Tin and Marriage

This week, my husband and I will celebrate ten years of marriage. That is no small feat. There is so much give and take and often we individuals don’t want to compromise. After ten years, I can say that me and my husband did not know each other that well when we got married! But, at this point, in for a penny, in for a pound and with lots of gratitude, we not only made it this far, but are happy in our marriage.

Any one married knows how much work a marriage can be. We were a blended family when we married and now have a daughter together. He did not speak very English and we mostly conversed in Spanish. Looking back, there were quite a few miscommunications and bouts of silence to avoid upsetting the other person. These are things that make us laugh now.

In the United States, the traditional gift for the tenth anniversary is tin. I think this is so appropriate! A soft, silvery metal, tin is pliable but resists corrosion from everyday things like tap water. But it can be damaged with strong abrasives or acids. If that doesn’t sum up a ten-year marriage, I don’t what does!

Together, we have become more pliable as a couple but also as individuals. I remember wanting to start a fight one time because he bathed our daughter in the backyard and snapped her onesie on the outside of her pants. Really? He had seen his child properly dressed hundreds of times at that point! But to him, that just wasn’t important. He’s been frustrated at me for things that I thought were inconsequential too and so it goes. We both learned early on that acidic or stinging words and attitudes were only useful on the way to unhappiness so we dug our heels into respect and communication when we both could handle it.

Ten Tips

Relationships are hard work. Anyone who’s been in a relationship for more than six months knows this. There’s plenty of advice out there that you’ve heard at least 100 times.

However, there are probably a few things you’ve either never heard of or you’ve forgotten about. One of these forgotten items might make a huge difference in your relationship.

Consider these 10 relationship tips:

  1. Choosing a partner is a serious matter. Most people fail to appreciate the gravity of choosing a partner. This is especially true when it comes to marriage. Consider the amount of time and energy a partner requires. Now, consider the damage done to your life by divorce. Make your decision with care.
  2. Learn from your past. Look back on your past relationships for guidance in your current and future relationships.

● What do you want to change about yourself to be more successful in the future in your love life?

● What type of people are you regularly attracted to? Do you have a type? Is it a type that’s good for you? What does your relationship past suggest?

● What were the challenges in your past relationships? What can you do to avoid them in the future? Are you better equipped to deal with those challenges if they happen again?

  1. It takes years to REALLY know someone. Be careful about jumping in with both feet. While it’s not necessary to wait 10 years, keep in mind that you’ll still be learning new things about the other person for at least a decade. There’s more there than you can learn in just a year or two.
  2. No one can read your mind. Avoid saying the classic, “I shouldn’t have to tell you what’s wrong.” This is unreasonable. Take responsibility for helping others to satisfy your needs. It only makes sense to make it as easy as possible for someone else to make you happy.
  3. No one can fulfill all of your needs. There is no person that can satisfy every need you have. You’re going to have to rely on yourself and others to pick up the slack. No single person is a one-stop solution to your life.
  4. No one is perfect. If you want someone perfect, you’re either going to be disappointed or alone. You’ll have to accept some flaws in your partner. If you’ve chosen the right person, their positive qualities will far outweigh their bad.
  5. Avoid getting into a relationship to solve your problems. A relationship shouldn’t be based on solving your challenges. Get your life under control before getting involved with someone else.
  6. It’s hard to take back unkind words and actions. Think before you speak. There are things you can say in the heat of the moment that will never be completely forgotten.
  7. Your partner’s friends and family matter. You might not like the other important people in your partner’s life, but it’s important to make an effort to get along with them. Your relationship will suffer if you treat them badly or attempt to avoid them altogether.
  8. Always remember to treat your partner like they’re the most important person in your life. Because they may well be. The day-to-day grind can cause us to forget to treat our partner well.

● In fact, many of us ignore the niceties altogether and treat our partner worse than how we would treat a stranger. This is a mistake!

● Show your love in your thoughts, words, and actions. Even when you disagree, make your opinion known in a loving and respectful fashion.

Neglecting your relationship can have catastrophic consequences. Relationships require monitoring and maintenance to survive and thrive. Dust off these forgotten tips and put them to good use. Your relationship will be stronger and more satisfying for both of you.

I could go on and on, but Number 4 could have been my downfall! Traditionally, the third anniversary is leather (another material symbolizing ruggedness!) and the modern one is crystal. This year we did our leather gifts but I also gave him a crystal ball as that year was really tough in terms of developing a better communication rhythm. He got the joke and now it is a source of laughter. Either of us can just glance at it and we will immediately know that communication is faltering so we can regroup and communicate clearly! It keeps things light and always gets a laugh or funny story. That laughter–that is a bonus tip–always find a way to share a smile or laugh. Definitely softens the heart and fosters closeness!

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