Love. A noun. A verb. A struggle. A beautiful thing.

First let me say sorry this is so long. This is a pretty personal post to put out there but I wanted to share my opinions and experiences. Some things you might agree with while others you might argue against. Every relationship is unique and different. There are many experts, books, and articles out there with great advice about love and marriage. This is just my journey through my relationships, my marriage and what I’ve learned a long the way..

Relationships are amazing but they take work. You can’t expect not to have challenges and struggles even in the best relationships. You can’t go into a relationship hoping to ‘change’ or ‘fix’ someone. If the person you’re with can’t save a dollar they make, parties too much, has a wandering eye, or doesn’t want children don’t expect to come into their life and make them over. A person will change when they want to. It’s up to them no matter how hard you try. Same thing goes for marriage. My husband once said to me marriage shouldn’t change your relationship just your name. I truly believe this. If you are having problems, and I mean problems (not like he won’t put the toilet seat down) don’t think getting married will solve them! “oh after we’re married he’ll change”.  If you go into marriage with that expectation you might be disappointed.

Communication and trust should be at the top of your must-haves list. Try not to bring baggage from old relationships into new ones. Remember this isn’t your ex that cheated on you and left you high in dry at the apartment you were renting together. But that doesn’t mean you should be a push over either. When my husband and I got together he was still friends with his ex. She had moved on and actually was engaged. I met her. He let me know up front that they remained friends after ending things. (communication) I was cheated on countless times in my previous relationship so it took a lot for me to get my mind set that this was not my ex. He is not a cheater. However she crossed the friendship line and told him she still loved him. I calmly told him that I didn’t mind them being friends but now she went too far and I’m not comfortable with their friendship any longer- and I had a legitimate reason. He put her in her place and needless to say, their friendship ended. That made me feel important to him and I think I handled the situation well. (Trust)

Marriage. Big commitment. It’s not safe if you find yourself in love with marriage and not the person you’re marrying. That’s how hearts get broken. Planning the wedding, going on the honeymoon- all amazing. But the honeymoon phase does end and you’re left with every day life. So make sure that when the dust settles you’ll be happy with the person standing in front of you. I went through my share of bad unsuccessful relationships, and I’d go through it all again to be with my husband. I don’t agree with the notion of not going to bed angry. Sometimes things are more clear in the morning light. I do believe in letting the little things go and picking your battles. Life is short– fight for what matters to you, not because he forgot to take the trash out or she left her makeup out on the counter.  But importantly- through it all love each other. Appreciate each other. You might not like everything about them, but you should love everything they are. It should make you happy to see them happy. They should lift you up and encourage you to be the best person you can be. Because of my husband I finally got my AA degree. (8 years late!) To me a small accomplishment since most of friends have much higher degrees. But he even celebrated when I finished. It’s also important to be able to talk about difference without it blowing up into an argument. Which takes work. Don’t get discouraged. Right after we got married like clock work we fought every Sunday for about a month. Then one Sunday we didn’t. I was shocked. It never happened again. I still don’t understand why but it worked it self out. There will be nights when you turn away from each other, so expect that, and learn from your arguments. Marriage takes hard work but it’s a beautiful thing and worth the effort.

I know my daughter will have heartaches and I’ll be right there for her, knowing that one day I’ll be standing at her wedding crying my eyes out- just like my mom did.

If you’re still up for reading this is my love story.

My story. For my husband.

MyFriendKerri Thoughts on love and marriage

I was in about four serious relationships. One in high school and about three after. I was in a relationship for four years before I met my husband. A relationship that should of lasted maybe a month. However I didn’t use any of my own advice and I stayed, but I learned a lot. Of course there were good times but they by FAR didn’t out weigh the bad. I went into the relationship trying to change the person. I stayed when he didn’t treat me right. We didn’t want to see each other succeed. We didn’t communicate. We didn’t respect each other or trust each other. I think I stayed because I was afraid I’d never find Mr. Right. (Not a reason to stay in a relationship) So I was settling. But sometimes life doesn’t let you settle. I met my husband-we’ll call T, at work. We were friends at first, well more like acquaintances. T knew that I was in a relationship and completely respected that. We said hello when we saw each other but not much more than that. Then one day I don’t know what happened but its like my eyes opened up! I was extremely attracted to him. Ah! What do I do. Well after a string of incidences I made up my mind to get out of my current relationship. I just got to a breaking point. Finally, I was done. Unfortunately I had moved across the state to live with my ex and his family. So I planned on moving BACK to my parents house the following weekend. Money was tight for me and as much as I love where I moved to I couldn’t afford to live on my own. Well I saw T during my break and he told me he was commissioning into the army after he finished college… and I told him that was great! I also told him was moving back home. I kind of explained what happened and he offered to have lunch with me and see if there was anyway I could afford my own place. (how sweet) So we had lunch and came to the conclusion that living on my own was not an option. After lunch he asked me if I’d liked to go out to dinner. Of course. So he took me out to dinner- and swept me off my feet! He even offered to let me move into an extra room he had where he was renting. I was shocked. Excited. And nervous. I mean I did kind of just start getting to know him. But something told me to do it. (He confessed later to me that asking me to move in was the scariest thing he’d ever done, but also the best thing) My mom was not thrilled, but my dad was relieved that I was leaving my ex so he was pretty happy. Once everyone at work realized we were dating all I got were comments of how amazing he was, how he’s such a great guy! I’m glad he finally found a nice girl. I felt like I won the lottery. Now I realize that I did. We starting dating/living together in oct ’09. He commissioned summer ’10 and we were separated by the army for about 8 months, he got assigned a job and had to go to a school. I found out later he used this time apart to test me to see if I could handle the military life style. (which I had no experience with) Apparently I passed because he came home for a week in the middle of his time away and proposed to me. We got married in March ’11. We aren’t happy every minute of everyday but I am the happiest I’ve ever been before. He makes me a better person and I hope I do the same for him. He still gives me butterflies. I know we are fairly new to the married life but I think that we have created a great foundation and will continue to grow more in love every day.

MyFriendKerri Thoughts on love and marriage


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