We recently celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary and I can’t believe how quickly those 10 years of marriage have flown by. I know that 10 years isn’t a LONG time but it isn’t short either. We didn’t do anything special. In fact, on our actual 10 year anniversary, we were both doing our own thing!
10 years equals:
- 120 months
- 522 weeks
- 3,652 days
- 87,600 hours
- 5,258,880 minutes
- 325,567,360 seconds
When I think about the past 10 years, we have been through so much. We’ve been through some losses but also so many blessings and have gained so much. The losses have strengthened us as individuals as well as a family and while it’s not fun to go through it at the time, sometimes it’s a necessary evil.
As some of you know, I got married later in life than most people. I was 34 years old. By the time I was married, my parents were like “get married already.” But I wouldn’t have it any other way because I had already done a lot by the time I was 34 so I didn’t feel like I needed to get rid of anything from my system. I was never a party girl. I was always responsible and “good.” I had a great career and also got to travel a bit. When I got married, I felt like I knew myself better than when I was younger.
Lessons in 10 Years of Marriage
So what have I learned in the past 10 years of marriage? Here are some of the lessons:
No refunds. No exchanges.
This is something that continues to resonate in my heart. When my husband used to joke with me and say “No refunds, no exchanges,” I used to roll my eyes at him because who says that??? But there’s so much wisdom in those simple words. (Don’t tell him! LOL.) We are committed to each other- good and bad. Whether we annoyed each other or get irritated, we are committed. (I know some people inevitably get divorced or separated but for us, this was something we believe in whole heartedly.)
“You come to love not by finding the perfect person but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.”
I first heard this quote at a wedding from the maid of honor toast. It always stuck with me. Growing up, I put unnecessary pressure upon myself to be “perfect” and not mess up. Maybe it’s from growing up in an Asian household where getting an A- among all A’s on a report card was greeted with “Why did you get an A-?” instead of praise for all the A’s. But I always felt like I had to do things “right.” Imagine bringing that into a marriage. I’ve learned in the past 10 years of marriage to LET IT GO. LET IT GO. LET IT GO. Sometimes I don’t but I’m trying.
Mind readers don’t exist.
This kind of goes with the above but instead of getting upset and annoyed because my husband didn’t do something that was OBVIOUS to me, I need to ask. He can’t read my mind. He’s human. Plus, something that seemed obvious to me might not be obvious to someone else. If I want something, I have to ask instead of just sitting there upset.
The first week we got married, I was going to be a good wife and cook dinners for my new husband. So I got groceries and cooked him dinner expecting him to be home by dinner time. But instead of coming home, he texted me to ask if he could watch the World Baseball Classic game with his friends at a bar. (It was Korea vs. Japan, I think.) I was super annoyed but just said yes. When he came home that night, all the lights were turned off and I was pissed. Now, if something like that were to happen now, I wouldn’t care as much but also he’s learned to let me know about things ahead of time. We are better about communicating but also flexible and understanding that things come up.
Don’t hold grudges.
This is something I am constantly learning. I grew up with a mom who, whenever she was upset with me or mad, would bring up things from the past. Things I did that were wrong. (This isn’t to speak ill of my mom. I’m pretty sure she grew up like this so this was the only thing she knew.) So whenever my husband would do things that upset me, I would think about the other times he let me down or the other times he made me mad. But you see, often times, I just didn’t even say anything so he didn’t know I was mad. I would just stew in my own thoughts and send daggers with my eyes. LOL. Don’t do this. Don’t hold a grudge. We are all all flawed and all learning and growing. When you are able to let it go, it’s so freeing.
Always bet on us.
I completely trust my husband. He’s always been such a person of integrity even when we were dating so I know that there is no reason not to trust him. Once we got married, that didn’t change. He didn’t all of a sudden show his true colors because he always showed who he was throughout our relationship. So I know that when he goes on a business trip or is late coming home from work, there’s nothing fishy going on.
Find humor in the little things.
Does your significant other make you laugh? Mine always does. Even when I’m mad at him so instead of staying mad, I just laugh. He has this uncanny way of diffusing a situation by saying something funny that’s perfectly timed. So annoying sometimes but I secretly love it because it makes me take things less seriously and calms me down. Of course when something is serious, he takes it seriously but I love that throughout our 10 years of marriage, he’s always able to look on the bright side of things and be hopeful.
Little things matter.
Grand gestures are nice but it’s the little things that have really mattered throughout our 10 years of marriage. We make time to go on little dates, even if it’s just for a quick lunch. I make sure to put on his favourite perfume, he makes sure to put on my favourite aftershave, and after all this time the pheromones attraction is still going strong. My husband also loves brewing his own coffee. He’s really into quality coffee beans. Prior to getting married, I would just drink coffee from anywhere. Not that I’m a coffee snob but he has spoiled me by making me iced coffee every morning. It’s the little things like that that have really mattered– it’s like the concept of a drop of water in a bucket. He’s always dropping water in the bucket and filling it each day which has meant so much to me.
I know that there are more lessons than these but I think that’s all that comes to mind right now. How about you? What have you learned in the past years of being in a relationship with your significant other?
Check out my post from 2 years ago about the lessons in marriage– some are the same!