Tuesday, September 3, 2013

If Ryan and I were LEGO figures...

While I was on alert, I thought it would be a lot of fun to kind of do another post on where we're at with our marriage.  Ryan and I have been married for over two years (2.5) and are going through some pretty major phases in our life together.  I have graduated college, been commissioned as an officer, completed my tech training, and we now live in Montana.  Ryan has finished four years with the Marine Corps, has completed a civilian job working as a gun retailer, and now he is starting college.  So I e-mailed him some questions and we actually kind of made a game with it with our friends the other night.  We know a lot of young, married couples due to our military background and it was fun to see what their responses were. 

1. Where are you in your life?
We're now living in Montana in a really great house.  We have two German Shepherds, Holly and Blu.  Blu is having incontinence issues, which can be very frustrating at times.  Ryan has just started his college career and it's fun seeing his accomplishments through academic fields.  I'm adjusting pretty well to my job, and I'm adjusting to living in Montana.  Right now I'm also accomplishing my Master's Degree.

2. What is the thing that surprised you most about marriage?
There are several aspects that are really not very exciting.  I think while you're growing up, influencing factors come into play due to how impressionable media, magazines, Disney, and social media outlets like Pinterest can be on a young person.  I definitely thought marriage was a lot more exciting that it really is (or at least in my marriage). It's really just the day-to-day stuff and balancing responsibilities such as being an Air Force officer and paying bills.  You have to make things romantic and take the time to pay attention to your partner's needs.  You think this would be obvious but it's easy to get wrapped up in your job, school, etc.

3. What are the best parts of your marriage right now?
We're definitely learning how to communicate more effectively with one another and what buttons not to push.  I can recognize the areas that I need to improve upon and hopefully this will help make our marriage more cohesive.  Being in a better rhythm with our day-to-day has made it easier to being better partners.

4. What are the areas of improvement?
My area of improvement is a definite need to respond better to what Ryan needs.  My husband is very devoted to organization and keeping a clean house.  If he's got his mind set on something, it kind of needs to be done right away or it stresses him out.  If you know me, this is so completely not like me whatsoever.  Whenever he asks me to do something, I try to get to it right away to kind of help him with his love language.  His area of improvement would be patience and being more romantic.  It's very obvious that I married a Marine.  He's very disciplined but sometimes he forgets that I'm not a PFC and I'm actually his wife.  His personality has definitely helped me curb my expectations on how being realistic with romance expectations.  It's important to keep in mind that if I don't express what I'm looking for, then he can't possibly know.

5. How has your partner changed?
I have changed basically due to our lifestyle.  I'm not crafting as much as I used to and I get stressed a lot more easily in regards to my job.  I realized certain aspects of my personality weren't changing for the good and I kind of addressed that in this post, Practically Imperfect in Every Way or My Flaws Through the Use of GIFs. It's really important to me that I stay optimistic and see the beauty in our everyday lives here.  Montana is a beautiful place, maybe not Great Falls, but the state is really pretty. There are certain opportunities that I need to take advantage of because I won't experience it anywhere else.  I'm also trying to make sure that I don't let myself go and actually put together outfits instead of living in workout shorts (I love being comfy).  Ryan has changed in terms of how he reacts in a relationship.  I think having that long distance relationship aspect played a major part in our relationship dynamic.  When I went to see him, he definitely made an effort at being more engaged in activities and being more romantic.  We lived in the moment because it was always uncertain the next time we would see each other. 

6. What do you love about your partner?
I love that Ryan is very honest and loyal.  I feel safe with him and even though he's 22-years old, he always amazes me with his maturity and how much responsibility he has held in his life.  Ryan always takes care of me, no matter what and he definitely pays attention to my body language, regardless if I say anything. 

7. What is the most stressful aspect of marriage right now?
We both said the same thing- money.  Paying off school loans, car loans, vet bills for Blu, and any other bill that comes across our way definitely takes a toll on our budget.  We do have a strict budget, so it just isn't possible for us to go out on a lot of date nights.  Ryan's strictly a student right now and  I'm working on my Master's Degree and my job, so it's really just my source of income.  This limits us to one date night per paycheck and sometimes that gets sucked into one of Blu's vet bills.  Our dog, Blu, has incontinence and a heart murmur.  The incontinence is probably the worst because money goes to not only the vet, but also into cleaning supplies and we also just bought a carpet shampoo vacuum.  It's not ideal but it's what we're working with.  

8. What are some of your goals?
I really can't wait to pay off loans! We have one of our cars paid off and we're thinking of trading the other one in to get an SUV.  School loans take a lot out of every paycheck I have and I can't wait for a promotion.  We're also trying to plan ahead so we can have kids, but that probably won't happen for another 3-4 years.

9. How do you see yourself improving as a partner?
Responding to Ryan is really my main priority. I don't have an innate way of just thinking, "hey I should vacuum." It's really not something that comes to me naturally.  This really frustrates Ryan, so I'm working on thinking ahead and recognizing that by accomplishing x, y, and z, this will help alleviate Ryan's stress and the things that burden his part of our life.  Ryan is working on trying not to get as irritated (addressed above that he needs to be more patient).

That's basically it :) There were a couple more questions but they dive more into some of the questions already asked.  If you're in a relationship, how would you have responded to these questions?

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