Think before you speak. Don't forget the little things. Don't go to bed angry. Go to bed angry and wake up with a fresh perspective. As Radley and I have prepared for our wedding, our loved ones have been sharing all kinds of marriage advice. Communicate, compromise, steer clear of ultimatums — at this point, I think we've heard it all.
One tip has stuck with me, though. One tip has managed to shift my perspective on love and life and what creates that simple, everyday joy we're all looking for.
A few months ago, our family friend told us to embrace the hard work of a marriage. Let things get hard, she said, and then try like hell to make them better. Trust me, that's the fun part.
The work: It's something no one else had mentioned — not directly, anyway. But she was right. Work is what separates passion from commitment — what separates feelings from forever. Love is easy, but a relationship requires loyalty and effort and a selfless sense of responsibility.
It's not a bad word, either: Work. When you're moving toward something you care about, the work is rewarding. It's enriching. When happiness is the goal, the work is worth it.
Every relationship has its challenges. For us, it tends to be the little things: Radley doesn't close cabinets, I get anxious about time. Radley likes to let the dust settle, I want results now. He stays up too late and I talk too much and truth be told, neither of us really loves to do the dishes. And yet, we're happy. Work and all, good times and bad, we're happier than we've ever been because we're moving through this life together.