Wow. How in the world have we been married for a year? Many people talk about how hard marriage is, but I haven’t felt that… At least not yet. While I am sure that there will be more tough times (I’m definitely not saying that there haven’t been so far), I am confident that there will be a much higher percentage of incredibly happy times, partially because of what we’ve established together as a couple so far! In case it could be helpful to someone, we put together a few tips for a happy relationship to share! I think these work at any stage of a relationship, and some can be applicable to friendship as well!
Tommy and I have been together since January of 2010, but today is our first wedding anniversary. Here’s the short video from our videographer, for a refresher of our amazing day!
And here’s a video from Wundereel… We rented four GoPros and gave them to different members of the Bridal Party/Bricemaids as well as some of our wedding guests, and then Wunderreel edited all of the footage together!
After this amazing day, so many people asked us if things were different, since we have been together for so long and lived together. I think that most people expected that we’d say no – it was just legally official, but those people got a surprise answer.
It definitely feels different!
We haven’t changed much in our day-to-day life, but the way that we think about each other and our partnership has changed.
Of course, we’ve seen each other as teammates for years – that’s why we’ve coordinated outfits when we go to weddings and special events – we are a team! #Bricetomeetyou Brice to meet you!
But since we made it official under the eyes of God and the law, we have really felt united.
I always have a hard time explaining this without making Tommy sound like he’s criticizing me all the time, but let me explain something about each of us first. Tommy is the most coachable and hard-working person I have ever met. He revels in any opportunity he can get to become a better person, which includes truly appreciating constructive criticism and direct communication. I, on the other hand, am not used to being told what to do, or being told anything but “you’re so awesome!” so an opportunity for improvement for me is being told I have opportunities for improvement!
Since our marriage became official and we’ve sworn to be forever teammates, it started really feeling different when Tommy has tried to help me by giving me constructive criticism. While part of that may be that I am getting better at learning and growing through it, I think it’s also largely because I thought of it not just as for me to get better, but so that WE became better as a couple! Keeping that in mind made it easier to take the suggestions and potential blows to the ego when getting a needed reminder that I’m not perfect – haha! (Totally kidding, by the way – as I mentioned in a recent blog LINK, I am ridiculously hard on myself!).
Being a great teammate and thinking of things in terms of how it’ll benefit the partnership/relationship/family is my first marriage/relationship tip, but I think there’s a little more background that goes into that, so I want to share a few tips for a happy relationship!
1. One thing that Tommy and I agreed upon early on in our relationship is that we would never discuss any relationship issues with people outside of the relationship, at least until after we’ve discussed them with each other. It can be so tempting to want to vent about our significant other, and to want the advice and perspective of someone else you’re close to, but it can be so harmful to do so without first making sure you understand your partner’s perspective. I don’t remember specifics, but I know that there have been times when I’ve been tempted to complain about something Tommy said or did that upset me to someone else, only to later find out that it was a huge misunderstanding and either Tommy was completely innocent, or worse – I was guilty. I was so relieved that I didn’t have to backpedal and not only defend Tommy to a close friend, but also call myself out for whatever it was later! Additionally, if your friends (or whoever you’d vent to) doesn’t have the luxury of spending time with you and your partner, your explanation of him/her could be the most exposure they get to him or her, so you could basically be convincing your loved ones that you are in a relationship with a jerk!
2. Speaking of, avoid complaining about your partner. One reason for this is the end of the previous point – if you want your friends and family to be as head over heels as you are, you don’t want to sell them on the struggles and bad attributes more than the amazing qualities you love, or even neutral qualities! The other thing we decided together was ridiculous when people do it is that it actually makes YOU look bad. YOU are the person who picked your partner (unless you’re in an arranged marriage, in which case, that is so foreign to me, I don’t really even know how to handle it). When you call your partner names, you’re basically insulting yourself, because you are choosing to be with that person. Whenever I hear a woman complain about how her husband is an idiot, I cringe, and think “Well, why did you marry him? Were you settling?”
3. This one is part of the Refugio Rules, but whenever one of you comes home to the other (if you live together), stop what you’re doing, and greet your honey. I am not sure about you, but there has never been anything I’ve done at home alone that was more important than the most important person in the world to me! Something we learned in Pre-Cana (that’s Catholic marriage prep) was actually to hug each other for thirty seconds when someone comes home. I can’t tell you how incredible that is to look forward to every day, whether it has been an amazing day, or a challenging day!
4. The last tip is Tommy’s, and it is a little more on the practical side than the other tips! It is that when you’re in a committed relationship, we should be able to access each other’s phones at any time. Now, fortunately for us, we don’t really check each other’s or use each other’s often, since that gave me clues about the proposal accidentally, and gave Tommy hints about his 30th birthday surprise by mistake when we’ve both just seen things because we’re so open, but even just knowing that we always are welcome to look through things at any time is a great comfort. The only secrets we need are for surprising each other!
I hope you enjoy these four tips for a happy relationship! In time, I hope to share more as we learn together! In the meantime, stay tuned to our social media because we’re leaving in less than two weeks for our honeymoon! 💜
What tips would you add? Comment below!
Mandie (and Tommy!)
P.S. Did you like what you read? Check out my other blogs, and feel free to subscribe by entering your email below, so you never miss a post!
The first option below will not only sign you up for a MONTHLY digest of emails, but will also give you a list of 22-must-have items for your makeup kit (if you’re a gentleman or not a makeup wearer, feel free to pass it on to a friend) AND my 17 pages of incredible notes from the 20 amazing mentors at the Success Live event I attended!
The second one will send you EVERY post as they happen!
Connect with me on social media!
Look better, Feel Better, and Be Better with Mandie Brice – on Facebook!
Mandie on Instagram! Mandie’s Makeup Instagram
Mandie on Periscope!
Mandie’s Google +
*Disclaimer: All of the book & course recommendations are affiliate links! This means if you decide to order the book on Amazon by clicking that link, it will cost you the same price, but a small percentage will help me with the costs of my blog, and now my podcast, too – I.E., you spending money can help me MAKE money! Podcasting can be expensive, these purchases help support the show. Plus, I have many new projects coming that I think you will love that could use some support!