Kevin and I are celebrating our three-year anniversary today! It seems so crazy; that it has already been that long, and then again it feels like we are still newlyweds. I have been thinking about our wedding day and the ups and downs we have had getting married young, going through college together, and just learning how to be married. Sometimes we drive each other crazy, but at the end of the day, he is my best friend.

As I was thinking about what I have learned since being married, I decided to write down a few things that have really stuck out to me during these past few years.

1. It’s OKAY to Go To Bed Angry

I feel like this is one of the most controversial topics ever when it comes to advice. There have been countless songs written about just this subject. At my bridal shower all of my guests wrote down in a book marital tips for Kevin and me. At least 50% of the tips were ‘don’t go to bed angry.’ Let me say, that does not work. Maybe for other people, but definitely not for me! Sometimes the best thing to do if you are arguing, or frustrated with the other person, is to take a step back. If that means you need a nap or a night to sleep it off, do it. You may wake up with a fresh perspective, instead of saying something you don’t mean in the heat of the moment.

2. Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

Kevin and I try to keep an open line of communication so that we are on the same page. Obviously this doesn’t always happen, but it does help.

One Friday night when Kevin and I were first married, I was studying for a big math test I needed to take the following morning. Since I was tied up for the night, I told Kevin to go out with his friends and have a good time. Yes, I told him to go have fun without me.

I honestly didn’t think anything about it until the following week I was in a group study. When asked what I did over the weekend, I told them that I spent my night studying and Kevin hung out with his friends. One guy in my group was speechless and said his wife would never let him go out if she was stuck inside. If she did allow him, she’ll be put on a face as if she was ok with it, but be secretly angry.

It isn’t fair to expect our spouse to read our thoughts or try to interpret what we are saying to them. Even though we think they should. I told Kevin to go have fun without me and I meant it. If you are not ‘fine,’ then don’t say that you are. If you are upset about something, let your partner know. Instead of saying “oh the trash is full” and expecting them to get it, just straight up ask them if they could take out the trash. This isn’t being mean or blunt; this is what our husbands want from us. They are such little things that can make a huge difference on your relationship.

3. Resentment Is The Killer Of Love

If you have a particular issue with your spouse, you need to tell them. I don’t mean nitpicking every thing they do, but it is important to discuss if something is really bothering you. For instance, Kevin is a “night owl” (like midnight to him is ‘early’). When we were first married, I would tell him to go to bed at a reasonable hour. After a few months, he sat me down for a serious conversation. Kevin said it wasn’t a big deal yet, but he knew it would be. He explained that it really bugged him how I would tell him to go to bed as if I was his mother. I hadn’t thought anything about it, but it really bothered him. If he hadn’t said anything, it could have begun to resonate and led to a fight. He wasn’t trying to hurt my feelings, but was a discussion that led to a compromise. It is better to be honest about those things than just letting them build and build.

4. Know Your Spouse’s Love Language

Knowing you and your spouse’s love language is super important. Have you taken the quiz to see what yours is? The main love languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. You can learn what yours is here. Kevin and I have a special situation where both of our main love languages are Quality Time. For us, making time for one another to talk about our day, going on date nights, and doing activities together is how we feel closest to each other. If you and your spouse haven’t discussed your love languages, take the time to find out. I know it will make a difference in your relationship.

Life is crazy, challenging, and sometimes hectic. In the hustle of every day, don’t forget about what is really important.