Growing up I always heard that it was okay to fight in marriage. That it was normal to have matches between spouses. It really troubled me because I grew up in an abusive home where fighting shut me down. If I were to fight with my husband how would I ever be happy in life? After a year and a half of living with roommates, I learned how to get along with even when I didn’t always agree with them. I think there is some sort of taboo for saying you can have differing opinions and still like each other. You can still have differing opinions and not fight. The key to succeeding in that is being humble, listening, and communicating, on BOTH sides. There’s a lot of advice out there, but I think these 3 things are the most important things you should know before you get married.
It’s not just about explaining your side. It’s also about understanding the other person’s side. Sometimes I say things and Dillon lets me know that the way I said it wasn’t helpful communication to him. And then he explains how he would like to be communicated with.
For example, I asked him to do the dishes after I had been cleaning the house for a while, and the way I said it made him feel like I was assigning him chores. He asked if I would phrase it differently. In the future he wanted me to ask him to help clean the house when I start, then it feels like he is helping, not being bossed around. Nobody likes being bossed, so I gratefully accepted to communicate with him better.
Nobody likes to be told what to do. Dillon and I are less likely to fight when we can tactfully explain what we would like changed. Sometimes Dillon upsets me, and I have to take a second to cool down and figure out what made me mad. And honestly, this is my key to not yelling and being irrational. After I cool down I approach him and say “It really bothered me when you did ___” and then explain a specific way he can make a change to help. If the solution doesn’t work for him, then we discuss together a solution that might work for both of us instead.
Empathy is important and I hope this is something every person knows before they get married. Realizing that your partner has feelings and those feelings are valid. I might not understand why Dillon gets bothered by something, but I do understand that his feelings are important, so together we figure out a solution that will help both of us.
It’s the little things that make a marriage amazing, so don’t be afraid to take correction when you need it. Being transparent and open is an important skill to know before you get married. I don’t mean letting the person look through your phone, or not wearing makeup in front of them. (Although, those are also great things to do) I mean showing them your weaknesses, and building those up. Being okay with being wrong and admitting to it when you are.