Aziz & I are coming up on our five year anniversary (dating + marriage) early next year and as I look back at our time together I remember all the work and effort that went into creating a strong foundation for our relationship. Each hurdle had an outcome, and each outcome is now the strength of the bond we have created.
There are plenty of strategies that you can use to set the right foundation for your relationship. Lucky for you, I’m five years in which means five years of experience which I hope can help you.
Anytime someone asks either of us, how we get along so well, we only have one answer to give. Communication is key. Not communicating with each other is guaranteed to bring your relationship crumbling down. I always say “marriage is like living with your best friend” and what is a best friend if you can’t tell them everything?
So if there is something that your partner did that you didn’t like, make sure you bring it to their attention. How will they know that it bothered you unless you communicate with them about it.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past five years it’s my way of doing things may not be the ONLY way. When you put two people together — any two— you’re bound to have disagreements and annoyances. So when my husband doesn’t put his dirty socks in the hamper by an inch, that’s when I have to take a really deep breath and practice patience.
I’m sure there are certain things about me that Aziz can’t stand, but at the end of it, we love each other and patience is going to get us through those small day-to-day disagreements.
This may sound like a ‘duh!’ idea but I’m not talking about just sitting on the couch with the TV on while scrolling your instagram feed or email inbox. I’m talking about spending REAL quality time together.
Something we have done since we started dating, is sit at the table each night while we eat dinner. I know most young couples may watch TV on the couch while they eat a meal, but actually helping setting the table each night, and warm up dinner has become sort of a routine for us. It’s the time where we talk about our days and discuss topics that may not have come up if we had the TV on.
We’re not perfect– actually nobody is, so when you feel like you’ve practiced all your other options and realize that what you really need is someone to hear both sides of the story, you should ask for help. Even if you’re relationship is headed exactly in the direction you had hoped, why wait for something bad to come along to seek guidance?
If you had asked me five years ago if I would have considered counseling it would have been a flat out ‘no’ but five years into it, I would actually consider it. Not because theres anything wrong with our relationship, more because I think it would be therapeutic to sit down with a professional and seek guidance. Neither one of us have been married before, nor have either one of us been in a relationship this long, so I think talking to someone with experience and that is educated on couples is a great idea. Marriage isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon — and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to make sure I’m doing my best in it.
If you are in Georgia, you may be wondering where to go for counseling services. I would love to recommend Ray of Hope Counseling Services. They have 7 locations all over Georgia including Alpharetta and even Athens! They say, “For some people, couples counseling may transform their relationships and their lives; for others, it helps them solve a specific problem and move forward with more confidence and less anxiety. In a typical session, your counselor may ask you questions so that you can talk about what’s going on and how you feel. They may also offer you advice or ideas to try at home.” Founder and Clinical Director, Lynn Umstead is an expert when it comes to couples counseling, relationship issues, pre-marital counseling, and more, so if you are in the Metro-Atlanta area, you may want to reach out to her about marriage counseling at Ray of Hope Counseling Services.
This post is sponsored by Ray Of Hope Counseling Services. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep EraforSarah up & running!