Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes marriage is hard. More often than not, if you let it, they’re hard at the same time.
This is something that my husband and I learned the really hard way. We were both really young when we got our own apartment and got married. We both came from broken homes and didn’t have the life skills or the examples that some people do.
So when life got tough shortly after getting married, our marriage hit the rocks. After a couple years of trying to figure stuff out and not being able to on our own, we went to the Parenting Center and got group parenting classes/marriage counseling. It was virtual because it was the summer of 2020, but it was still very helpful.
Now we’re five years into it this year — and stronger than ever.
Here Are the Things We Learned
My number one tip: When you hit a problem, remember that it’s partner one and partner two united against the problem, not partner one against partner two.
Next, while it is important to communicate, you can actually OVER communicate very easily. Try not to over explain or list out every single detail of every task/opinion/thought process/etc.
Finally, take a marriage prep class and a finances class. Even if you’re 30 years into adulthood and marriage, these classes could give you an eye opener or just a little nugget of helpful advice that you may not have known about before.
>> RELATED READ:: Momfession Monday: Making Marriage and Children Work <<
Center for Transforming Lives has programs as well as childcare assistance for those that qualify.
Lena Pope has multiple parenting/marriage resources for those that qualify. While my husband and I didn’t use this resource directly, we have heard amazing things from other families who have.
The Parenting Center of Fort Worth has lots of resources for parenting classes and marriage counseling. They have paid classes and grant based programs for those that can’t afford it on their own (cough, cough, my husband and I).
Pathfinders works with multiple agencies around Tarrant County and has wonderful finance classes and individual help with an advisor that will keep up with you and help you reach your financial goals. They also have savings programs and lending circles to help boost credit.
The Business of Being Married
Marriage really is a partnership, based on love but carried by teamwork.
We share the household chores (even when I was a stay-at-home mom and he worked full time). I have a chart drawn up of what needs to be done on what days. Each day we will decided who wants to do what and we will spend 30 to 45 minutes after we put the kids to bed to do these chores. Honestly, we do end up skipping a day or two here and there. Sometimes we have more important things to do, like spend time together or talk about important things that need to be done or weighing on us.
We try to make even the most mundane things fun. Goofing off, dancing around, and making jokes are just a few of the ways we’re able to have fun doing anything. There have even been multiple nights where we go to bed incredibly tired but end up staying up for over an hour because we keep laughing.
When money gets tight, we pay only the essentials, like rent, utilities, food, gas, and insurance. The phone, streaming services, and extras that we have wait to be paid until we have more money.
I recently learned in therapy about a matrix that helps prioritize things. It consists of four categories:
- Urgent and important: These are things like emergencies, deadlines, and crises.
- Not urgent but important: The second is goals and planning, such as maintaining relationships, hobbies, and self-care.
- Urgent but not important: The third is interruptions, for example returning calls/texts and last minute “wrench in the plans” situations.
- Not urgent and not important: These are things like scrolling on your phone or playing video games/watching TV/reading books for too long.
Life and marriage are not easy and they both cause stress in their own ways. But if you can remember tip number one, and remind yourself daily that it’s going to be okay, you can get through anything together.