By Richa Pokhrel/@nepalichoriblog
My 5th wedding anniversary in approaching this Friday, October 20th. I was 26 years old when I got married on a beautiful horse ranch in California surrounded by our immediate families and two friends. Three years later, we went to Nepal to celebrate our union. Honestly the time has gone by really fast, next year, it will be ten years since our friendship. Marriage is not always easy, it requires work to make it successful. That work can mean different things for different relationships and happen at different times during marriage. It’s kind of like a roller coaster; sometimes it’s working itself to the top, other times it’s coming quickly down. In any marriage (and any relationship) there are two people who are always growing, but at different paces. I’ve been reflecting on those 5 years and I wanted to share what has worked in our relationship.
- Communication: For any relationship to work, intimate or not, you need to communicate honestly. I am not the best communicator because I have a hard time expressing my feelings especially when they are hard (probably the same case of others too). I am passive aggressive and Chris likes to talk about feelings. However, if the other person doesn’t know how you are feeling or thinking, how is it going to get solved? How will you comfort each other? This is something I have been working and it has helped our relationships tremendously. We are from two different cultures and sometimes things don’t translate as easy as I would like. Having honest conversations is my #1 advice for anyone asking about the success our relationship.
- Laughter: For my relationship, I need to laugh every day. Sometimes our lives can be stressful, the world around us is spitting out bad news everyday, one of the ways I cope is by laughing. Humor is something that been very important in our relationship because it helps us relax especially during the times we can’t seem to agree on anything.
- Division of labor: The feminist in me wants household chores to be divided up equally because I don’t want to it to all on fall on me because of my gender. However, that is not always the case in our household. Chris has his chores and I have mine and sometimes we need to swap or take on more because of how the day is running. For us it has been important that chores don’t always fall on one person. If they get to be too much, we express that we need help. We also do some of those chores (grocery shopping) together as a way to spend time together.
- Having separate activities: I would say Chris and I have a very independent relationship. We do things together, but we also do a lot things separately. I have never been interested in relationship where I am always with my partner. To be honest, there are many events that he goes to that I don’t and that’s okay. For us, that time apart works really well, those moments in time outside of each other. There have been times where we have been too independent and lived like roommates who barely see other. Cutting back on our activities and making a commitment to have dinner 2-3 times during the weekday has worked really well for us.
- Having ONE TV show to watch together: If you and your partner both like to watch television, I think it’s important to have one show that you can watch together. Having more would be better! We only have one TV and that means when we decide to watch TV, a lot of time is spent deciding what we should watch. I have shows that I like that he doesn’t like and vise versa. Actually, it has been very hard for us to find shows that we are equally interested in. But we’ve found 3 or 4 that peak both our interest. This has been a good way for us to spend some routine weekday nights together. While this may not been seen as spending quality time together, I actually think it is because it is a form of relaxation for many and what better way to do than with your partner cuddling on the couch?
Anyway, these are the five things I have observed in our 1,820 days as a married couple. I am sure these things will change as time passes. We are always growing, learning, and seeking, so it’s important to have frequent check ins so you know where each of you stand.
**For those in committed relationships, I would love to hear what works for you and your partner.