10 Things I’ve Learned in a 10 Year Relationship

May is a busy month for my family: we’ve got my birthday, both of my daughters birthdays, my anniversary with Jonathan, not to mention Mother’s Day. Jonathan and I have been married for a little over 8 years now but we are coming up on 10 years together this weekend.

We got together when I was 19 years old and I’ve learned so much since then. Back then I thought I knew everything, but I didn’t know shit. To be fair, I still don’t know shit but I’m learning slowly. I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned since Jon and I first got together.

Us 10 years ago

1. People Change

People often view change as a bad thing. But when it comes to relationships, change is important. In the 10 years Jon and I have been together, we have grown together and I feel like we’re becoming better people together. No one is the same person they were even yesterday. At 19 years old, I was spoiled, hot-tempered, and stubborn. Ok, I’m still stubborn but I’ve gotten better. Since then, we’ve become parents to 2 little girls, moved throughout 4 different states and faced so many other challenges. All of that has changed us individually and as a couple, and we’re better because of it.

10 years later

2. Communication

I cannot overstate the importance of communication in a relationship. When Jon and I first got together, it was difficult for me to talk to him about things that bothered me without catching an attitude. Or I would just ignore him, which only made things worse. Overtime I’ve learned to be kinder with my words and talk to him more calmly about important issues in our relationship. I’ve also realized its important to talk about problems in person, not over the phone or text, and not to talk when I’m too upset. Communication is key.

Climbing mountains together

3. Be Honest

Honesty relates to communication, but it’s just as important. Being honest can be messy and painful but it’s also liberating. Honesty is the foundation of trust in a relationship and Jon and I have worked very hard over the years to be honest with each other. And because we’re honest with each other, we’ve gotten to know each other on a deeper level over the years. We were both honest with what we wanted out of a relationship, marriage, how we would raise our kids and our goals in life. We’re always finding out something new about each other because we work at being honest with one another.

All dolled up for my best friends wedding

4. Pick Your Battles

When Jon and I first got together, I was always picking fights with him. I would make things out to be a bigger deal than they actually were. Recently, I’ve been making an effort to check in with myself when I’m upset with Jon. I ask myself if this is really something he’s doing wrong or is it just me overreacting for some reason. And usually, it’s something else that’s bothering me but I’m taking it out on him. Slowly, I’ve learned to let things go because life is too short.

Thanksgiving 2017

5. Alone Time is a Necessity

Having kids can make it difficult for any couple to have any alone time but it’s so important. Jon and I make it a point to go on date nights as often as we can, we try for once a week but that’s not always possible. So even that time between when the girls go to sleep and we do is special. We watch some of our shows or movies and cuddle. Its important to spend time with one another, even if it requires more effort with have 2 kids. Sometimes you just have to get creative.

Celebrating one of our anniversaries

6. Sex, Sex and more Sex

For those new to my blog, I wrote a whole post discussing The Importance of Sex in a Relationship because I truly believe its one of the most important keys to a relationship. Sometimes it’s difficult with work, kids and other commitments. There are some days when we just want to pour ourselves into bed and go to sleep. But we make an effort to keep an active sex life, and we are happier for it. More sex, less stress.

I can’t get enough of this guy

7. Our Love is Still Strong

I’ve heard from many people in relationships longer than us, trying to convince us that our love for each other will fizzle a bit. That we won’t want to be around each other as much as we are now. But that hasn’t happened yet. To quote my husband yesterday “I feel like I’m falling more in love with you the longer we’re together.” And yes, I teared up because that was romantic as hell. And it’s true for me too, the longer we are together, the more opportunities for us to grow together and love on each other. Even after all this time, I still can’t get enough of him.

My 26th birthday

8. Laugh More

Anyone who truly knows me, knows that I’m a really silly person. Its fun to be with someone who I can be completely myself around. I can act like an idiot dancing around, and no, I don’t mean the sexy, cute dancing, I mean like a fish out of water dancing. We both jam out in the car and do dumb dances and crack up laughing when other drivers see us. And laughing helps with tense situations, and if we can laugh during an argument, then it really wasn’t a big deal after all.

Christmas party 2017

9. Flirt Often

I’m always flirting with my husband. I make it a habit to tell him when he’s looking good and be affectionate with him. Light touches, sexy text messages, getting dressed up for each other are some ways we like to flirt with each other. Flirting keeps things exciting, and lets my husband know that I want him, not just sexually. Flirting helps to remind us what we love about each other and keeps the spark alive.

Universal Studios Orlando

10. Relationships are Hard Work

Yes, relationships aren’t easy. I consider Jon and I a strong and happy couple, and it’s because we put the work in everyday. We make an effort to listen and talk to one another, make sure that we show our love for each other. Because saying it isn’t always enough. Some days are easier than others. There’ve been countless times where I felt like I couldn’t be loved, but he’s still there. I wake up everyday and choose to be with Jonathan, to love him and be there for him, as he’s there for me. And we never give up on each other.

Thanksgiving 2018

So there it is, 10 things I’ve learned in my 10 year relationship with my husband. Every couple is different and this is definitely not a guide to follow for your relationship. These 10 things I’ve listed are what’s important in my relationship. We work everyday to communicate with each other and love on one another as often as possible. I love how far we’ve come in this past decade and it makes me excited for the next 10 years. Happy 10 year anniversary baby.

Cheers to 10 years!

-Toniann


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