Thursday, February 9, 2017

Workin' It Wednesday: Keeping Our Marriage Strong

 Hey friends! Today I'm linking up with (a day late because I already had yesterday's post ready and scheduled before I remembered this linkup...) Shay and Erika for their new "Workin' It Wednesdays" series. This month, appropriately enough for Valentine's Day upon us, we're talking about how we keep our marriages strong. 


First, I have to give credit to our parents and grandparents for providing us with the best examples of loving, devoted and lasting marriages. Our parents and grandparents, combined, have over 250 years of marriage experience surrounding us. They are the best examples we could ask for. 

When I started thinking about what makes Stephen and I strong, I came up with a few quick points that are important to us or things that we do. 


{one} We have a Christ-centered marriage. This by far is the most important. Living our best Christian lives, being faithful members of our church, relying on our church family, developing strong friendships with our friends in like-minded faith in the same phase of life as we are...these are among the most important things in our life. We surround ourselves with other Christians which only strengthens us. 


{two} We let each other vent, but we also know when to give the other a reality check. Our biggest rants to each other when we need to "let off some steam" are no doubt complaints about work. We listen to each other's complaints and offer suggestions for help when the situation calls for it. Other wise, we just listen. I don't always want Stephen's opinion, I just need him to listen and he knows that. Stephen doesn't always want my opinion, but sometimes I have to be realistic with him and point out he's being a bit irrational in the complaint. He's receptive to it and often has him rethinking the situation from a different perspective. 


{three} We stay in contact throughout the day. We often send random texts back and forth through the day. Nothing of great importance, just checking in on each other's day. Sometimes those little messages mean the world to me on a bad day. 


{three} We give each other space. Before we became parents Stephen was an avid Crossfit guru. The class he went to was at 4:45 and he'd get home around 6:30. Some nights I would get aggravated that he'd be getting in late and I'd have dinner waiting on him. Other nights, I relished in having the house quiet and to myself during that time. He worked out with his buddies and that was their time. Before our group of friends started having babies, every Friday night was "Guy's Night". They'd meet around 9pm or so and just hang out, talk, watch Crossfit comps, build a fire and sit around it, etc and he'd come home a few hours later. He needed that time with just his circle. Now, the girls of that same group get together once a month for Bunko, and I look forward to that time SO much and need that time. Stephen, more than willingly, is ok with me going and keeping the girls at home by himself on that night. Our time together is precious, but time apart with our friends is also precious. 


{four} We make "gameplans". Weekends, holidays, birthdays we make sure we have a gameplan in place well in advance so there is no confusion and so that we can commit to one event over another or just so we're able to let our families know what our plans are. We keep a BUSY calendar from about July through December, so it just helps us to be on the same page for what's going on and what's coming up. 


{five} We know each other's "love language". Don't get me wrong, I WISH Stephen would accept  love the way I WANT to give him, but realistically we're just different. I need to love him the way he wants to be loved and he needs to love me the way I want to be. Pitching in on chores, errands, etc (the technical terminology is "Acts of Service") without being asked so that I can come home and just do nothing sometimes....oh, that speaks straight to my heart. But now, the Mr., his is "Physical Touch" love language...and I know that. It's not easy, but when we excel with this, our days are the absolute best!


{six} You've heard it all your life, never go to bed angry. Some of the best advice I ever received before we got married was that it's OK to go to bed mad. Sometimes you're just tired, grumpy, and unwilling to budge. You need sleep and rest. Often you'll wake in the morning refreshed and of a different opinion than what you went to bed upset about. When I go to bed mad, I often wake up with a sincere apology whether it's on my end or his end, and 99% of the time we're able to calmly talk through whatever problem was such a big deal the night before. 


{seven} We're still very new to this parenting gig, and so far the only "us" time or date night we've had in the last 4 months was a quick dinner, then rushed back to pick our girls up (because let's be honest, Mama wasn't ready to be away from her babies that long). That being said, I can tell you I see so vividly the importance of us making time for just us as husband and wife. Whether it's a date night, a lunch date, whatever...we're going to NEED that time together. We need moments to connect as spouses and not as parents. 


Our marriage is far from perfect and takes constant work, but it's blessed and is a gift. We treasure it every day and are thankful for it every day. Check out Shay and Erika's posts to see every one else's marriage tips! I love reading what works for other couples!



3 comments:

  1. I agree with everything you said! And I really agree that it's good to have your own time too and your own hobbies!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

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  2. Y'all are adorable! I wholeheartedly agree with all of this and in my 2nd marriage I have been so much better at realizing while spending time together is so important..so is remembering who we are outside of the marriage. It's what brought us together! Our love languages are exactly the same as y'alls!! I'm always like babe...when you are doing chores it is so sexy! haha

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  3. Yes yes yes to #6!! I totally agree. Normally I just completely forget what we were even fighting about, haha! Great post. :)

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