5 Truths that Changed our Marriage
I've spent some time reflecting on mine & Collins's marriage lately; the ups & downs, what works & what doesn't and the ways we've grown in the 8 years we've been married. A few things stuck out and I wanted to share them with you, in the chance that maybe you'll take heart in them, find encouragement, or just gain insight. We by no means have a perfect marriage but would both agree that marriage for us has been fun, exciting, passionate and life-giving.
We're a TEAM
There's a mentality shift when you get married - your life is no longer just yours, your choices and consequences become a wave that washes over everyone in your house (yep, that means your spouse and your kids) and what you think won't have any affect on your husband will 100% of the time come back to bite you in the ass if you don't talk through it. SO ... the easiest way to avoid a tsunami in your house is to COMMUNICATE! Make choices together (in parenting, in education, in vacations and date nights and religion and everything else - SMALL & BIG), to communicate (did I say that already?), and to act like a team. That means practice together, that means strategize together, that means work together, that means celebrate wins, learn from losses - TOGETHER! Also, trophies* & ice-cream ;) *diamonds
GRACE is a premium
To error is human but to forgive is not the policy of this household ... Collin says this used to be my mantra ;) ... let me tell you something ... I've never messed up more in my life than I have in my marriage. Not in the big ways that you might think, but in every little way possible. We are humans, which means 1.) we are [very] flawed, and 2.) we suck at owning our issues ;) Collin has changed my life in so many ways, but more than anything, it's because he's showed me such a tremendous amount of GRACE. He's always the first to apologize, the first to forgive, the first to understand, the first to move on. This inspires me to do better, forgive faster, own my shit with wild abandon and be the first to offer grace because I'm certain it would be offered to me if the tables were turned. When you receive the safety that comes with grace, you are much more likely to offer grace in return.
SEX is important
Kids are important, the laundry needs to get done, the pillow has never looked sexier and that lingerie is definitely dusty, but guess what... sex is more important. I'm not telling you this because I think it's great news, I'm telling you this because it's a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT. If you're not intimate in your marriage, it will suffer. Intimacy is what most likely got you here in the first place (remember when you met your spouse and you couldn't keep your hands off them?) and it's going to keep you connected at that deep level through all the peaks & valleys. There's a million excuses we can all use as to why we're not intimate with our husbands, but nothing will make up for that connection that you'll get in turn. If you're never in the mood, figure out why (hormones, emotional reasons, past issues, etc...) and do something about it. Call a dr., see a therapist, google it (with caution...!), whatever. It might not be convenient, it might be a slow start, but it will be worth it.
Good Vibes Give LIFE
I'm a mood person - what I mean by that is this: if you're in a bad mood, if you're "moody" in general, if your moods are unpredictable, I want no part. I love fun, I love happy and I love predictability. Collin and I are both very happy/positive people and a someone rolling in with a bad mood will ruin my day faster than a bad cup of coffee. (we all have bad days, no doubt, but that to me, is very different than moodiness). SO - with that being said - moods & "good vibes" are an important part of our family culture and something that we prioritize and focus on. Whether that means turning up a good playlist to turn a bad mood upside down, getting to the root of the problem or focusing on gratitude and taking a quick nap to roll things around, we do what it takes. We have a premium on good moods and is sewn into the fabric of our family & our home.
I am SECOND
We have an unwritten rule in our house, and as long as everyone is following, things go very smooth. You live to serve me, I live to serve you, and we'll both have our needs met, so long as we're communicating. That means, I'm not asking to be prioritized and he's not asking to be intimate because we've both already championed and focused on those things for each other. Doesn't it feel good to get something without asking? To be thought of without having to remind someone? If you make it both of your missions to serve eachother first and yourself second, you'll likely never have to serve yourself. This has been a guiding principle in our marriage and really takes care of so many issues that we might otherwise have.
Marriage is a choice, love is a choice, but ultimately, if your'e both working hard and putting yourself ( YOUR EGO!) aside, marriage should be fun, rewarding, sexy and worth it.