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why I’m qualified to write about marriage advice

Twice a week I sit through an African Politics class with a brilliant professor. He’s been to Africa a few times, but certainly didn’t grow up there or live in destitution or poverty for decades, and he is as American as it gets. But, he is an amazing teacher, and I dare say an expert. While my professor has lived in Africa, talked with the natives, and traveled widely, he is an expert because of his research. He learns because he’s asked questions. He’s read all the books, talked to hundreds of people, and developed his theories. 
Yes, I am quite aware that I have been married for under two years. I am also quite aware that I write posts that sound like I am giving advice for successful long term relationships. No, I don’t sheepishly believe that in the past year and a half I have learned everything it takes to build a successful lifetime or eternal marriage. But, I have spent my life surrounded by couples who have been married for decades. I have some of the most wonderful examples of marriage. And if that weren’t enough, I ask questions. Before I was engaged I was asking them questions. When I found out I was getting married I asked a million more questions. And now, being married, I am still constantly asking questions.  Posts like this (how to fall in love again)  or this (how to get divorced) are the culminations of carefully curated advice that in my short while as a married woman I have tried and found helpful. Yes, I’m sure there are many answers. No, I am not an expert from experience. And no, I am not saying that my marriage is perfect or better than yours. But, I am saying that my parents, my grandparents, my aunts, my uncles, and my role models shared some pretty wonderful things with me…and I’m sharing them here with you (and as my personal record here on this blog). 
I’m sorry if that offends some of you. I’m so sorry if you have experience with failed relationships and heartbreak. I’m sorry if it feels like I’m coming off cavalier in appearing that a 22 year old newlywed has a better handle on things than someone who tried marriage for a decade. I haven’t been through all the hardships – so far marriage has been a fun ride. I’m sure I’ll get there. I’m sure things will be hard for Ben and me at some point. But, I’m hoping that doing some of these things now will make us stronger when the hard times hit.

Do you have different thoughts than I do on marriage? I’d love to hear them. Don’t want the comment to be public? Shoot me an email.

On another note – the wedding page is back up with more pictures and details of our favorite day (click here).

13 Comments

  1. Elisabeth, you sweet girl. You're so good at putting together lists and ideas for different people, and your marriage lists are no exception. I think you're amazing! Love you.

  2. whoa, can't believe you got a comment that motivated you to write this. (I'm glad you did, but I'm sad that someone was aggressive enough that you had to. you know what I mean!) I don't know that anyone, even someone who has been married for 50 years, is an expert on relationships because each and every one is unique, but the only way we learn is from our experiences and from the experiences of those around us – so thank you for sharing yours. even if we don't find ourselves in the same situations as you, the insight you've gained can only help us in our own situations šŸ™‚

  3. It wouldn't matter if you were married for 22 years, if people don't want to hear what you have to say they will find a reason to discount your input. It's their problem – not yours. I've been married twice. To the same man. However, they are two completely different marriages. After a total of 15 years I'm no expert.

    I am excited to read your take on things – there's nothing quite like the energy of someone who is in love with being in love to remind people what it's all about.

  4. I love this post AND your advice. I love hearing what other people think about marriage and what their advice is because I often find things that I think are helpful. Even if I don't agree I still enjoy reading it. Keep posting lady!!

    xo

  5. I don't think you have to be married for 20+ years to give advice on marriage. Honestly you could be a couple of months in and still have at least a few great tips! People are silly! Don't let em get to you!

    Oh and you two are seriously adorable! And that divorce post make me giggle! Your pics were PERFECT!

  6. I don't think anyone can say they are an "expert" on marriage. I think marriage is something so personal and we are all different and have different experiences. What may work for one person may not for someone else. I love that you share you experiences with us. This is YOUR blog and you write about your life, what has worked and what hasn't worked for you. šŸ™‚

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  7. I am so happy you wrote this post! I honestly believe any marriage advice is helpful, whether you have been married 2 weeks or 50 years. You never know what little piece of advice you share might help someone else, so I always say "SHARE!"

    Also. You are your hubby are basically the most adorable couple ever! Love your wedding photos. šŸ™‚

  8. aww thank you girl! that's so sweet!

    I've actually been following your blog & instagram for some time now :p
    but glad you found me too šŸ™‚

  9. I hate that people feel like just because you haven't done something for awhile means you can't be knowledgeable about it.
    Your tips and advice are things that I have heard from my mother and friends who have been married for ages.
    So keep doing what you do Elisabeth! I'm glad I've "met" you through this blog world.

  10. Did someone really knock you for writing posts about marriage? It isn't you they are upset with… there is obviously something deeper that was triggered and made them lash out. Pay them no mind. I like your posts on marriage and appreciate your tips and advice. I haven't been married that much longer but we have gone through some really difficult times and I know it just makes us stronger. You are a great example to so many so don't let others bring you down!

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