The greatest marriages are built on teamwork… a mutual respect, a healthy dose of admiration and a never ending portion of love and grace – Fawn Weaver
After a decade of friendship, courtship, and navigating life together as young adults, Brad and I have now completed two years of marriage. And so, it is fitting that I share what I’ve learned in these past two years given that personal relationships and wellness go hand in hand.
But, before I begin… here’s a little “sparknotes” version of our love story:
I met my husband Brad, as a freshman in college 10 years ago. It was there that we sparked a friendship that evolved into a romance. Brad is my best friend, my confidant, life partner, and a source of wisdom in my life. He has helped me grow into the woman I am today, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
So without further ado, here are 7 gems we’ve cultivated along our 2-year marriage journey…
1) Character Weathers the Tides
I’ve learned that the best part about marriage is who you are married to. When all is said and done and real-life challenges get thrown in the way, can you trust the person you’ve chosen, to weather these storms with confidence and loyalty?
I am proud to know that I chose right. I can trust Brad with my life. He is a leader, he is protective, he helps me grow, and best of all has my best interests at heart.
2) Emotional Maturity is a Skill
And it is a skill worth mastering. Navigating life in general can be a task in itself, especially when dealing with your own emotions. Add another human being into the mix and that becomes emotions times two. Navigating marriage requires trust, flexibility, mutual respect, and a level of emotional maturity that can only be acquired through the prioritization of healthy communication. Brad and I both recognize that there are two people in this relationship and that means that both of our feelings are valid and deserve recognition.
3) Individual Growth Never Stops
Marriage is not the end-all-be-all, as the media would have you think and when it comes to happily ever after…
“Happily ever after”, has to be earned.
Our marriage framework gives us the foundation to grow as individuals. I have found that we are most happiest when we are both actively becoming the best possible versions of ourselves. My husband has his interests and passions and I have mine and some overlap and some do not and that is the beauty of life.
4) Therapy is an Investment
2 years ago, Brad and I made the commitment to invest in our mental fitness and we have not looked back since.
We each have our own personal psychologists and I must say, there is nothing more freeing than being able to sort out your personal baggage with a mental health professional, individually. It keeps the weight off of our relationship and allows us the personal room to breathe. And because of this, we are able to show up as our best selves in our marriage every single day.
5) Financial Wellness is a Must
I love this line by Marylin Monroe’s character Lorelei in the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: “if a girl spends time worrying about the money she doesn’t have… how will she have any time for love?”
And those are my sentiments exactly. Love is more than rainbows and sunshine. Love also looks like security on a rainy day.
And for us, this looked like the decision to go 100% debt free two years ago. With a couple of Dave Ramsey youtube videos for motivation, combined with crunching numbers for weeks, and a year of sacrifice – we came through on the other side.
Today, that sacrifice has proven to be a huge asset in our marriage. I have found that being debt-free and adhering to budgeting principles, has been a key part of our financial wellness.
6) Family Values are Bespoke
Coming from different backgrounds, Brad and I have undergone the challenge to draw a new blueprint when it comes to our family values.
For us, this looks like the prioritization of wellness, the incorporation of traditional Jewish traditions, and the introduction of new ways of living. We do what works best for us, and pivot when we need to. But what is most important is that we are both on the same team and we give eachother the support to grow.
7) Honesty Never Goes Out of Style
We checked our egos out the door a long time ago. Honesty in our relationship has brought security, true commitment, and increased mutual love and respect.
When we are honest about our feelings, our vulnerabilities, goals, and aspirations, we then gain insight into what can be nourished. I believe true love will always prioritize honesty as it is the backbone of true connection.
Stay organically opulent,