Nathan says we are no longer newlyweds because we have kids. Apparently we don't share the same
romantic bubble, because I personally still feel like a newlywed! Celebrating 5 years this summer.
It was time we did a little marriage evaluation, a little heart-to-heart in the "tough" question
department. I kind of felt like I was preparing for confession or something:
Bless me Father, for I was once a newlywed (or to some people - STILL AM!) and yea *face palm*...
I've learned a lot - with so far to go! Good thing we've got a lifetime to figure it out!
1.) "I'm fine."
This was a phrase that I learned very early on was NOT going to work inside of marriage.
For some reason I thought my feelings or emotions concerning everything from the very stupid to the
very serious were somehow my fault - something that I needed to just get over and fix on my own.
Month after month of "I'm fine" was a nice little prelude to a passionate unloading of
half a dozen issues that could have easily been taken care of "in the moment", along the way, and
really been "no big deal." Suppression of feelings = Godzilla. Not pretty.
With kindness and respect, share your heart, good or bad, sooner rather than later.
2.) "You are just like me."
What a joke! This went both ways for us - just assuming that the other was going to do some things
the EXACT SAME WAY that we had done them on our own. Because obviously my ways are best
- so chop chop, get with the program! Obviously not all things, but the important
things, ya know? Like folding towels and making the bed. Ha.
And now that we have kids! Wow. It is something we are constantly having to either discuss or
"let go" of on a regular basis. Nobody wants to be nagged. Everyone wants to feel affirmed.
Finding a balance in this is key. Makes the marriage world go round.
You will each have your own unique way of taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, folding the
laundry, etc., and learning to "go with the flow", the rhythm of the other, is a really good idea.
3.) "Get off your high horse."
My husband actually used this phrase the other night while hashing this out because this is how he
felt sometimes in regards to some of the things that were important to me as his wife. We are both
so opinionated, stubborn, sharing dominating temperaments - so most of the time we just "say it how
it is" and don't bat an eye. Crazy time.
These "important things" included stuff like cleaning out the sink drain after washing dishes to taking an
active roll in our decision to use Natural Family Planning. I think this is a big COMMUNICATION issue.
It's such a novel idea to be with someone who can read your heart and soul, but it's not really a reality.
At least for us. Asking nicely, explaining the desire, laying out the "game plan" - is SO helpful!
As good as my spouse is, he/she is not Jesus.
Make "things" that are important to HIM/HER - a habit for ME.
4.) "TOGETHER. Plan money and time. TOGETHER."
My husband kept re-emphasizing the need for this to be done "TOGETHER." When we were first
married, we did not make this a habit. We were both really busy with work and school
- our schedules and money were SO SET, strapped really. Planning didn't make much difference.
Luckily we learned pretty quickly after the first year how important this was going to be to our
marriage and made it a habit. Just sitting down for 10-15 minutes on a Sunday night to go over the
"plan" for the week has helped us avoid so many arguments, broken hearts, and just
At the beginning of the week we know, "Hey, Tuesday you're going out with your buddies.
Wednesday we are taking the kids to the library. Etc." No big surprises, right?! Haha there will
ALWAYS be surprises and unexpected situations that come into the picture. It's life. Just knowing
that my husband, and this goes for him with me as well, is trying his best to accommodate
not only me, but our kids as well, makes me feel loved.
Slow down at least once a week to discuss the plans, expectations, that are coming up.
This one seems like a no-brainer. Of course this is a good idea! But what we didn't know was that
the enemy was going to do everything in his power to make sure that this does NOT happen on a
regular basis. How often we skip praying together to watch T.V., work on our own business,
or just plain fall asleep!
Hearing the heart of your spouse for the Lord - joining in the thankfulness and petition -
moving towards heaven in this way together = a holy strength and unity!!!
It's not going to be as easy as it sounds, "to pray with your spouse", but make it a priority.
marriage gig, but it's SO SO worth it! The greatest, refining, adventure of my life.
And I don't want it to ever be over.
What would you tell your newlywed self looking back?
What would your spouse say? Spill the beans.