I can’t believe our 5 year anniversary is on Friday. We started dating in 2005 and with many peaks, valleys, and GOD we finally got married in 2013. To think of where we started when we were just 2 clueless college kids to where we are now seriously has me in tears. We have been through such a journey and so thankful God has brought us together.
When we first got married we were very much still 2 individuals trying to always be right, and sweating the small stuff. It took time for us to develop into a unit. Marriage is probably the aspect of my life that requires the most work! It is not easy. We have to daily pour into our marriage and put the other person first.
I can say our marriage did not go that next level until we put God in every aspect of our marriage. Our marriage is far from perfect, but what I can say is we are committed and dedicated to the success our marriage. We in this! What I think motivates me everyday to strive to be the best wife is we didn’t have to be here, but we CHOSE to be here. And if you made the choice to be married to one another why not strive to make it the best thing possible.
With that, I wanted to share just a handful of things I have learned along the way. I find that when I speak to other couples rooted in the same marriage foundation as us we learn new ways to improve. So hopefully this will serve as the same purpose. 🙂
Stop keeping score: Man, when I tell you if I would have learned this early on it would have probably saved us from a lot of arguments! I am not going to lie I was definitely guilty of this. I would mentally start keeping a tab of things that Rick would do that bothered me or of wrong doing. The problem with this is when we would have a disagreement, here I would come pulling out my mental wrong doing list. Well, the problem with this is how can you guys move on if you are still bringing up stuff back from 2008?! And doesn’t your partner deserve to be forgiven fully? Making a list creates invisible wedges, and keeps you guys from being able to move forward. I am just gonna throw this out there, but what if God kept a tally of your wrong doing?! Yikes! When I heard that I immediately had to put myself in check!
Use your resources: Just like anything that is hard you get training or study for it. Well marriage is no different! Whether that be through surrounding yourself with couples that can be there to provide guidance to you. We are fortunate to be part of a church that puts a ton of energy into seeing marriages thrive. Annually we attend a marriage conference, not only is it fun but we also learn a ton a tools to improve on our marriage. Don’t be ashamed to received counseling. Rick and I in the past have went to counseling through our church during tough patches. It was so beneficial for us to have a mediator that could help us identify the problem, provide us with tools, and hold us accountable. Lastly, of course there are a ton of amazing books to help enrich your marriage. We even will read them together.
Travel: Make time to travel. Set up a travel fund, save a little bit over time. This make it feel more feasible to pull off vacays. We are so busy with jobs, kids, their activities, etc. It makes it easy to get in a rut, the best remedy for kicking the rut is changing the scenery! We were so refreshed after we vacation. To be able to have days away from being mom/dad is so rejuvenating.
Family business meeting: I have shared this before, but we learned to start having family business meetings. The purpose is this allows us to have a preplanned day to go over the not so fun part about marriage. Yes we would love to just have fun all the time, but we run a household and have to go over finances. In the past we struggled with poor timing. Maybe I wanted to talk about something but he didn’t or vice versa. Now we don’t have to worry about that because we have a designated window where we both are prepared and ready to go over the “business” of marriage. Of course there are times when we have pressing topics to talk about, but for the most part we try to save it for our meetings. TRY IT!
Date night: If you are not regularly doing date night you must. Get out of mommy and daddy mode and go have some fun. There will be a time where we will be empty nesters, and how awkward would it be if we never took the time to grow our marriage.
Don’t sweat the small stuff: I’ve lost count of all the times Rick forgets to do the stuff I’ve asked him to do, or when we are sleep deprived and get a little snippy. Don’t let these small irrelevant moments blow up. In moments like this we give each other some grace, and move on.
Love hard: With the daily stress life brings, why not make it a little bit easier for your spouse by showing love to them on a regular basis.
There are so many more, but wanted to share some great ones we have learned. I can’t say enough that marriage is work, and every day strive to find more ways to be a better spouse. Remember that you guys are on the same team, and embrace each other’s difference.
I love the progression that we have made, and love the life we have built together. What are some tips you have?