What I’ve learned about marriage

My 8th wedding anniversary is coming up in under 2 weeks, on April 26.

While I’ve been reminiscing on the past 8 years – the good, the bad, the crazy – I couldn’t help but think about what I have learned personally about marriage. Marriage is a job in and of itself but I sometimes do think that ours was a little tougher considering I was 18 and Alex was 23 when we got married.

Of course, I don’t have the experience and wisdom of someone who has spent 50, heck, even 25 years together, but we’ve been through enough and have been together long enough to a thing or two. Some of it I learned from God, some on my own, some of it from family and friends. Doesn’t matter how I learned it, the important thing is that I did learn from it and my relationship continues to grow because of it.

 

 

 

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1. Forgiveness. As much as that quote cracks me up and I like to joke around that I am the one who is always right, the truth is: I’m not. Yes, I just admitted to that, don’t tell Alex. “A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” – Ruth Bell Graham. As difficult as it can be, you must cast your pride aside. You won’t get anywhere by refusing to see your fault(s). You must also learn to let things go and understand that conflict happens, misunderstandings happen, disagreements happen. Talk it over, forgive one another, and move on. It doesn’t help anyone to keep angry and refuse to speak to each other.


 

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2. Drop expectations. “Expectation is the root of all heartache.”, to summarize on Shakespeare’s “Oft expectation fails, and most oft there where most it promises.”  Accept your spouse for who they are. Unless of course your spouse is secretly a serial killer. As much as I’d have loved for Alex to be an Edward (Twilight, duh! Minus the sparkly skin) or a Damon (Salvatore), apparently I have a thing for vampires, that’s just not realistic. You can’t compare your spouse to movie characters or to the spouses of your friends. They’re not the same person, they aren’t going to act the same way. If you are expecting your spouse to behave a certain way, you’re more than likely going to be disappointed. Everyone expresses their love differently, not everyone is romantic, not everyone is touchy. Learn their love language and accept what they have to offer in the way that they know how to offer it. 


 

 

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3. Communication. This one seems to be a no brainer but it bears repeating. Talk, talk, talk. But not when you’re angry. Take the time to cool down but don’t assume that because the both of you have calmed down that you can just ignore the issue and move on. Make time to discuss what happened and why it happened and figure out how to try and avoid it from happening again. Ask Alex, my parents, my sisters, I do not like to “talk about it.” I hate it actually. I am probably more emotional than any 10 girls put together but I don’t show it, ever. I’m personally working on that, on not seeing communicating my feelings as a sign of weakness or vulnerability. I loathe feeling/knowing someone might gain access to my deepest thoughts. I’m a Scorpio, I’m an insanely private person, ya que? However, even though I struggle to work on it on a daily basis, I know that people aren’t mind readers and shutting your spouse out isn’t going to solve a damn thing. You have to let him/her know what you’re feeling and thinking and you have to remember to listen, really, fully, listen to what they have to say. Take in their thoughts and honestly try and see it from their perspective. You’ll quickly notice a difference.


 

 

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4.  Put in work.  This quote is everything. I don’t know many people who see marriage as it is described above. I guess everyone I know is as obsessed with Disney and movies as I am! I wanted my prince to come sweep me off my feet and ride off into the sunset. When I was younger I never viewed marriage as something that you needed to work for. Sure, everyone warns you that it’s not easy but you don’t fully understand that until you’re realizing that it’s demanding more than you had anticipated you’d be needing to provide. Perhaps, I’m just more of a romantic than is healthy or normal lol, perhaps my fantasies were a bit… fantastical. I always thought that once I got married, everything would be bliss; we’d be happy, in love, and everything would just be. Even though my husband came close by getting us Disney passes and entertaining my love of pretending to be a real princess every time we go, I had to pry the rose colored glasses off my face and I became aware that a good marriage has to be worked and fought for. We were, are, happy and in love but shit, being with one person every. single. day, all. day. long can drive you crazy. Add to that bills, work, stress, kids, time -or lack thereof, and things can blow up pretty fast. Remembering to breathe and communicate is key. You have to give some to get some.


 

 

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5. Treat ‘em like royalty. An old friend once told me when I was 15 that whenever the time came for me to get married that I needed to treat my future husband as if he were a king or else he’d find someone who did. At the time I completely misunderstood it, as an attitude laden teenager who knew everything and then some, I assumed she meant that I needed to kiss his feet and well, this was the 21st century! I wasn’t going to be anyone’s servant.  It should be the opposite, I thought, he should treat me like a queen. Of course, I was wrong about how I had interpreted that advice. What she meant, and what I’ve learned, is that you should treat your spouse as special as they are. And your spouse should treat you the same way too. You love when your spouse volunteers to make you dinner, rub your feet, or take the kids out for awhile so you can have some time to yourself, well, you should do the same. You are his queen so treat him like your king. Let them know that they are important and that you appreciate what they do. It is so easy to become overwhelmed with our daily routines and stresses that we can become mean, or forgetful but no one likes to feel unappreciated and that is the point where it becomes all to easy to turn to someone else, outside of the marriage, for a feeling of worth and comfort. Help and do for your spouse all that you would love for them to help and do for you. Show them you love them and make them want to also stay and work for the marriage.


 

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Have fun with each other, go on dates together, and flirt with each other. Just because you are now married and have kids doesn’t mean all the fun has to stop, quite the contrary, do it as often as you can to keep the relationship alive and interesting!

 

 

There is so much more that I have learned but mostly, it’s that marriage takes time and effort. Lots of it. And patience, even more than time. Marriage isn’t easy but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Growth, maturity, and being secure with yourself and within your relationship are huge factors to a great marriage. It’s only been 8 years for me, but with each passing year I continue to learn, to grow, to better myself. Most of it is through trial and error but how else will you figure it out?

What are the lessons you have learned from your marriage? What did you find worked best for you?

marinela, marina oros, house of golds, latina blogger, latina, bloguera, mexicana, michoacan, san diego, espanol, mom, mom blogger

Anatomy for Kids

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Anatomy for Kids. I was compensated for spending time on a conference call with Dr. M to answer questions and provide my thoughts regarding the Anatomy for Kids books, ergo all opinions are my own.

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Where do babies come from? Why do girls look different than boys?

The dreaded questions we get from our kids as they start to recognize that they are different from the other sex and are starting to explore their own bodies. I always pictured myself as being the type of mom that would be very upfront and honest with my kids about questions like these, and although I try my best to, the shock that comes with hearing them never seems to disappear.

Anatomy for Kids is series of books for boys and girls that are divided into 4 levels according to their age. Having a good book to share with your child when talking about their body, puberty, or sex is a grand help; it not only takes some of the stress off of you but it gives children something to go back to and read. I’ve browsed a good amount of books that are meant for helping children learn about their bodies, and although there have been some pretty good ones, most didn’t seem to be the right book for us. Some are too lengthy, go into too much detail for the younger kids, or simply don’t have the best pictures.

Anatomy for Kids books seem to be a perfect fit for my 7 year old. The books are short and to the point and very age appropriate. My favorite part is the pictures; anatomically correct and very clear. I sat down with my son and read the first boys’ book with him and there was 0 awkwardness. I wasn’t sure how he was going to react to the pictures or information about his body parts but he was very intrigued with it. He asked me plenty of questions and later asked if he could take the book to re-read on his own. I asked him if he liked the book and he replied that he loved it. He even read the first girls’ book after he asked me why female genitals were different (after seeing A’s diaper changed) and how exactly babies are born. He learned enough to understand the differences and answer some of his questions but wasn’t overwhelmed with too much information.

Ramses reading Anatomy for Kids.

Ramses reading Anatomy for Kids.

 

Anatomy for Kids isn’t just a series of books, their website has a fun activity center for children to play some games and continue learning. There is also a great community for parents to join and gain even more resources, interact with other parents, and ask questions to Dr. M, the author of AFK, directly. Who better to receive answers from than an anatomist! Everyone who joins the community  between April 2 and April 9 will be entered into random giveaway of a $50 Target gift card. 

 

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Book 2 for boys (Ages 8- 10) will be available for purchase at the end April 2014

 

There are 3 books available for purchase, with a 4th book out for sale later this month. Dr. M is currently working on the other books in the series, Levels 3 and 4 and has mentioned that she will be working on a book for each gender to help answer questions that boys and girls may have about the opposite sex.

I really have enjoyed reading these books with my son and encourage other parents to give them a try. Talking to your kids about their body is not an easy thing to do, especially if the topic is uncomfortable for the parent as well and most parents simply don’t know how or when to start.

I believe that talking to them at young age lets them know that it’s not a taboo subject, it’s natural and normal to have questions. It helps them to feel more confident about themselves and it shows them that they can trust you and come to you whenever they have any questions. It also helps to weed and keep out any false or incorrect information they may be picking up at school from their peers. Remember, you’re not the only parents dealing with the talk and certainly not the only ones who feel intimidated by having to bring it up.

I’d like to know, how have you gone about talking to your kids? Was it easier or more difficult than you envisioned it? What worked, or didn’t work, for you?

marinela, marina oros, house of golds, latina blogger, latina, bloguera, mexicana, michoacan, san diego, espanol, mom, mom blogger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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