Seth and I recently celebrated a big milestone--our 10th wedding anniversary. I'm not going to make this a super lovey-dovey post, but let me be clear: Seth Malley is the greatest. And I'm the luckiest. He makes being married to him a total joy. In honor of our ten years as married folk, I thought I'd share the top 5 things I've learned being married to Seth
5. Go to bed angry. Whoever said you should never
go to bed angry was probably never married to an actual human person.
The later you stay up ticked off at someone, the worse it ends. So go
to sleep. Whenever I employ my own advice I almost always wake up the
next morning and think to myself, "I know I'm supposed to be mad about
something....but what was it?" If you can't remember what you were
supposed to be mad about, that's a good sign it was probably never
really a big deal to begin with. If that doesn't work, then perhaps you
could try Seth's second line of defense: In a very dramatically smarmy
voice, as though you're saying it over the soundtrack of a Color Me Bad
song, say to your spouse, "Girl (Boy), I know you were wrong, but I
forgive you." It's always funny. Always.
4. Never ask the hard-hitting questions. When Seth and I
were newlyweds, I asked him the most loaded question of all-time. I
asked, "If you could change one thing about me, what would it be?"
Think of how horribly the answering of that question could have gone!
I'm not sure what I was hoping he would or wouldn't say in response to
that, but I know I definitely wasn't expecting what he DID say. After an
alarmingly long pause (during which I was sure he was deciding which of
my faults he would wish to change first) he said, "I wish you were a
ninja." That is the single best answer any guy has ever given any girl
when she asks a stupid question like that. The moral of that story is:
don't ask stupid questions that will most likely end poorly for one or
more parties. But if you are asked such a question, be armed with a
response as good as Seth's.
3. Learn to speak their language. If you've ever read,
"Love Languages" you know where I'm going with this. Early on in our
marriage I remember having a conversation in which we both felt
frustrated with the other because we weren't feeling like we were
getting what we wanted emotionally. I don't remember the specifics, but
I do remember complaining to Seth that he didn't say nice things
to me often enough, or verbalize in the way I wanted all the things I
wished he would. Seth told me he didn't feel like I showed him I
loved him enough in the things that I did. We finally figured out that
I felt most loved when he verbalized emotions, and he felt the most
loved when I did little acts of service. Both of us were trying to show
our love in the way we wanted to be shown. Once we realized this, we
could both appreciate the other's language. Recognizing this has been
hugely helpful. Also, when in doubt--just do and say lots of nice
things to people and they will generally feel loved.
2. Laugh. A lot. When I met Seth we were both
missionaries and I had a very serious boyfriend at home "waiting" for
me. As the time drew nearer to my return home, I shared with a group of missionary friends the doubts I was having about my future with this boyfriend. I explained
that although my boyfriend wasn't particularly funny, or appreciative
of humor in general, or of the opinion that Will Ferrell was funny at
all---I guessed that it wasn't something important enough to complain
about. After listening for awhile Seth finally said, "I don't
understand that at all. I plan to laugh with my wife everyday. I want
to be 65 and cracking her up." That was a pivotal moment for me. I had
a very sudden realization that I wanted to be the person
he was cracking up in the decades to come. Thankfully, as it turns out, I
was the person he wanted to make laugh everyday for the rest of his life, too. He has made good on that promise and I'm positive that
laughing together is one of the reasons we are very happily married.
1. Live like you mean it. One of the greatest lessons
I've learned in life came from trying to yo-yo. I was struggling to get
that blasted thing to come back up to me, and Seth said, "Yo-yo like
you mean it!" With the next attempt I flung that yo-yo like a
boss, and whaddaya know...it came right back to me. I realized that I
had been hesitating slightly with every attempt, but when I finally gave
it 100%, I got the result I wanted. Now I know that may sound a little
simple, but really, try substituting any activity in place of
yo-yo-ing. In our house you'll often hear us say, "Like you mean it!"
when someone is trying to do something, but not really committing. When
you really get down to it--it's the difference between making something
good, and something great. I often tell myself to "parent like I mean
it" which to me entails not checking out, or just going through the
motions, but to really make sure I'm engaged and connected to my kids
and making the most of the moments that matter. The same thing applies
to any relationship. Be married "like you mean it"! Be a friend
"like you mean it"! Be whatever you are "like you mean it!" When we stop
holding back and really commit to whatever it is we're doing, we get
the results we want.
I can look back on my life and see
the decisions I've made and the paths down which they have led me and I
can truly say that marrying Seth is the absolute best decision I have
ever made, and that I love him more today than I did the day I married
him. Thanks to my snootchie pootchie for making my life so sweet. I
can't wait for the next ten years.