5 Ways We Keep From Killing Each Other

Husband and I just realized it will soon be our 2nd wedding anniversary and will soon after be our 10 year anniversary of being together. We like to think we win when it comes to relationships…I mean we are a pretty awesome couple, but if I’m being completely honest, it’s not always rainbows and daisies. In fact, it’s more often diapers and bills. In the grand scheme of things we are still  young in our relationship, but when I look back over the years of stupid fights and awkward memories I can safely say we have learned a lot.

Like all relationships, we started out simply wild about each other. He couldn’t keep his hands off me and I fell in love fast. The infatuation with each other wore off eventually and we started fighting about phone calls, dates, jealousy and long distance. A couple of years later we were living together and bickering over housework, jobs and bills. We have traveled and argued about where to go and what to do. Since being married some of the old arguments resurface and new ones come up over bad habits and life choices. Now, we are parents and just doing our best to not argue in front of our baby. I know getting into arguments will never go away. No two people can spend so much time together and not have some disagreements. What has changed over our almost ten years together is how we handle conflict.

The NY Botanical gardens
The NY Botanical gardens

There may be moments when I think, “Nope. No more. I’m running away to Paris,” but those moments are fleeting. The truth is that I am happier with my Husband every year. Even when I’m pissed off, I’d still rather be with him than anyone else. After lots of reflection, here’s how I think we keep from killing one another.

Last Christmas when we were still a family of 2
Last Christmas when we were still a family of 2

1. We tell each other EVERYTHING. sorry boys, but I know every single thing that happened on that bachelor party in New Orleans. Seriously, if you tell one of us a secret, just assume you’re telling both of us. We are so honest with each other that Husband actually came to me one night and told me he “had a confession”. I braced myself for devastating news.His confession?  He went to Taco Bell while running errands and did not call to see if I wanted anything. See? We tell each other EVERYTHING. We have also learned to tell each other when we are mad and why we are mad. this is especially important for me. Being a typical girl, I have the tendency to want to hold onto my angry feelings until they are so built up that I explode over something tiny and he has no idea what I’m actually mad about. Turns out, this doesn’t really workout well for either of us. It’s not easy, but we are getting better at letting one another actually explain themselves, process it and try to relate.

Playing around on some Greek ruins in Apollonia, Albania
Playing around on some Greek ruins in Apollonia, Albania

2. Sometimes we go to bed angry. I do not believe the old “never go to bed angry” phrase people toss around. Sometimes I need to sleep on it. I often wake up feeling much more calm and reasonable. For me (more than Husband) I often need to step away from an argument, take a breather and calm down. Actually, I need this after an argument too. Husband does not understand why I am still angry when we are done with a fight, but he accepts and knows that sometimes I just need a moment to simmer down.

Eating fresh sushi together in Japan
Eating fresh sushi together in Japan

3. We compliment each other all the time. It’s disgusting to anyone not in the relationship, I’m sure. I believe in small acts of love and sometimes a simple “nice ass” or “I’m proud of you” goes a very long way. We thank each other often for the small things we do. Husband is very good at acknowledging haircuts, new clothes and marathon feeding sessions with Luna. I try to point out his many talents and skills (He’s seriously good at everything!).

Celebrating at our wedding shower.
Celebrating at our wedding shower.

4. We love and respect each other’s families. This is SO important. No two families are alike and it’s a challenge to combine them. Loving someone else’s relatives as your own makes the challenging times much easier. Husband is so so so good to my family. Anytime we are in Texas he is helping my Mom clean, learning from my Dad and spending real quality time with everyone. I have never once heard him complain about spending time with my family. I try to be as equally loving and accepting of his family, which isn’t hard to do. I truly love them and have considered them my family for years.

Climbing trees together in Hilton Head.
Climbing trees together in Hilton Head.

5. We are on each other’s teams. I do not always agree with Husband and I know he is not always right (how could he be? I’m always right.) However, I always have his back. I have faith in him and know he is going to do his best to do what his right. So, even when I disagree, I trust he is making the best choice because I know his heart.

Eating cake at our wedding.
Eating cake at our wedding.

One thing that hasn’t changed over the years, we are still just mad about each other. I’m sure I’ll look back on this in 20 years and laugh because hopefully we will have learned so much more about how to be in a happy, growing and successful relationship. For now, this works and I’m sure glad it does. Love that man.

How do you survive your relationships? I’d love to hear about it!

Cheers!