Lessons after two years of marriage

The sequel to my lessons learned in marriage is finally here. The following is written by my wife. Here's some of the things she's learned after surviving two years with me: 

  • Ask him how he's doing. Ladies, it's often easier to say what's on our minds and we expect others to do the same. If your guy is like Sam though, it'll take some prodding before he talks. It'll take persistence and patience, but he'll appreciate it.
  • Sometimes, "it's fine means he's fine". Apparently, it's not a code to have a serious talk.
  • Strategize the best time to talk. Make time in both your schedules if necessary. No he isn't the president (unless...he is?) but being smart about having the right time to talk will result in richer, deeper conversations. Tried and true words of advice: he won't be listening [Sam: "Yes I will." Janitta: "No, you won't."] when he's watching a basketball game or deep in an intense game of Overwatch, however meaningless that sounds.
  • Practice communicating patiently and honestly. It's okay to think through your emotions but share with your partner when something is up. Also, trust him to share when he's ready.
  • Ask with a smile. When needing help out with a chore, errand, or any inconvenient task, ask nicely and with a smile. It's harder to say no to someone who's smiling and pleasant.
  • Never say 'always' or 'never'. 'Always' and 'never' always make it worse. This is also the one time you can use the word 'never'. Unless you're rocking out a JB solo in the shower. Don't rock out to JB in the shower.
  • Always remember to say thank you. This is the one time you can use the word "always".
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. Before you go on a nagging rampage about that unchanged lightbulb or the dirty socks on the floor, think about what he does for the relationship. Perhaps he takes out the garbage or picks up the groceries. Appreciate his priorities. 
  • He won't always make sense. Sam's hobby is buying pricy shoes, wearing them for a while, and then flipping them to a bunch of high school kids. Does this make sense to you? I don't need to understand everything about him. 
  • Use your Google Calendar and share it with him. How else is he supposed to know that you two are going to be busy catching up on The Bachelorette Monday at 9pm central, 8pm pacific?
  • Have date nights once a week, with a phone stack if possible. It's good for your relationship like vegetables are for your body.
  • Make him eat vegetables. No, he won't do it on his own. 
  • Do things separately with your own friends. Remember life without your significant other? Your friends might've forgotten. Make time to remind them.
  • Alone time is necessary. Whether you're in a separate room doing devotions or out picking up a new hobby. We all need to reset and refresh in our relationships.
  • Have common goals. Is it mentoring youth, serving your community through a charity or becoming Pokemon masters? Find something that motivates the both of you to move forward.
  • Brush up on your teamwork. Invite your friends and family over for a meal. Split the tasks. Work together.
  • Manage finances together. We recommend joint bank accounts. Full transparency. Know where your money is going and to be good stewards of it. No 'he said, she said'. Be involved. 
  • Practice forgiveness. He's gonna screw up. Most of it will be small things, some will be a bit bigger. (For any guys reading, this is not a free pass. Stop giving us reasons to have to forgive you.)  
  • Keep growing. While he loves and accepts all your shortcomings, it doesn't give you a hall pass to not work on getting better.
  • Love each other deeply and guard your heart. Your heart is the wellspring of life.