Today is a continuation of the blog series "Beyond the Big Day." These blogs are intended to help engaged couples, newlyweds, and anyone who is open to wisdom from others who have been married and learned a few things from it! I'm pleased to introduce Antonia from Antonia Christianson Events to you today with her blog "Marriage Isn't About Winning." Click here to read more from the Beyond the Big Day series.
When Maria asked me to write a post about my first year of marriage, I was kind of taken aback...honored, absolutely. But at times I feel like my first year of marriage (a decade ago) was a lifetime ago. And at times, I feel like it was just yesterday. I wasn't really sure where to start. So I thought I'd share the two things I have always lived by in my marriage, advice that I received from my in laws the night before I got married.
First, remember, that "marriage will feel different." This is something I didn't believe, but it is absolutely true. My beloved and I lived a huge life before we got married. We met in college, fell in love, moved across the country together, had our first son, bought a house, and then got married. A little backwards, but perfect for us. Look up “whirlwind romance” in the dictionary and you'll probably see a 21 year old picture of James and I. There was no way I could feel any more connected than I already did...but boy was I wrong. When I woke up the first day as a Christianson, I couldn't have been more proud, more aligned and more in tune, and this feeling has only grown more than I ever imagined possible over the last 10 years. On that day in September 2005, I became someone's wife. I was legally and spiritually bound, forever, and that made me so proud at the time and stil makes me unbelievably joyful and giddy.
The second piece of advice that I received was to "choose your battles wisely." If you follow my business at all you know this is something I often refer to because it's the biggest boundary I've set in my marriage, as a parent, in friendship, in any relationship really...and it's huge! If you think this is obvious advice, wait until you have children! I have made a guideline for when and if I'm going to voice my opinion when a conversation or discussion becomes heated or is really pulling on my heartstrings. It's really pretty simple. "If it's not going to change history, keep it to yourself." I know, I know! You are probably thinking, "I am strong, I need to be heard, hear me roar!" But the truth is oftentimes your opinion in the heat of the moment is shared more times to "win the battle" than because it is truly the best for the big picture. Your daily life's journey is just that - a journey, a small piece of the big picture. I will often times, step away, re-group, think about both sides of the equation and come to a happy medium....or, "let him win."
Because this is what I have learned, if my beloved has an opinion on the well-being of our family, and he actually verbalizes it, he has given some thought to the issue and he is speaking on what he truly feels is best. We aren't fighters, we don't really bicker. We agree on most things parenting, money and spiritually, so when he does speak up, it's for a reason. With marriage, it shouldn't be about pride, or winning, or battling. It should be about feeling different and loved and heard…and united.
Owner of Antonia Christianson Events, this Virginia Beach native is thought of as the “go to” event professional in Coastal Virginia. Antonia Christianson Events has quickly become a top wedding and social events planning firm, respected by clients and fellow event professionals alike. For fifteen years, Antonia has lived and breathed social events and it is shown in her list of clients that range from PGA Rookie of the Year (2009) to nationally known radio personalities. From her humble beginnings in radio promotions to her corporate event experience working as the marketing coordinator for a large wireless phone provider, her knowledge and awareness of varying event styles is displayed in every aspect of her company. She prides herself in continuing to educate the wedding community on how to better business while keeping family the top priority. This is shown in her ability to balance her brand while being an active wife and mother to James, her husband, and Noah and Jackson her two sons.
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Photo by Bit of Ivory Photography.