Things I’ve Learned in 3 Years of Marriage

Today David & I celebrate three years of marriage. Every year, we take a week away to celebrate, but we also use the time to reconnect, slow down, reminisce about the past, and daydream about the future. This year we’re in Vermont for the week, with stops in Burlington, Woodstock, and Manchester. It’s been pouring here today and yesterday, mimicking our misty, rainy wedding day, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

In celebration of our anniversary, I thought it’d be fun to share a few things I’ve learned in 3 years of marriage. I think these learnings are valuable no matter your stage of life: single, dating, or married.

1. Bring your truest self to the relationship

One thing I’ve noticed about big transitions in our lives, whether it’s college, a new job, marriage, or children, is that we can get lost in them. This is especially true for those like me who are introverts and people pleasers. Early in our marriage, I often found myself mirroring my husband’s wonderful, boisterous personality and social schedule, but I’ve learned to concede that that’s simply not who I am. Not only am I honoring myself by giving myself permission to be the quieter, introspective, and intuitive person that I was made to be, but it brings balance to the relationship and allows David to experience what he says are some of the qualities he loves most about me.

2. Find what connects you & frequently return there

Although David and I are so different, I can honestly say he is a “kindred spirit” and the bond of our friendship runs deep. One of the ways we keep friendship alive in our marriage is to frequently return to the ways we connect most. For example, while living in California we realized that we share a love of the new and a sense of adventure. Whether it’s an impromptu weekend snowboarding trip to Tahoe or last minute flights to Paris (…hint!), we both have a capacity for spontaneity and exploration. Our daydream is to never let this part of our relationship die and to always keep exploring.

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3. Don’t lose your laughter

Similar to the above, one of the things I love most about us is how much David makes me laugh, and the fact that I laugh at his jokes! This maintains a lightheartedness in our family and can even help split the tension in a heated argument, given proper timing. We’re learning to laugh more about our differences, our overcooked dinners, our forgotten chores, our regrets, and much more. I hope we’re still picking on each other and laughing at corny jokes and videos when we’re 80.

4. Daydream

I’m a huge believer that without daydreaming, some of the desires and longings that are seeded deep in our hearts will never be realized or – worse – even recognized. We daydreamed often while dating and throughout our first year of marriage, and we’ve started to revive it over the last several months. There’s something special and rejuvenating about laying down together on a sofa or freshly made bed and saying, “Let’s daydream about: insert subject here.” It could be where you want to live, your career, a future family, travel, or your spirituality. The list is endless and I believe daydreaming gives you a special window into your spouse’s heart and desires that you might not see through otherwise. Tonight at dinner, we daydreamed about places we could see ourselves living! Our lists were relatively long (and surprisingly similar!).

How do you like to (or hope to!) celebrate your anniversary with your spouse or significant other? I’d love to know about the ways you connect in the comments or on Instagram.

Photos by Elisa Bricker