Marriage Advice Every Couple Needs To Hear
The internet is full of marriage advice and tips on strengthening your relationship, keeping the love alive, and getting through the inevitable rough patches that accompany sharing a life with someone. It’s all valuable advice, even when it’s sort of sucky or maybe doesn’t quite apply to your situation. Being in a long-term partnership is difficult, no matter how well-suited you are to one another, and it’s comforting to know other people have to work at it just as much as you do.
Like a lot of people, I was young and stupid when I got married. I got lucky and found a partner who is really great for me, but that doesn’t change the fact that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. We got a lot of tips and suggestions from family and friends, but there’s one piece of advice that stuck out for me; one that I’ve gone back and revisited again and again in the time I’ve been married:
“Just remember you can’t both lose your shit at the same time. You have to take turns.”
I don’t even remember who said it to me, but I know what it means to me and how I’ve applied it to our lives every day since. In some ways, I think it was the most realistic thing anyone has ever told me about marriage.
When your partnership is young and new, it feels like there will never come a time when it’s boring or unsatisfying, that the rough patches won’t be that rough, and no matter what happens you’ll get through it because you’re ohmygod so in love. It’s kind of like when you have a baby and you think you’re ready for the sleepless nights and all the ways your life is going to change, but then it actually happens and you can’t believe how woefully unprepared you really were.
I didn’t know as a newlywed that I’d have severe postpartum depression or how many days I’d spend in therapy. I didn’t know that we’d go through estrangements from parents, fights with family, cross country moves, and money problems. I didn’t know how difficult having kids would be, or how much the stresses of life could drain and exhaust us. It hasn’t been all bad, of course, but on the toughest days I’ve thought about that little piece of advice and held it close while I soldiered on.
To me, that advice is two-fold. It cautions that yes, there will be times when each of you completely loses your shit. There will be times when things are overwhelming for both of you, and times when they’re only overwhelming for you one of you, as you are still two individuals on two different paths. But, it also reminds you that through it all, you have to do your best to hold each other up. Take turns needing support and being supportive. Give as much as you get and don’t take hard times as a sign that all is lost. It might not be the most romantic advice in the world but it’s realistic, and sometimes being real is more important.