5 Things I’ve Learned From Marriage

5 Things I've Learned from Marriage

Today is mine and my husband’s 8 year wedding anniversary, so I wanted to share a special post in honor of that. It’s kind of hard to believe it has been that many years since we said “I do”, because in so many ways it feels like it was just yesterday that we exchanged our vows. But in the last 8 years of marriage, I’ve definitely learned a lot, so today I wanted to share 5 important lessons  that I’ve learned from marriage over the years.

5 Things I’ve Learned From Marriage

Full disclaimer, I love my husband more than anything and I truly couldn’t live without him in my life. But, like most of us out there I initially had some false images in my head of what marriage was going to be like. I also might add that the first few years of marriage were a little bumpy simply because learning the in’s and out’s of your better half is always a surprise in itself. But if there’s one thing that I know and hold to be true with marriage, it’s that you have to constantly work at it- together.

Spending Time Together is Crucial

Even after the honeymoon phase is over, spending time together on a regular basis is so important. It’s even more important when you have kids, as a strong marriage is the foundation of a loving family. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a “date night”, but can be something as simple as watching a movie on the couch or cooking a meal together. The key here is that you’re doing something “together” and that it’s quality time. My  husband and I don’t get to see each other very often due to his police schedule, but when we do we try to make the most of it by putting other tasks aside and making “us” time a priority.

It’s Not About Winning or Losing

My husband and I are both pretty competitive by nature, so needless to say arguments have always been fun. Initially, we both wanted to be right or wrong on something, but we quickly realized that marriage simply doesn’t work that way. It isn’t about who is right and who is wrong, but rather it’s about learning to work through disagreements in a calm, mature manner, and not worrying about who gets the final say. When arguments happen, it’s important to openly communicate with one another and work through the disagreement right then and there, instead of holding grudges and letting it manifest into a week long argument. In the end, it’s a partnership and you only truly win if you’re both happy.

Support One Another

Marriage is all about supporting one another and building that foundation of trust. At the end of the day my husband is my best friend and I confide in him with everything that is going on in my life, and vice-versa. When he has a rough day, I’m there to help him sort through it. When I’m at my wits end, he’s always the one who helps me calm down and figure things out. Having that person who fully supports you in all areas of your life is golden, and that trust and support is what really keeps a marriage strong.

Remember the Little Things

My husband and I might be a little different from other couples, but we personally don’t go hog wild and crazy in buying each other fancy gifts for every occasion. That’s not to say that we don’t ever buy each other gifts, but we like doing small, special sentiments for one another. My husband loves it when I cook him his favorite meal, and I’m like a kid again if he picks me up my favorite kind of ice cream at random. Even the smaller things like when he records me a special show on TV (i.e. cheesy Hallmark movies) or leaves me a sweet note on the counter, is something that really just makes me love him that much more. It really is the little things in life.

Always Stay Young at Heart

Last but certainly not least, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to never stray from the reasons you fell in love with one another. My husband’s sense of humor and ability to always make me smile even on my worst days is something that I never want to lose sight of. Remembering to always stay young at heart and to have spontaneity in the relationship is so important. We recently “re-created” one of our first dates and it was a lot of fun to sit and talk about how far we’ve come over the years and to rejoice in the fact that we’re still just as crazy over one another as we were back then.


Although marriage is a lot of work, it’s a truly wonderful thing and I’m happy to have found my perfect partner to spend my life with. I hope you enjoyed today’s post, and hope you have a great week ahead.

If you’re married let me know in the comments what lessons you’ve learned over the years! How many years of marriage have you celebrated with your significant other?

Thanks for stopping by!-Cara

89 Comments

  1. Pingback: Life Lately in Photos- Spring Edition - Kindly Unspoken
  2. I’ve never been married, so I find tips like these fascinating for my “maybe one day” future!!!

    1. Aw, it’s amazing what lessons you learn from your relationships. Communication and respect is a biggie. πŸ™‚

  3. My husband and I celebrated our third anniversary last week and I have to agree with everything you’ve said! It’s not about winning or losing was something we had to learn early on in our relationship!! Also, I would say that saying “never to go bed angry” doesn’t really work for us! Ha! We rarely ever fight, but do you know the time when we are most irrational? When we are angry, upset, and tired. I’ve found that just going to sleep and looking at the situation in the morning with fresh eyes and a clear (well-rested) mind can make a WORLD of difference.

    1. That’s so true! It’s always good to talk things out after a good night’s rest. Happy Anniversary to you both!

  4. Such great marriage advice!! I love the tips about being on the same team, cheering each other on, communicating and remembering the little things to keep the spark alive πŸ™‚

  5. Happy Anniversary! I love all the things you shared! Marriage is work, but is worth it when you are married to your best friend. One thing I try to not overlook is spending time together. It is so easy to get caught up in a routine that keeps us from having that quality time together. Remembering to date each other is extremely important to me.

    1. Thank-you! That’s so important, Erin! You have to stay focused on keeping that spark alive and remembering why you fell in love in the first place. πŸ™‚

  6. Happy 8 year anniversary! We’re going on 12 years next month! Seems like it goes by in a flash, like didn’t we just get married? I think the one thing we learned and still to this day live by is to wake up and choose to love each other. Here’s to many more years!

    1. Thanks so much, and wow congrats! So many people think that after they say “I do” it’s all just a breeze, but you still have to put forth effort into your relationship in order for it to stay strong. πŸ™‚

  7. This is really great!!! I love that you can learn and continue to grow!! Awesome I can’t wait to read more like this!

  8. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Love this list, definitely agree with them all especially staying young at heart and spending time together. We took a day trip yesterday, and it was so nice to just have the day together <3
    Green Fashionista

    1. Thank-you! I’m sure now that you have a little one you can relate to the importance of setting aside time to spend together one-on-one. It really does make you a better parent when you have that strong bond with one another.

  9. I have to agree with you on all of these things!!! But especially supporting each other!!! And that it isn’t a winning or losing thing. I see so many “TV couples” that are constantly trying to “win” in an argument or to get something they want, and I am like…that isn’t how it should be!!!

    1. Exactly! I think we all start our marriages out with petty little arguments, which is so silly. I can remember so many instances that we would fight over the dumbest things, and I’m glad our relationship has now evolved to where we don’t feel the need to compete for who’s right or wrong. It’s all a learning experience.

  10. Happy Anniversary! This is such a sweet post and so true! Marriage (an relationships in general) are very tough and take constant work. Its definitely a learning experience for both people. Each of your points are so important. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank-you! I think it’s important for newlyweds and even those who aren’t yet married to know and realize that no relationship out there is perfect, and it takes work. Sometimes we get those fairy tale facades in our head, which are simply not realistic.

      1. Yes for sure! After being in a relationship for almost 12 years then a new one, it was very hard for me to stop comparing the two relationships and was one of my biggest issues. The relationships were completely different as well. Things started improving when I stopped comparing but I still need to remind myself of this from time to time. I think we all get this fairytale idea of what a marriage or relationship is supposed to be because of tv and movies which are NOT real life.

        1. Exactly! Hallmark movies are cute, but it’s good to stay mindful that they are not like the real world lol. Glad to hear you’re happy now! πŸ™‚

  11. The support one is so key to me… I think it makes such a different in a relationship to know you have someone who has your back in all things.
    Marriage is hard.. but the lessons we learn make a different. & its always about learning more πŸ˜‰

    1. I agree! Just knowing that at the end of the day my husband will always support me no matter what, is simply golden. πŸ™‚

  12. I couldn’t agree more about being on the same team and supporting each other. In fact, I’ve had a lot of really tough days and my husband’s response is “I want to calm you down the same way you do for me when I’m really stressed or anxious…” I just need to be willing to accept that from him. πŸ˜‰ I think the other big thing for me is to honor your spouse – I know that everyone gets frustrated from time to time, but I try really hard not to share my frustrations with others or say negative things about my husband to others.

    1. Yes! Honor, trust, and communication are key! Having that mutual respect for one another really does go a long way.

  13. I loved this post! One thing I’ve learned for sure is communication is key. I’m lucky that i can always tell my hubby anything and we can find a way to work through things together. Hopeyou have a wonderful week lovely! XO- Kim

  14. What a sweet way to commemorate your anniversary! I think spending time together is so important. Some people think that because you live together and are married you spend enough time together. But it’s really about spending quality time together!

    – Claudia

    1. Thanks! Exactly! Actually making a concerted effort to spend quality time together is a must.

  15. All great advice! I love the remember the little things–my husband and I are like you guys, we don’t spend a TON on gifts. I appreciate the little things so much more than a grand gift once a year…and some of those small things are the spending time together πŸ™‚ Happy anniversary!

    1. Thank-you! With our schedules I’ll be honest, it’s SO nice when we get to spend one on one time together because it’s such a rarity. Learning to value those little moments is so key. πŸ™‚

  16. I’m not married but I saw this post and definitely wanted to read it! I have been with my partner since 2005 – when we were just turning 15 LOL. We have two children together and would be married if we could afford the wedding we wanted but may one day decide to just have a registry office wedding followed by a bigger ceremony at a later date.

    I could relate to all of the things you said so I guess we are probably married at heart lol!

    Emmie xo

    1. Haha, try making it something fun that you both want to do and then maybe you’ll both naturally want to spend more one on one time together. πŸ™‚

  17. This is beautifully written! I have been married to my husband for almost two years and I feel like the last 6 months or so we have grown SO much as a couple. Marriage can be tough but what excites me is that we have so much to learn and we will grow together! Thank you so much for sharing what you have learned in your marriage and being so honest. I love hearing from couples who have been where we’ve been.
    -Shavon from dreaminginbabyblue.blogspot.com

    1. Thank-you Shavon! I was always given the advice prior to marriage to make sure we always grow together, and it has held so true. πŸ™‚

  18. Congratulations to your anniversary. And this article is so kindly written, it also made me feel like I want to be married already. I think the couple respect each other, it’s always gonna be a great marriage.

  19. These are really great things to keep in mind. It’s so easy to get caught in winning or losing but really, you’re on the same team.

  20. Cara this is such a beautiful post! I love reading a little bit more about your marriage and what makes it special. Also, I completely agree with you on each point. I think we make our marriages special because we think of them that way and it takes work each and every day to achieve that!

    1. Thank-you Jennifer! Putting forth effort is a must to keep a relationship strong! πŸ™‚

  21. Happiest Anniversary to you and your husband. It’s so true to make time for each other. Chuck and I always love cooking Sunday breakfast together and it is always fun. We always try to have fun whatever we are doing and goofing around- it keeps things interesting. Laughing together is so important πŸ™‚ love your tips- hope you get to celebrate together.

    1. Thanks Emelia! Goofy is practically our middle names around these parts haha. You have to stay young at heart though! πŸ˜‰

  22. Loved this post πŸ™‚ Getting and being married is one of the best things I’ve ever done and there isn’t anything that could prepare me for whole mutually hard and rewarding it is. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  23. Such a beautifully written post. Although Josh and I aren’t married, this is something I still can read, appreciate and apply to my own relationship! Supporting each other is huge and spending time together is always important, too! Love what you mentioned here, Cara.

    1. Thanks Kiara! Making time for one another is soo key. I’ve found that’s what really keeps our relationship strong is ensuring we always make quality time for one another.

    1. Spending time together is so important Andrea. It’s what really makes the relationship stay strong. πŸ™‚

  24. Happy anniversary to your and your husband! My husband and I are also both competitive and had a lot of “fun” arguments. As we’ve gotten older, the drama is less fun and we’ve gotten older, happier, and boring-er as a couple. But we’re stupid for each other, so we have that. πŸ˜‰

  25. I love these! All so sweet and true. I too value the smaller more sentimental gifts/moments here and there over a lavish gift on a specific holiday!

  26. I love these! Supporting one another is crucial. I remember one time that I just didn’t agree with my husband and what he was doing on a work project, and he let me know how much it hurt him. I always remember that now because even if you don’t agree, you can still support them. It’s a hard balance sometimes, but it’s worth it.

    1. Thanks! Supporting each other is huge, because at the end of the day it shows that you truly do care.

  27. Happy anniversary to a beautiful and sweet couple! These are wonderful tips and many of what I have kept my husband and I thriving! The little things are truly the most important and definitely to not sweat the small stuff. Have a wonderful day of love sweetheart!

  28. Happy Anniversary to you and your Husband. Couldn’t agree more with all your ideas on how to keep a healthy marriage. I should know it has been 35 years for us.

  29. Not about winning or losing…SO TRUE. We saw a couple friend fight about this in front of our eyes recently, each trying to be “right.” No bueno! It’s about the love, not any sort of competition.

    Coming Up Roses

  30. Happy anniversary!

    It’s the little things for us too – we really don’t buy each other big or fancy gifts.

    1. Thank-you! We’re both pretty laid-back and easy to please lol. Give me a pack of peanut butter m&ms and load the dishwasher for me and I’m a happy gal! πŸ™‚

  31. don’t sweat the small stuff; support each other; continue to foster your own passions/dreams even if that’s outside of the marriage (ie. you don’t have to be joined at the hip 24/7); it’s ok to have a social life outside of your marriage.

    1. Yes! That’s such a good one too! A lot of people think you have to give up your dreams to be married, but that’s ludacris. You can 100% still pursue all your dreams and goals, you just have to make sure to include them.

  32. I totally agree with all of these. I really like that you said that it’s not about winning or losing. Because if it starts to be a competition then everybody loses.

  33. Congratulations on 8 years! My husband and I have been together for 10 years, married for just under two. We share two amazing daughters – ages 8 and nearly 2. We had a very rocky start and were on again/off again for the first four years. For me personally, I would say that within the last year, I’ve found a real peace with being married to my husband. I’ve made an effort to remember all the reasons I love the man when I look at him and to keep that in the front of my mind, especially during trying times. I remind myself repeatedly that he loves me despite my many flaws and once I really accepted that, I realized that I too loved him despite his many flaws. I think it’s important to realize that people aren’t perfect, love isn’t perfect. There are so many imperfections in love, but that’s what makes it yours. Once I embraced that philosophy, I found I looked at my husband with a new level of kindness and grace.

    1. Thank-you! That is great Jen and oh so true. Nobody is perfect, no relationship is perfect and learning to just love the one you’re with (flaws and all) is what it’s all about. πŸ™‚

  34. These tips are so good for someone in the new stages of a relationship to keep in mind. I’ve been dating this guy for 6-months now, but these bits of advice are still so useful and important! Nice post!

  35. AW happy 8 years!! I’m heading into year two of my marriage and although it’s been harder than I anticipated, it’s also been so much better.

    1. Thank-you! I think year one is the most trying for sure, but it’s rewarding with every year that you’re together and you truly do learn and grow with one another. πŸ™‚

  36. Such a beautiful post! These are some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years too. Another lesson that I’ve learned is to understand and learn about your partner’s love language because only then will you really know how they’re showing you that you mean the world to them; and most of the time, it’s not how you want it to be.

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    1. That’s so true, Belle. And a lot of times that can be the unknown frustration in a relationship, simply because one person shows affection through buying things, while the other person needs affection in a different way.

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