Wednesday, March 4, 2015

5 Things I've Learned Since Being Married

John and I will be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary in about 3 months (which is crazy to think about considering I feel like our wedding was just yesterday)!  It’s fun to look back at our first year of marriage and see all of the ways that we have grown as a couple.  

John and I are both highly motivated people, and with that can come the occasional fireworks when we don’t see eye-to-eye, but we have worked on slowing down, thinking things through, and responding in love. 



Here are 5 tips that have helped us grow closer as a couple.




1.  Intentions before feelings 

It is important to communicate to your spouse about things that are bothering you, but if you’re anything like me, this can come out in a terrible amount of un-thought-through word vomit (someone please tell me that I’m not alone?).

 Instead of immediately blurting out what is bothering you, perhaps begin your conversation by detailing your intentions (before detailing your feelings).  For example, “my intention of this is…”.  Framing the conversation this way will help you figure out why what you are communicating matters to you… and who knows, maybe once you think it through, you will determine that it really doesn’t matter to you after all!




2.  The third “person” 

I can be a fairly stubborn (I prefer determined...) person, and although that attribute is helpful in many areas of life, relationships aren’t always one of them.  One thing that has helped me keep perspective when John and I are working through something is thinking of the third “person.” 

 Instead of thinking of what is best for me (or thinking of what is best for John), we try to think about what is best for our marriage.  It really helps reframe the discussion in terms that aren’t you vs. me... since it is ultimately about our marriage.
 




3.  Daily relationship maintenance

Since John and I both work (and frequently long hours), we often come home from work exhausted from the day, and the truth is that we don’t have much energy left to give to each other.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes it is just easier to come home and do something mindless (watch a show, read blogs, etc.).  

To prevent this from getting the best of us, John and I instituted daily “relationship maintenance” for at least 20 minutes every night.  It’s a time that we spend together completely engaged (no Instagram or television), and catch up on what’s going on.  Setting a daily time (even though it’s short) has really helped us to recharge with one another.




4.  Listen (and that’s it)

I’m a solutions kinda girl.  If someone comes to me with a problem, my instinct is to listen, come up with a plan, solve the issue, and then move on.  But sometimes, my husband isn’t coming to me for my (albeit uber fabulous) advice. He’s just looking to talk and be listened to.  

Although my instinct is to “solve”, I’ve learned that it is incredibly important for our emotional intimacy to not try to solve John’s problems... and instead, just listen and empathize.  And stop there.




5.  Pray together 

Without a doubt, this has been the best thing for John and me and our marriage.  Praying together out loud can be uncomfortable at first, but it is a great way to grow in your marriage while keeping Christ at the center.  When I hear John’s heart before the Lord, it really softens the feelings that I am having, and helps reframe my priorities.

 John and I also read "Jesus Calling" together in the mornings… the devotionals are super short (maybe 1 minute to read), and that one minute together is a great way to start our day aligned.
 


These are just a few things that have helped John and I over the past few years; obviously all personalities and marriages are different, but these are the things that have helped us grow closer together.

16 comments :

  1. Ohh what a great giveaway! I LOVE that bangle! Definitely going to check out your guest post!

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  2. What an awesome post. All of your and John's picture are darling, and I love the advice you gave. I love the praying aloud together, and making sure you have time (even if it's only 20 minutes) of undivided time for each other.

    Oh and I'm totally hoping to win this giveaway!

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  3. definitely going to check this out. as a new wife to be soon, it's probably something good to know :)

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  4. Loved reading your tips!! The photos are so beautiful too!!

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  5. LOVE it! so happy to have you on my blog today :) Xoxo

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  6. LOVED your marriage post. All of your tips are fantastic and something we need to remember in our marriage daily. Y'all are too cute :)

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  7. Great post! It is definitely vital to pray every day and to make time to reconnect each evening. Oh, and the 'verbal diarrhea/vomit'? You aren't alone, friend!

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  8. Love, love, love your post! Especially number two and five. I think that is something every strong willed couple just focus on. Our arguments almost always come to down to me vs. him. I agree that hearing Cory pray over me every day softens my hard heart!

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  9. Oh I just love this!! Being a newlywed I think you've hit the nail on the head. Just so much LOVE!! Thanks for writing!! xo Martha Kate leavingperfectionlearninggrace.com

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  10. Hey girl, loved your post! I'm the same way with wanting to solve everyone's issues but most of the time they just want someone to listen, thanks for sharing all your great advice!

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  11. oops -- and this is the year to... "make my goals happen"!!

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  12. Cannot wait to go check out this wedding post :)

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  13. Lisa, this is beautiful and so absolutely adorably you and John! Great tips for marriage especially the one about the "third person." We miss you guys!

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