Lesson #10:

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

I mentioned previously all the terrible advice we were told as young newlyweds. I very much believe that when you get married, you become champions of other marriages. Pay attention to who you surround yourself with and what energy they are giving your marriage. Venting is necessary, but those friends who just say “you don’t deserve that” can get in your head. Those toxic friends are oftentimes why you don’t share the conflict with anyone, because you feel as if everyone tries to convince you to leave. If you ever need an ear to just vent, I am there – but just so if you’re looking for a friend to convince you to divorce him, I’m not the one.

My best friend’s mother, Julie, is one of my favorite people in the entire world. Julie is the closest I will ever be to meeting a real life Mary Poppins. She is someone who is so strong but full of such wisdom and poise, I could spend hours just listening to her. Julie married her high school sweetheart 30 years ago and they could not be any more opposite. Her husband, Mike, loves his tattoos and loud KISS music and motorcycle whereas Julie is so put together, loves her elephants and antiques. Of course I invited Julie to my bridal shower and I was dying to talk to her more one on one about marriage.

Towards the end of the bridal shower I was able to sneak off and talk to Julie and she imparted some of the most interesting wisdom that I needed to hear. I asked her, through 30 years of marriage what was something she would recommend I do to keep a happy marriage. Her answer? She explained to me that there are many different sides of people. Who I am around my family is not the same as who I am around my friends or my spouse. She said in the beginning of her marriage she wanted to be everything to Mike and it ended up causing an issue down the road. If you take on the burden of being the wife, caregiver and best friend, when there is a conflict in the marriage it leaves the other person feeling lost and alone. It also puts an extraordinary amount of pressure on me to be everything all at once. She told me to encourage my husband to spend guy time and for me to take time separately with girl friends as well. Absence truly makes the heart grow fonder and when you are happier, you are a better spouse. For someone who loved to spend every waking moment with my husband, I really thought about this piece of wisdom and wanted to share it with you!

If you ask my husband, he’ll tell you I am always pushing for a guy’s night and vice versa. A couple years ago, I told my husband I wanted to go to New Orleans with my best friend and he all but booked my ticket for me to go. We completely agree with Julie. If you haven’t had a girl’s night or a guy’s night out – call a friend and go enjoy! Trust me you’ll be a better spouse because of it. What do you think?

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