Mr. Mt and I will be celebrating our anniversary while we are on this 6 week road trip. 14 years! Who hoo! Not that it’s always been a cake walk. (Have you ever done a cake walk? Maybe it’s a small town thing, but it’s easy! Kind of like musical chairs but you win cake. Really my kind of game!) But it’s been damn good. And year 13 was better than year 1, which I count as a win. So here is my best advice for any readers who haven’t found their one true love just yet. =)
Find someone Uber compatible. While differences can attract and add balance to a relationship, at the end of the day you need to have an awful lot in common to share life together for the long haul. Here are a few that top my list.If you are going to spend in line with your values, you will need most of these to overlap. Faith, family, freedom, adventure, fun, intellectual pursuits, security. Whatever they are for you. There needs to be a lot of commonality here. Sure you might each add one to the mix that doesn’t hit your spouses top 10. As time goes by, they will take different expressions. But if you want to build a life together, this is the foundation.
Goals and Dreams. I have never understood why people marry who don’t share the same life goals, or refuse to support those goals. This will let my INTJ personality shine through, but I brought a list to my first date with the Mr. Mt. It was romantic just like an interview. I covered all 30 something questions, shook his hand and said he would be hearing from me! I figured if we weren’t on the same page on big issues in life, it’s a no start. Why waste time? I wanted to adopt (yes, this was a first date question), travel, ect. Of course there are things that each bring to the table. Hubs really wants a classic car. I have little interest in that, but grew up around automotive restoration and can get behind that dream. Travel wasn’t a huge goal of his to start, but he was willing to make that happen.
Lifestyle and Hobbies. Can you enjoy the same lifestyle? Do you want to live in the same kind of town, house, drive the same kind of car, entertain, recreate, ect? I know its popular to have separate hobbies. But really. With both people working, or one raising kids, and all the time and commitments that takes, how much free time do you think you will have? If you want to spend time together, you have to enjoy doing similar things. (Watching TV doesn’t count) There are a few things that we enjoy doing alone or with friends, but we enjoy each other and lots of shared hobbies.
Marriage is a team sport, so be nice. I am constantly amazed when spouses are intentionally mean to each other. I played team sports growing up in small town. The principle is simple. Games are won or lost as team. If one teammate gets hurt, the whole team suffers. If a team mate puts in the hard work to improve their skills, the whole team benefits. Marriage is a team sport. Anything you do to help your spouse, helps the team. Anything that hurts one of you, hurts the team. I have never met someone who has been married 25+ years, happily, and they try to hurt each other. It might work for 3 years or 5. But intentionally hurting each other is like shooting yourself in the foot. Don’t be a fool. Or you’ll get gang green.
Be willing to be coworkers. One day at work all my old coworkers were sitting around, shooting the breeze, and this topic came up. All my coworkers swore they would NEVER work with their spouse. I left scratching my head, because I thought, “Well, why the hell not?” I am not saying you should work with your spouse, but here is why I think you should WANT to.
1. You respect them and think they bring something to the table. They have talents and skills to offer that you admire. They are hardworking, creative, smart, organized, compassionate, have great people skills; whatever it is. Why would you marry someone that you don’t admire? They should have talents that compliment you and attributes you value.
2. You are able to work as a team to accomplish things. Shared employment or not, you will work together. Raise a family, create a ome, travel, save for early retirement. You need the skills to communicate, compromise, share goals, and accomplish tasks. If you want to build an exceptional life, you need to be able to work as a team.
3. You enjoy spending time together. Guess what buddy, if you “win” at the marriage thing and grow old together, you will spend 8+ hours a day together. If you don’t like them enough to spend 8 or 9 hours a day together, I suggest you keep looking, not get married. Want to travel the world? That will be more than 9 hours a day together. Want to retire early? More than 8 hours a day together. When you are 70, your spouse will be 90% of your social circle, so pick someone you enjoy spending time together. Then keep learning how to enjoy each other.
A great marriage has the power to make great things even better, and ease the blow of life’s tragedies. A great marriage could help you achieve far more together than you dreamed possible. Marry well.
With wedding season upon us, any advice you would add?