I’m certainly no expert when it comes to marriage. Alex and I have been at this thing for just over 6 years and it’s been equal parts hard and beautiful. We’re figuring things out as we go, and God-willing, we’ll have the next 50 years or so to learn and grow. Though we still have so much to learn, there are a few things I think we do really well. Here are 5 of them. I hope you’ll share one or two things you do well in your marriage in the comments! I’d love to learn from you too.
1. Fight nice. Right from the beginning we’ve had disagreements, arguments and moments of intense frustrations. But even when we fight, we make a point of not being mean to one another. No name calling, no door slamming and no prolonged silent treatments. Friends, I’m not saying we’re perfect, but I am saying that being nice goes a long way. Talk it out, be real, show your passion, and try not to be mean.
2. Talk Lots. Alex and I are both talkers so we communicate about everything. We make a point of staying in touch during the day, and usually call one another at least once while he’s at work. We talk about important decisions, grocery lists, weekend plans, funny stories of our kids and our deepest hopes and dreams. Sometimes it doesn’t seem worth talking about, but communcation = connection. When you talk about the little things all the time, it’s easier to talk about the big things too.
3. Date Nights. We try really hard to have at least one date night every two weeks. My parents live close (like across the street!) so we ask them, but we also have a list of other babysitters we can call so we don’t feel bad asking my family all the time. Date nights keep us connected amidst the busyness of life with two little ones, a small business, and a speaking minsitry.
4. Family Dinner. We eat dinner together every single night. We’ve done this since we got married and have continued through the birth of our son 2 1/2 years ago, and our daughter a year ago. It’s a crazy time prepping 3 different meals, all while a toddler is racing around the kitchen, knocking over a baby who is crawling up my legs, but it’s worth it. We eat and talk and get up at least a dozen times to get forgotten items, and I love it.
5. Together is Our Only Option. The best thing that Alex and I have going for us is that we are both 110% committed to one another. We have been through some hard stuff. We’ve been to counselling. We’ve looked at one another and thought, “this isn’t how I thought marriage was going to be.” But at the end of the day, Alex would do anything to make our marriage work. As hard as it may get, I’m not going anywhere. Without that, we’d really have nothing.
Alex and I have SO much room to grow and honestly, this post was hard for me to write because I tend to be so critical of myself, him, and our marriage. But I’m learning that when you look for the good, you find the good. When you look for the bad, you find the bad. So today I’m looking at the good, and feeling so blessed that we are doing a few things really well.
Now I’d love to hear one or two things that you and your partner do to keep your marriage growing. Feel free to share in the comments below!