Just like that, we are celebrating 2 years of being married! Wow does time fly when your having fun! While our marriage is a whole lot of fun and tons of laughs, there has been some harder times over the past 7 and half years being together. We are not a perfect couple but love working on our relationship everyday. We love encouraging other couples to have the best relationships that they can have, so for today’s post I am going to be sharing the top 10 tips to having a successful marriage.
I wish you can hear/watch me saying this one. Picture a little attitude in the voice and claps while I break down this word.
How you communicate, is everything! The tone in your voice, the look on your face, the words you picked to say, it all matters! Learn how your partner responds best. For example it drives me crazy when I am trying to have a conversation with Jacob and he is looking at something else (usually his phone, or the T.V.), so he has learned if I am telling him something and stop mid way it’s because I am waiting for his full attention. Now we could fight about this, but why?! Make it easy! I keep patient and wait for his attention and he stops what he is doing cause he knows it’s important for me to have eye contact. How you say things with your tone of voice and word choice is usually the most important skill when communicating. You can literally say the same thing two different ways, and get two different responses.
* Attitude voice*
“Jacob I hate that you are always messing things up and never doing the dishes like I ask you to do 20 times a day, ughhhh”
“Hey babe, I know you have been super busy with work, and I really appreciate all the things you have helped with around the house. Could you please help me with making sure the dishes are done every night because in the morning they make the whole house smell, thank you!”
Now let’s break this down. First, try not to exaggerate and say things like “never, always, xx times, etc.” because most of the time it is inaccurate and only upsets your partner. Most likely he/she has done what you are asking before, but not as frequently as you would like. Second, explain why it is important to you. If your spouse has better insight to why something fully bothers you they will better understand the importance. Third, recognize where your partner is thriving before you throw in your compliant. No one likes to hear all the things they are doing wrong, but we all love a compliment. Put the three things together and your partner will feel recognized and appreciated and more willing to keep working on whatever you have suggested.
Communication can truly break a relationship so take it serious and work on it everyday. I highly recommend reading this book to help learn about understanding each others communication styles.
2. PUT EACH OTHER FIRST
Before we got married I remember someone telling us the only thing you should ever be in competition over is trying to love each other more than the other. That stuck with me. Jacob and I have been athletes our whole life and love any good competition so a life long battle of loving him more than he could love me sounded like a good challenge. There are plenty of things we do for each other that we don’t really want to do, but we do it because we vowed to put each other first. And honestly Jacob’s happiness is one of the top priorities in my life. I want my husband happy, I love to see him happy. So going golfing with him may be expensive, boring, and hot buttttttt he LOVES it, and I love to see him happy, so we do it! If you live a life of EQUALLY putting each other first, you can’t go wrong. I mean look at these pictures, Jacob woke up at 5 AM with me to do a sunrise session on a Saturday, and then went home and spent 14 hours outside planting grass, ripping out trees, and literally carrying 80 pound rail road ties all around our backyard. Did he want to take photos at 6AM on the only day he gets to sleep in, nope, but he knows it’s important to me, so he lays down his own wants to fulfill mine.
Remember putting each other first has to be a two way street. You can’t give 110% of your self to your spouse and the return is 15%, it doesn’t work.
3. HAVE YOUR OWN LIVES
While quality time is great and highly needed, I believe it is equally important to still have your own lives. Why? Because marriage is great but you don’t want to lose your independence. The saying “absence makes the heart grow stronger” is the cold hard truth. Imagine if you and your partner had the EXACT same schedule, hobbies, and life. Literally you did the exact same job, workout, extra activities, exact friendships, etc. You would eventually lose the excitement and your conversation would quickly dwindle. Having separate hobbies, or activities can be a great thing for your relationship. When I spend time with my girlfriends I have a great time and come back refreshed and ready to be a better wife. When Jacob plays basketball with his guy friends he is able to enjoy a love he has, that I honestly can’t give him. I love basketball and I will play with him but let’s face it I can’t join an all mens basketball team, haha.
4. NEVER STOP DATING EACH OTHER
You have probably heard it before, “does your spouse still pursue you like they did the first few months you were dating?” Jacob and I have been together almost 8 years and I still feel as wanted as I did when we were 15. The way he shows it has changed, but the feeling has not. I have never felt insecure or doubtful in my relationship because Jacob has consistently pursued me for years. If you are reading this and in a relationship stop right now and write a quick love note to your guy or gal. It’s that simple! You don’t have to do these elaborate date nights every week, you just need to speak your spouses love language every day in little ways.
5. REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN
Every couples form of fun is different, and that’s okay, actually great! But whatever your fun is, do it….A LOT. Life is short, within the context of God’s timetable, our life on this earth is as a blink of an eye. Can you believe that! OUR LIFE = A BLINK OF AN EYE IN ETERNITY. So have fun!!! Yes, there will be heart ache in your marriage. Yes, your spouse may annoy you sometimes. But quickly and efficiently work through your quarrels with each other so you can get back to loving, having fun, and living up every day you have together. If you have a hard time remembering the “life is too short” attitude, try incorporating something into your daily schedule.
For example, wake up everyday and say out loud 5 things your thankful for.
“I am healthy, I have been blessed with an amazing husband, I have shoes on my feet today, I have an abundance of clean food and water, I have the ability to choose happiness today, and I am going to have fun!”
Jacob and I are NOT perfect. We work on these 5 things everyday, plus many more! To have a healthy thriving relationship it takes work DAILY. You cannot choose to be a good spouse only on Mondays or when you feel like it. Jacob and I are super laid back people but we take marriage very serious. We take loving each other serious. I am so thankful for this man. When people used to ask me if I believed in “soul mates” I never felt urged with a yes or a no. But everyday I am with Jacob the more and more I am leaning towards yes. God blessed me with an imperfect man who strives everyday to be better for me, his family, and this world. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be able to have Jacob as my husband. Two years of marriage down and many many more to go.
I hope these tips helped you at all! If you have any tips that you and your spouse do to have a great marriage please comment them down below. I would love to hear them!!
Photos by the amazing: Kelsey Pasma Photo