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  • Writer's pictureColleen Bunten

What I've learned in my 3 years of marriage

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

September 16th, 2017, my forever wedding date and I were getting ready to...

  • Attend our 45th wedding together (our own). Flash forward- now we have attended/been in over 60 weddings together!

  • Walk down the aisle and have the most unique, special ceremony ever, complete with me laughing so hard I spit wine out my nose and us forgetting to put our moms’ flowers out so we had to not-so-discreetly pull flowers out of my trusty MOH’s bouquet

  • Include WWE belts in our grand entrance to the reception, Jim’s dream... only to find out that he held it upside down in the photo

  • Cut into a wheel of cheese (instead of cake) and share our favorite food (pizza) in one unforgettable wedding meal

  • Be surrounded by the most incredible family and friends in the universe

Now, I won’t pretend to be an expert on love and marriage, but I feel the need to share everything I have learned in the last three years...

  1. Life isn’t perfect, and neither is marriage. NO couple has their shit completely together, and no relationship is the same; we have learned to never compare ours to others.

  2. Make your wedding, especially your ceremony, as unique as possible. Your special touches are much more meaningful and memorable than just following boring old traditions and formats.

  3. Things can be messy, but they eventually will be cleaned; finances, the house, life. Just breathe.

  4. Sometimes we fight, but the most important thing is that even when we fight with each other, we still fight for each other.

  5. It is entirely possible to pursue your individual goals and passions, to soul search and find your true self, and still have a strong, healthy marriage. Just remember to create a good support system within your marriage. Be each other’s number one fan.

  6. Timing will not always be on our side. Health, money, 10 priorities in one single day... cuss, cry, then move forward and do the best you can. Together.

  7. Change is hard but good. Just because you change individually, it doesn’t mean that you are (or have to) grow apart. Just because friendships, careers and other parts of life change, you will always be okay if you navigate it together.

  8. It’s okay to let your guard down and let someone take care of or help you. Independence is a great quality, but don’t ever let it taint teamwork. That is something I have struggled the most with.

  9. Ego is a marriage’s worst enemy. Admitting when you’re wrong and apologizing is sometimes difficult, but it is important. We have learned that it is also possible for us both to be right at the same time. Practice genuine, sincere apologies and true, total forgiveness.

  10. Growing together as we learn our differences (we thought we had EVERYTHING in common 7 years ago!) has been challenging. Remember that it’s okay to not agree on everything. And remember that even when you do disagree, that the others’ opinions, values, etc are still valid.

  11. Time goes too fast, and you will never get it back. Remember to enjoy each other, and find any and every excuse to celebrate your love. Try to fall in love with each other every day; don’t ever forget those little reasons you fell in love in the first place.

  12. Show appreciation for things. Positive reenforcement is often more effective than frustration or guilt.

  13. Sometimes space is good. Everyone needs a reset, and often times, taking a small breather is more effective than hashing things out and beating a horse that is already dead. Space, or even sometimes drifting apart a little, does not mean your relationship is unhealthy or it should end. It means you respect each other enough to take some time and get your mind and soul right before working together to fix issues.

  14. Respect, trust, communication, understanding and empathy are what have become the most important values in our relationship.

  15. Pizza and wine make everything better.

  16. Don’t ever believe them when they say you are a “one pet household”.


Two years down, a lifetime to go. Thank you for supporting me even when you don’t always completely understand me. Thank you for making me laugh every day, even when I want to be mad at you. Thank you for being the strong, stable, responsible, logical to my free spirit, creative, impulsive, type B tendencies. Thank you for loving me through my chrysalis stage.

Thank you for providing for our little family. Thank you for loving my family like your own. And thank you for sharing your family, who so graciously shares the month of September and its celebrations with us.


I love you, Jim Bunten!




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