Lifestyle Marriage and Relationship

Who Says Marriage Is Easy?

Whoever told you marriage is easy was lying! It is hard work that requires time, commitment, communication, respect, and love. There will be times that you just want to throw your hands up in the air and walk away from it all. Trust me. We have had our fair share of ups and down. And no doubt will continue to work on the many challenges that may come our way. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage.

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Vang and I met 18 years ago shortly after my divorce. I had moved from California to Minnesota to be closer to my family and was determined to start a new life. A new life that would offer us a future. In no way had I envisioned meeting the man who would later become my husband, a father to my two young impressionable children and having two more.

With all new relationships, it always starts out great. This man came into my life and swept me off my feet and promised to love and take care of me and my two little ones. He had never been married before nor had any kids. We quickly moved in together and thus began our journey.

Many times we had doubt that we were going to make it. What was I thinking that this man would take care of me and my kids? Really, it would be so much easier to be with someone who did not come with “baggage”. Being a divorcee is such a huge stigma in our community. You are looked upon as used good, not being worthy of love, etc….

We got married a couple of years later. We were still learning about each other and us. We were not the best with our communication. (Although I think I was better at it 😉) Trying to balance our new life as a married couple meant more responsibilities not only within our home but with our extended family and community. So many expectations that really tested us.

We are definitely not experts in relationships nor claim to be one. We have learned throughout the years on what has helped us and hope to share with you.

Show gratitude

We all show gratitude for the big things that happen in our lives BUT forget to show gratitude for the little things that sometimes go unseen.  Thank you for making dinner.  Thank you for making sure I have my lunch packed and ready for work. Thank you for taking out the trash.  Oh…and thank you for loving me unconditionally!!!

Don’t take on the other’s emotions

Quite often when our emotions are high, it is very easy to get sucked into whatever is going on. Learn to walk away and not take on that emotion. There really is no reason to have two people working on that same emotion.

Compliment each other

Getting ready for an event, I get the “you look beautiful tonight”.  However, it’s the compliments when we least expect it that makes it so worthwhile and memorable.

Make time for each other

After years of taking care of the kids and home, we realized that we need to take care of us. We need to make time for each other. Date nights was a thing in the past and we decided to bring it back. Dinner and a movie. Or a weekend getaway. Anything to reconnect and rekindle the romance that started us to begin with.

Be patient with each other

Things may not go the way you expect but we have learned that we have to be patient with each other. Everyone works at their own pace and giving each other the space to work through whatever the process. This has allowed us to learn more about each other.

Trust and Respect

This is huge! Be respectful and trust each other. I don’t need to say more about this.

Life happens and things get to the best of us. But we have these core things that have helped get us through.  Marriage is not easy! It is hard work and continuous work!

What are some things you do that has kept your marriage going?

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  • Reply Annette April 25, 2019 at 1:36 am

    Love your post!!! Have you read the book, The Five Love Languages? It is a great read!!

    • Reply Lina April 25, 2019 at 6:23 am

      No I have not read this book. I will need to read it. Thanks for recommending this!

    • Reply Barbara April 26, 2019 at 5:12 am

      I love the book The Five Love Languages. I recommend it as well. It fits right in with this post.

  • Reply Kyndall Bennett April 25, 2019 at 8:27 am

    ^_^ This is beautiful. I admit that one thing my fiance had to get me to do was communicate more. I grew up thinking that voicing my opinions would just cause more frustration, so I’m bad at keeping things bottled in. Since Stevenn saw that I loved writing, he encouraged me to write out my thoughts and to let him read them. Then he would write back his thoughts. We would go back and forth until we had a clear understanding of what the other was thinking, and this eliminated unintentional harsh words out of anger!

  • Reply Jacklynn Watson April 25, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Great info! Those 6 small gestures can make a huge difference in a relationship.

  • Reply Malia April 25, 2019 at 9:29 am

    I think your point about showing gratitude is huge! Especially for the little things, like taking out the garbage or making dinner. Great post!

  • Reply Brittany April 25, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Great post with wonderful information! My husband and myself dated for 6+ years before marriage. Even then, after knowing each other for so long, the first year was still incredibly hard. You definitely have to work at marriage and after children you need to make sure you are still giving each other that one on one time. Date your spouse!

  • Reply Heather April 25, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Love this post. My husband and I are just getting back to date night. I also booked a trip, just the two us, for his 50th birthday this year.

  • Reply Katie Wolfe April 25, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Excellent suggestions! Thanks for sharing. If anybody says marriage is easy, they’re either lying or unmarried. Ha!

    I’ve been married 15 years now and my husband and I just discussed (a few days ago) how we need to improve our communication. I find that issue is something that requires ongoing focus, but it does get exhausting for sure.

    And, I second Annette’s suggestion of The Five Love Languages. It’s an excellent book!

  • Reply Tracy April 25, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Great article!

  • Reply Tracy April 25, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Great article and it is a ton of work to be in a relationship. We work at it every day.

  • Reply Jamie April 25, 2019 at 10:17 am

    What an encouragement to us all. I second the Five Love Languages book. It is an interesting view on the different ways people show love. Another one that helps is the “Power of a Praying Wife”. Thanks you Lina for sharing your lessons learned.

  • Reply Laura April 25, 2019 at 10:37 am

    My marriage has gotten stronger over the years. We were even separated for 11 months at one point. In June we’ll celebrate 33 years. It is hard work. Very hard. And, it’s not 50/50 as some like to say. That means you’re each only giving 50%…when in fact it needs to be 100/100! Anything less than 100% effort from each will be a recipe for failure.

  • Reply Lisa Manderino April 25, 2019 at 11:02 am

    It’s true, marriage takes work and can be so rewarding!

  • Reply Stacey April 25, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Gratitude is something I’ve really been working on this past year, and it has changed my life, including my marriage. I’ve been trying to live in mindful thankfulness, and it’s amazing how those little negative things that don’t really matter have faded away. I’m slower to anger, and my life is mostly peaceful because I choose that mindset. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not perfect, and I have my bad habits and bad days. But I’ve been working on it, and it’s made a difference!

  • Reply Charlene April 25, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    This is some great advice! One thing I would add to the trust and respect one – TELL your spouse you respect him. Showing respect is great. But for my husband at least, nothing makes him stand taller than TELLING him ‘I have so much respect for you.’ Great post!!

  • Reply Joanne April 25, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Marriage definitely takes a lot of work! Great points. It will be 23 years for us in October.

  • Reply Katie April 25, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Great post! I see so many “perfect” marriages online that it makes you start to think that yours isn’t adequate enough…but it is! Those “perfect” marriages are hiding behind a false picture!

  • Reply Lisa April 25, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Great article and I couldn’t agree more. We have to have trust in each other, respect each other, and be patient with each other.

  • Reply Robin April 25, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    So very true, marriage is hard work! I think showing gratitude and making time for each other are so important- life gets busy and it’s easy to forget to do these things. One thing I try to remember is to pick your battles- if you’re getting mad about something, you have to ask yourself is it really worth it? How important is this one thing in the grand scheme of things? Thanks!

  • Reply Nikki April 25, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Lina beautiful post and congrats on finding your better half. Yes marriage is hard but if you find the right person it is so worth it. Today people seem to not feel like working to hard at it and just throw it away. I tend to look back at my childhood and through the years at my parents relationship and figure out how they made it work and still go to them for advice – they will be married 60 years next year so I figure that may hold some of the answers..

  • Reply Yolanda April 25, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    So very true! I think people look at other marriages and think it’s easy because some make it look easy. I believe marriage is what you make it, but it does require work!

  • Reply Sharon April 25, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    Excellent points! I agree….the 5 Love Languages and Love and Respect are 2 other great marriage resources.

  • Reply Amber Dunn April 25, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    Such good reminders! I think too many times we get selfish in our relationships and forget to be grateful, trusting and respectful.

  • Reply Angelina April 25, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    These are such great suggestions. Simple ways to stay connected but it’s all too easy to drift away from them when arguments inevitably come up.

  • Reply Carolina April 25, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Yes, marriage is hard work. I love that you put showing gratitude, sometimes we tend to focus on the negative and on the things that are lacking but when we are grateful we focus on the positive. You definitely have to be positive about your marriage in order to make it work. Great info here, thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Leigh Ann April 25, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    I think your advice to “Be Patient with Each Other” is so important and one of the hardest for me. I’m always going somewhere fast and I need to slow down sometimes and cultivate our relationship.

  • Reply Jennifer Morrison April 25, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Very good advice. I have counseled many couples on marriage and it is so important to go in with a gameplan and work on it, always. It is not easy, but it is so worth it.

  • Reply SuzanFerreira April 26, 2019 at 6:40 am

    Wonderfully said with great reminders. Always good to take a moment and check-in!

  • Reply Theresa April 26, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Hello there fellow Minnesotan! yes, marriage can be hard sometimes especially after 30 years and you know what the other person is going to say! We are working on letting each other finish the sentences and not interupt! lol .

  • Reply judean April 26, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    I agree with everything you write – marriage is work. I echo Laura’s comments. The marriage/relationship is not 50/50 – it’s 100/100.

  • Reply Kim April 27, 2019 at 12:17 am

    Love this post! I especially love the point about not taking on eachothers emotions. What a great way of looking at it. Just one person working through it is enough.

  • Reply Amber Neil April 27, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    So much truth! And so real. Nothing is 100% a fairytale, but with patience and respect you can make a beautiful life!

  • Reply Liza April 28, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    This is so awesome. So important to practice these tips in all relationships <3

  • Reply T.M. Brown April 29, 2019 at 5:36 am

    After 22 years, 12 moves, three boys, numerous obstacles and roller coaster rides ~ yeah, I can attest that marriage is certainly not easy. LOL. When you’re taking two different personalities who were raised in two different worlds and creating one unit…it takes compromise and sacrifice, which can be difficult for some. Things happen and life gets in the way, causing rifts and questions. It takes determination, patience, a genuine and authentic love for each other and, at least for us, a heck of a lot of prayer. Here’s hoping for AT LEAST another 22 more.

  • Reply Kia Vang April 29, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    I love your blogs! I read all of them! – From Breanna Bestfriend 🙂

    • Reply Lina April 29, 2019 at 6:39 pm

      Hi Kia! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Cindy April 29, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Great post. Marriage isn’t easy. It does take a lot of work. Most people find it easier to move on and try again. I love that you started your tips with gratitude. That goes a long way toward building a solid relationship.

  • Reply jen April 29, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    You got it! I always say gratitude and respect are the foundations!

  • Reply Nicki April 30, 2019 at 7:21 am

    Great read! Communication, trust, and respect are HUGE!

  • Reply Katie May 2, 2019 at 9:47 am

    A lot of great tips and points! My fiance and I have been together for about 5 1/2 years now and will be married this September. These are things that we have already learned throughout our relationship and will continue to enforce!

  • Reply Amanda May 2, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Great post! These are all such important things to do in a marriage. Marriage isn’t easy but if you follow this guide it can be so good and enjoyable 🙂

  • Reply jen May 3, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    It always boils down to respect for me. It’s the foundation of every relationship but especially the marriage where in theory you choose to be in for life.

  • Reply Pauline May 3, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Marriage I’d not easy, it’s something you always need to work at. But so worth it

  • Reply Kimberlie July 18, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Congratulations! Today is my 8th year anniversary and I was literally thinking the same thing. Thanks for the great tips, especially about not taking on the other’s emotions.

  • Reply Britt July 19, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Great suggestions – you’re right, marriage isn’t easy but it’s so worth the work! The biggest thing I always try to keep in mind is that I wasn’t looking for someone to ‘complete me’, I am a complete person all on my own as is my husband – we simply compliment one another. This relieves us of some of the unrealistic expectations that are often associated with marriage.

  • Reply Tanya August 15, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Good advice . A beautifully written and honest piece that makes you relate and feel. Thank you for sharing x

    • Reply Lina August 16, 2019 at 10:10 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply Gina Abernathy/ August 16, 2019 at 11:35 am

    Great post! Marriage is hard. It does take time and lots of energy. Trust and Respect are huge in a marriage and they are not to be taken lightly.

  • Reply Blair Leggatt January 23, 2020 at 9:34 am

    We are high school sweetheart hearts, together since 1981, married since 1987. We have had to deal with little money, infertility, adoption, child with disability, we have lost family to suicide and personal injury and disability and loss of our home. Through the years we have learned to respect each other, listen to each other, support each other, love each other. We always communicate, sometimes loud sometimes quite, sometimes it’s a look, but always we communicate.

    • Reply Lina January 23, 2020 at 2:16 pm

      Beautiful! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Reply Lisa Catton January 23, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Great post thank you for sharing 💕

  • Reply Maria January 24, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Great post. Marriage is never easy and if someone thinks it’s easy, it’s already falling apart. You have to put in work to stay happily married. Kudos to you for finding the right man the second time around. Everyone deserves happiness and to be with the right person.

    • Reply Lina January 25, 2020 at 8:42 am

      It is so true! Thank you!

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