Before I met Eddie, I thought that relationships were supposed to be hard. I thought that love wasn’t supposed to be easy, it was something you had to work for, and that in the end it would be worth it. I’m here to tell you that’s not true. Love shouldn’t be hard. Love–true love–is easy. Sometime LIFE is hard, but your relationship, and your love, is what is supposed to make the tough parts of life tolerable… not be the thing that you’re trying to tolerate.
When I met Eddie, I was skeptical that it could be this easy. I tried to sabotage things. I was used to a toxic past relationship where we fought, hateful, verbally abusive fights, but then we made up and just forgot all about the horrible things we had said to each other. That relationship wasn’t love. That was wanting the person to be someone he wasn’t, and being willing to forgive all the horrible things I went through, just because I wanted that fantasy. Thankfully our engagement broke off and weeks later, Eddie strolled into my life.
He taught me what a real gentleman is like. He taught me what it was like to be treated with respect, to be wanted rather than tolerated, and to complement each other and be a team instead of one person being “the boss.” (Let’s face it, I like to be the boss… he still lets me think I am sometimes)
There has never EVER been a single fleeting moment where I wondered if it was worth it with Eddie. It is always worth it. There’s never been an ounce of doubt, of wondering “is this really who I want to be with?” NEVER. There is no one on this earth who knows me better, who knows what I’m thinking, who knows how I’m feeling, as well as he does.
Why do we work so well together? I think there are a few things that we are really really good at, and having those things as a foundation has made our marriage into the strong one it is today.
- Tell the truth. When I first met Eddie, I told him I would rather hear the ugly truth over a colorful lie any day. That even if I didn’t like the truth, I would want to hear it, because finding out I was lied to would make me less likely to trust in the future. We have stood by this guide for our relationship since day one. We don’t keep secrets from each other. When you aren’t truthful with the one person who is supposed to be one half of your team, what is even the point?
- Compromise. One person doesn’t have to be right. Agree to disagree if needed. Eddie and I have fundamental differences about our opinions on certain topics. But we agree to disagree and still support the other person and their right to believe what they want to believe.
- Listen to each other. Have an open mind. Talk about things if they are bothering you. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. If something is wrong, don’t say that they aren’t. Say what’s wrong and then do what you can to fix it as a team. If you aren’t communicating (which means talking AND listening!) then that is going to make things difficult.
- Be a team. Have each other’s back, but also know that because you communicate and are honest, that you will tell each other when the other is out of line. Don’t just blindly follow your partner simply just because they are your partner.
- Forgive. Everyone makes mistakes. Apologize and mean it, don’t just apologize because it’s what you’re supposed to do. And also understand that the apology won’t necessarily make it all better on its own. Let your actions speak louder than your words.
Do I think I have all the answers about marriage? Certainly not. But I do know what a successful, healthy relationship looks like, and these are some of the things that we do that makes marriage be one of the easiest, but most rewarding things I’ve ever done. When we travelled to Mexico in December for a friend’s wedding, we met her grandparents who had been married over 50 years. He may not have realized he was dispensing words of wisdom to us, but what he said stuck with us so much that we still look back on that advice fondly:
Your relationship, that you can control. The other shit, who gives a shit?