Things happen. It is a part of life. What is important is not what happens but how you react. Take Sarah and I for instance. We have been together for nine years and married for a little over four years. During this time we have faced me getting laid off, Sarah getting really sick, then getting some weird skin thing and then a blood clot. Through all of these things, which happened in the second year we where married, we rolled with the punches. We have been through things in our first two years married that most couples don’t go through. Here is what I have learned:
- Don’t be to ready. You can’t be ready for everything. I would love to tell you that you can prepare for any eventuality, but you can’t. What this means is that you shouldn’t try to be prepared for everything. In fact I would suggest avoiding preparations altogether. When Sarah and I went through all of out stuff we where young, without savings and neither of us where making very much money and yet we where still able to make it. The trick is to live within your means. Don’t go crazy, don’t buy a $200,000 home when a $130,000 home will do. The same goes for renting. Figure out what you can afford not what you want. Do you need a new car or will a used one do? This is simple and yet so many people don’t think about what they can afford instead buying what they want.
- Roll with it. Seriously. This is the best advice I can give any couple. When things happen, what ever they are, just go with it. Lets say, for example, one of you ends up in the hospital three times in one year and you rack up $25,000 in debt to the hospital. On top of that one of you can’t work because they are sick and the one that can work only makes $20,000 a year. Take a deep breath, smile and get ready to work. The first thing to do is take care of the person who is sick. That should be priority one. After that call all creditors and explain the situation. Express that you will do you best to pay but make sure they understand what is going on. If there is a month when you can’t pay a creditor call them ASAP and let them know. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Hopefully you will qualify for some sort of financial assistance from the hospital, but if you don’t just take a deep breath and smile.
- Adjust. Adjust your life to fit the new situation. If I have learned anything from Sarah and I’s troubles it is the importance of adjust little things to make your life better. Simple things like renting movies or learning to make your own ice cream can save you money. An even better idea then renting movies is to borrow movies from friends. If a doctor tells you that you might feel better if you adjusted your diet, try it. It costs you very little to try something and you may find that cutting out all the “bad” food will make you feel a lot better. Keep in mind that doctors aren’t always right and you may make adjustments to a prescribed diet.
- Be a team. This probably should have been number one. The one thing that Sarah and I do that has helped us through so much is act as a team. We have one joint checking account and one joint savings account. We talk to each other about purchases as well as work together paying the bills. Sarah is definitely better at managing money then I, but it isn’t fair for her to be solely responsible for our finances. Being a team goes for everything. It is both of your jobs to support the other in all of their endeavors. This means that if your significant other likes to read horror comics and play video games or gasp plays dungeons and dragons, you support that. If on the other hand your significant other is a huge art dork and needs help preparing for the classes she teaches, you are right there lending a hand. Sure you may not really care about what they are interested in, but is it that hard to help them out?
- Be awesome. This is truly the most important part of any relationship. Being awesome is pretty simple. In fact the person you are with probably already thinks your awesome. So just continue being who you are. Of course part of being awesome is accepting the other persons awesomeness. For instance, I think that Sarah is awesome because she knows so much about art, isn’t afraid of very much and puts up with all my crap. Sarah is awesome. Think about your significant other, what do you think is awesome? Ask them what they think is awesome about you.
This is my theory on being happy and having a happy life together. Sure it isn’t perfect but then nothing really is. That is another thing to keep in mind. We are all not perfect. This is probably a good description of all relationships. They aren’t perfect and striving for perfection can only make it worse. The important thing is to love each other and remember: Your a Team.