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  • Writer's pictureKristin Woodward

7 things i’ve learned in 7 years of marriage

Kristin Erwin-John Woodward Wedding

seven years ago this afternoon, Spy and i got married at pre-Revolutionary Yeocomico Church, where Mary Ball Washington’s family and the Lee family once worshiped. we followed up with photos at the family rivah house and a reception at one of the finest old Richmond clubs, complete with Confederate generals on the walls and juleps in proper pewter for Derby Day. hell yeah!

after a 9-year courtship, 1 broken engagement and too many bits of drama to count, there was a lot that could go wrong here, even given the genteel Old Virginia of all the officialness. we still suspect there are bets out there about how long all this could possibly last. well . . . i’m happy to say that today, we are 7! a happy, ridiculous, crazy 7. sorry to all y’all who lost money on us again this year!

here are 7 things i’ve learned on the amazing ride so far. some of them seem pretty obvious, but i guess people always repeat them because they are just so true.

1. always hold hands. when we walk. when we sleep. even when i’m mad, i hold his hand sometimes, because i know it’s just a moment that will pass and it helps me remember the bigger picture. it’s one tiny, sweet way to show affection and confirm that we’re in this together.

2. 50/50 isn’t a thing. there is a division of labor in marriage and it’s never equal. but if everyone gives as much as they can at the time, it works. that means some days and in some ways, you will carry it. and some days and in some ways, he will. it’s not an excuse to be a slacker, but more of an acknowledgement that all you can do is your best and if both of you always do your best, it will be good enough.

3. always say thank you. and mean it. really. appreciate both the little things and the big ones. it makes you a happier, more positive person in general. as a spouse, actually acknowledging that gratitude out loud is kind of a crucial part of #2.

4. choose your battles. be happy that the dishwasher is loaded, not frustrated that the plates aren’t facing the way you would load them.

5. don’t be that couple. you know, the ones who do everything together. it’s annoying and it makes you boring — to everyone else and your spouse. go do something without your SO from time to time and the 2 of you will have so much more to talk about when you get back between the experience itself and the interesting, independent person it helps you be.

6. always laugh. definitely always make each other laugh. even when we’re mad, we somehow manage turn a fight into something to laugh about — eventually. we’re lucky that way.

7. always grow. he’s not exactly who he was when  i met him. neither am i. accepting the new people we are and that we’re becoming is so huge in staying with someone for the long-haul. and it always keeps things interesting. (see #5.)

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