5 Tips for a Sweet and Savory Marriage:
It is no big secret that Chef and I had the hardest year of our marriage thus far. Somewhere between him running a restaurant, us welcoming our second child, and me entering the workforce, we let our marriage take the backseat. Once we hit our rock-bottom in June, we decided we were going to take back our love and fight for each other. We had too much love for one another and the life we built together for five years to just give up. Giving up would honestly have been the easy way out. It was much harder to address our issues, communicate, and work through them, but we did it. We were able to build up our marriage back up and are better than ever! Our experience this past year taught me a lot about the amount of effort that it actually takes to sustain a happy marriage with open communication. These are my tips from my experience.
- Be Their Biggest Fan: This world is full of judgment, and other people waiting to see you fail. When your home, it should be a safe haven, void of judgment and full of acceptance. Chef constantly builds me up and makes me feel confident that I can do anything that I set my mind to. When he is stressed in the kitchen, I stay calm and offer him encouraging words even if I’m stressing too, because I know what he is capable of as a Chef. I believe in him.
- DO NOT Talk to Friends or Family about Your Problems. They may mean well, but they love you more than they love your significant other. If you constantly rant to them about the fights and negatives in your marriage, they are most likely not going to offer you words of encouragement. Instead, they are going to get defensive of you and blame your significant other, thus making you even more confused about the situation. ALWAYS talk to your husband or wife! Talk it out until you both feel comfortable with the issue. I have learned that involving outsiders never helps your marriage.
- Don’t keep Secrets: Secrets, lies, and even white lies are like a cancer in a marriage. In the beginning of our marriage, Chef would tell me white lies to avoid confrontation. As you can imagine, once I found out the truth, it caused more issues than if he would have just been honest from the beginning. They were such silly lies that it made feel like I couldn’t trust him. If he could lie about something so small, what else was he lying about? This past year, the secrets that I kept, separated us significantly. I would lie to him and then feel so guilty and unworthy of his love that I would just push him away. It wasn’t until we laid everything out on the table that we could continue with an open, honest marriage. I regret a lot about what I did, but I NEVER regret telling him the truth.
- Make Your Marriage the #1 Priority: When Chef and I first were married, my Dad told us to wait to have kids. I thought it was because he thought I was too young (which I was), but it was really because we needed time to build a foundation before introducing kids into the mix. Of course we didn’t listen and had kids right away. Looking back, I do wish we would have had time to build our marriage firs, but having kids early taught us the importance of making our marriage the top priority. We always said we would put our marriage first, even before our kids, because if we aren’t happy then they suffer. Although we love our kids more than anything, it is so important that we don’t let them cause problems between us. Being parents is very stressful and it is easy to take it out on your significant other. You have to find a way to ban together and be a team. Our marriage comes first at all times and we always have each other’s back. He just called me actually about a last minute catering that added a little bit of stress. Before he hung up, he said, “Remember what you always say? Don’t stress the small stuff! At least we will be together.” And he is right. Everything outside of our family is miniscule to me in the big picture of life. It is very easy to let life get in the way of your marriage. Between parenting, our careers, and daily stress, we stopped putting effort into our marriage and stopped making it a number one priority. Now, we make our decisions based on what is going to be best for our marriage and always put it above anything or anyone. He is my best friend and the person I want to spend the rest of my life with so of course my life will continue to revolve around him.
- Keep it Spicy! …in the bedroom of course! I once read an article about a wife and husband who decided to have sex every single day for one year, even if one of them didn’t feel up to it. The results? A very happy, fulfilled, marriage. The author said that they communicated better and could not keep their hands off of each other! I completely believe in this. When our marriage began to decline, our sex-life declined and it had a very negative effect on us feeling connected. From what I have experienced with Chef, sex helps men feel connected. I have found that if I can communicate openly about what I need in the bedroom, I can communicate much better outside of the bedroom. Telling your partner what your needs are in all areas of your marriage is crucial to the success of your marriage.