anyone I know. I look back and sometimes think we had to have been young, dumb kids. We took a risk, not only with our happiness, but we knowingly threw a baby into the mix. Best leap of faith I have ever taken.

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I’m going to be totally cliche and say it was not easy. Nothing in life worth it is ever easy though. The first year we were together was not all magically honeymoon happiness. We got pregnant with Bentleigh 6 months into our relationship, purposely, and after that it went downhill and fast. We both had this vision in our heads of a perfect pregnancy and it was far from that. I was so sick and miserable. I lost so much weight and eventually had to quit my job. I was drained physically and mentally and it took a huge toll on our relationship. He did not understand and I just wanted to make him as miserable as I was. He fully admits to wanting to leave many times and I do not blame him one bit. Our friends did not want to be around us because we fought so much. No one thought we would make it till then end of my pregnancy. The one thing I knew was I did not want my child to grow up like me. It was not until I went into early labor that things changed. We both realized we needed each other more than ever.
Fast forward to Bentleigh’s birth. It was the most magical moment we have both ever experienced. I saw how much he loved Beni and that made me love him even more. It brought out all the emotions I had buried down for him when we we’re fight every day. After Bentleigh was born we had 3 month till he was set to leave for training for deployment. We needed more than ever to figure this relationship thing out.

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The the one thing I knew was we needed to figure out who the other was. I purchased The book All About Me and gave it to him to pack in his bag. The plan was to spend the first few months of the deployment filling the book out and getting to know ourselves better. What we learned is there was so much that you do not think to ask when you first develop a relationship. I fully recommend this book to every couple no matter how long you have been together. And while you are at it do What I Love About You. If you did not already know how much you meant to each other this will open the flood gates. Being away from each other during the deployment was also the most challenging thing either if us had ever been through. If you can survive a deployment you can survive anything.

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So how did we go from being this new couple who survived a deployment while trying to learn how to love each other and ourselves still to what I would consider my perfect relationship? It was a lot easier than I would have ever expect.
1. We stopped putting ourselves first and put each other first. I can admit I was very selfish at the beginning of our relationship. I had went from being an only/youngest child and getting whatever I wanted and not having to share to living with someone and sharing everything. We had to learn how to be a team and not just give 50/50 but 100% of ourselves. Shaeson has always been good about this so really I was the one that needed to do most the learning.
2. I went back to the basics and started to flirt with my husband, which ladies is more important than you think. If you stop flirting with your partner the spark you used to feel will eventually die. There is a reason you feel in love so find it. I still am very much a flirt. It is just my personality. At some point I started to think “oh well we are already married.” I do not care if you have been married for a year or 20 years, get your flirt on! Show affect, hold hands, hug, and kiss.
3. We date each other and make time for each other. This has been our biggest downfall since him being home from deployment. I focus 99% of my time on the kids and unless we are trying to have more kids I paid him no attention. That is not the case anymore. We take the time to spend with each other whether we go to a dinner and movie or just to get coffee. We have conversations and can talk about what our goals are together and separate.

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4. Do not talk negatively about your partner. I do not care how big of a douche-bag you think they are being if you tear them down enough they will fight back. I was doing this purposely when I was pregnant with Bentleigh, because I wanted to tear him down.
5. Have a sex life. Pretty self explanatory. I do not care if you have to plan it out.
6. Do not sweat the small stuff. Shaeson does so many things that I could nag over every day, i.e. he leaves all the cabinets open, leaves his clothes right next to the bed, and never shuts the shower curtain. I used to get on him everyday about it. One day I made the decision to just deal. They are such small things I did not want our relationship to suffer because of it.
7. Do NOT post your drama on FB, IG, Twitter, whatever your outlet is. You married each other and not the world and everyone does not need to know every time you are fighting or your dirty laundry. Get off the computer/phone and go talk about the problem. If you need some space that is great, but when you post about how horrible you spouse is for everyone to see what are you trying to accomplish? The next time you feel the need to post about a fight I want you to stop, sit back, and think about how you would feel if you got on FB and saw that post about yourself.
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8. Have fun. We are constantly joking around and laughing with each other. Shaeson and I never saw that in our parents. I have seen not only a change in us but also a change in the boys. We all have fun together and the memories we are making now are unforgettable.
9. Do not threaten to leave. I used to play this game, “Well if your life is so horrible then just leave.” Guess what if he wanted to I am sure he could find someone else that would make him happy and not play this game. So why do it. If your not really going to leave then do not say it. The grass is not always greener on the other side.
10. COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE! Talk about everything. Be honest and open about everything. Although I have no idea what he is talking about or what any of it means I will sit and talk with Shaeson about his day at work when he gets home and he listens to me about how I cleaned out the closet or organized the toy room for the 100th time haha. Either way we communicate about everything.

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This may not work for everyone, but it is what worked for us. We are the happiest we have ever been. We rarely fight if ever. I can not even remember the last time we fought. And will it be this easy forever, probably not. We know we have to continually work on it, but once you get the basics down the rest will come to you. I promise if you just put in 50% more than your doing now you will see a change. Being the best husband and wife we can be also made us the best parents we can be. It is all connected. Love with no boundaries and you will get infinite love back!

“You will forever be my always.”

-Elexis ❤

AM Photography

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