We've learned a lot about relationships by working through the ups & downs that 20 years of marriage brings.
Have you ever tried to control your partner? Well we found ourselves in the mess of thinking everything we did had to be done in complete agreement.
One of the biggest lessons we learned is that we can't control each other. When we got married we took it very literally that we became "one." We thought we had to agree on everything and that each others actions reflected on the other person. We were quite judgmental of what the other person should do, believe, & how they should act.
A book that really helped us to let go of the judgement & control was The 4 Agreements. This book was very helpful in changing our perspective of how we saw each other & how we saw the marriage. We became one family when we got married but we were still our own individuals.
If you're not familiar with the 4 agreements they are -
Don't take things personally
Be impeccable with your word
Always do your best
Another book I recommend in regards to dealing with control & judgment is The Judgment Detox by Gabby Berstien.
Jeremiah recommended the book The 5 Love Languages.
Another thing that really helped us was working with our own self awareness to understanding ourselves & then understand each other better.
Self-awareness is the ability to objectively view yourself, your actions, thoughts, or emotions & assess whether they align with your core self. If you're highly self-aware, you can objectively evaluate yourself, manage your emotions, align your behavior with your values, and understand correctly how others perceive you.
Some of the ways we developed self-awareness were:
Asking introspective questions
Keeping a journal