Today marks Taylor & I’s 16 month anniversary. It’s sometimes so hard to believe. An event we planned and waited for nearly two years for, was done and history within a blink of an eye. Then, we were left with something we had to work on, become a team, pray for, and encourage everyday; our marriage. No wedding planner, pastor, counselor, or decorator could have prepared us for our journey through life together. Over the past sixteen months, we have had so many blessings, joys, and laughs. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say it wasn’t all glamorous all the time. We of course, like any couple have had disagreements and tears, but as a team, you have to work even harder to protect your precious gift from God (AKA: marriage) even harder. Here are 10 things of what I have learned in the past sixteen months of being married.
1. COMMUNICATE. Our pastor, that married us was a wonderful man who stressed communication is the key. We thought we had the whole communication thing down before we got married, but we were wrong! Pretty much every disagreement we have ever had (or any couple for that matter), came about because some where down the line, there was a lack of communication. Now, we have learned to tell each other everything, so there is no room for arguing.
2. FORGIVE EASILY. When you do argue, remember to forgive and forget. Don’t hold grudges or bring up “the last time you did this…” story. Know each others limits and don’t push them. You know your husband or wife better than anyone else, and you also know what makes them tick. So, don’t push it. Say you’re sorry first, even if you didn’t start it. Then, don’t look back.
3. COMPROMISE & TOLERATE. My husband and I are very alike, and most times, know what the other is thinking. However, at the same time, we are very different (which is good, expect differences), but those differences can get us into trouble, so instead of arguing and hurting one another, we have decided to compromise and tolerate. You know that annoying habit your spouse has and how you would like to yell at him or her about it?! Well, you probably have 20 million more annoying habits than he/she does. Tolerate it. Compromise. You’d be surprised how far keeping your mouth shut and adapting to the little things, can go. Don’t let nagging at the little (or big) things, cause you to have a fight. Communicate, and talk it out together, as a team, and come up with a plan to compromise and tolerate.
4. GO TO CHURCH TOGETHER. My husband and I grew up going to different churches among our small community, but we now attend church together that we both love and are fed spiritually from. Make the time to go, you wouldn’t believe how helpful and the closeness you feel from attending together.
5. PRAY TOGETHER AND FOR ONE ANOTHER DAILY. Pray, pray, pray. My husband and I do try and read/do a devotion together as often as possible. With busy and different schedules, it is hard and at times, impossible, but whether it’s once or twice a week, read in the bible or do a devotion together, but pray for each other daily. Your husband needs strength to be the leader of your home, and you as his wife also do. Pray! I love it when my husband prays for me. There is something so intimate and calming about it!
6. YOU THOUGHT YOU LOVED HIM/HER THEN. When you got engaged, you thought, how could I love this man any more, until your wedding day and he recited the vows he wrote especially for you. You thought, I can’t imagine loving him anymore, but you will. And in 50 years, I can’t even image how our love will have grown even more deep and strong! Tell him that you love him everyday. It’s a vital part of marriage. Don’t assume they know either. Tell them!
7. WIVES, TELL YOUR HUSBAND YOU RESPECT HIM AND DO IT. Ladies, there is something about a man knowing he is appreciated and respected that changes him. No, you are not a meek, little, degraded wife because you are not. God calls us to respect our husbands because God created them to lead us. And as wives, we need to respect our husbands and God, and obey what God instructs. Not because we think so highly of our husbands, but rather we are doing as God commands of us as women and wives. Even if your husband is not Christian, you still need to pray for him, respect him as God calls, and love him.
8. TAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER. My husband and I have very different and busy schedules which makes it hard to have any time together, but you have to make time to go on dates and keep the romance alive. Just because you are married, doesn’t mean you stop dating, you do it more! Enjoy a night out or a movie night in, whatever you do, just make time for each other.
9. ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER. You never know when your spouse might need a little pick me up. Send them a quick little “love note” via email, voicemail or text of encouragement even if they don’t need it. It’s always nice to know you are needed, loved and, appreciated by the one you love.
10. YOU ARE A TEAM. Always remember you are a team now. Work as a team and figure out a system that works for you as a couple. My husband and I are busy, but we have down a system that works for us. For example, my husband does his own laundry (work clothes). He knows I really don’t want to touch his nasty, manure-y , greasy clothes, so he does them. And in the winter (during his less busy season with farming/ranching) so, he helps out where he can with the dishes or household things. Or occasionally, he’ll have dinner waiting when I get home. I will pack his lunch when he is busy or get parts when needed. I guess what I am getting at is, help each other out when you can. Do as much as you together. Have couple friends you can mingle and get together with on occasion. Yes, you are separate individuals with different ways, but you are now a team.