Over the past 76 days, I have learned a lot about marriage. Those of you have been married for quite some time are probably rolling your eyes thinking “You don’t know anything yet!” While that may be true, I have learned a lot. We’ve been through so much together thus far; beginning with dating to current. Most couples wouldn’t go through majority of those situations within the first 5 years of marriage let alone the first 6-7 months of being together. But we did the best we could, and we came out stronger.
It’s not very often that we reach the burnt out stage. If you’ve been around us, him or I individually, read my blogs, or know our parents, you know that we are busy people. Not only with just our lives but with the kids as well. We aren’t typical newly weds. We are not living a fairy tale, we are living our dream – active in church, active with kids, wanting to stay busy with house work or little things instead of be lazy.
But, it would be easy for us to reach that point where we are so worn down that we begin to shut down. We have a habit of go, go, go until we have to force ourselves to take a step back and relax. Even then, we take half a day off, we realize how bored we are and begin again.
But even with all the chaos in our lives, we lead a very happy marriage. I still get all giddy and butterflies in my stomach when I refer to him as my husband. I play with my ring and allow it to take me back to the moment he put it on my finger.
So, I sat back and thought about what we do, exactly, that is probably not like many other marriages. So, for today, I’ll give you the top five that I could think of.
It is all to easy to hold grudges or to hold onto your personal wants/desires that it almost becomes a distraction. Marriage is a two-way street. It’s not about just you, it’s about the other person too. James 1:19-20 says “Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger, for a man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.” It is our wifely (or husbandly) duty to allow ourselves to listen to our spouse. We need to ask for forgiveness when we find times where we have been selfish, been too quick to speak, or became angry. It’s not easy but it’s needed if you plan to move forward without reservations.
2. Support and Encourage!
Wives, your husbands need support and encouragement as much as you need support from them. Not just in day-to-day activities but in everything. Every decision that needs to be made needs to be supported by the other – EVEN IF YOU DON’T AGREE! Yes, you read that right. You need to support and encourage your husband/wife even when you have opposing views. Often times, there is a whole new side that you are not able to see. Trust them and support their decision. Chances are that they will not do anything that would jeopardize your relationship or well-being. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.”
This also goes for both husbands and wives. Remember that this marriage is not just about you or just about him. There are going to be times where you will have to sacrifice something that you want to help the other out. I would be willing to give up just about anything to make (and keep) Shane happy. I think it would be safe to assume the same goes for him. Seeing him happy in turn makes me happy. We do not want to reach that selfish point in our marriages where we feel it is all about what we want or what they want. It should be about what He wants.
4. Forget About The “To-Do” List
Shane and I actually make up a lost of lists. If you look in our house, there is a list pretty much everywhere. On top of the fridge, on the side of the fridge, on the whiteboards on the front of the fridge, on the table, in the bookcases, on the coffee table, in the vehicles, in the garage… they are everywhere. Why? Because we are busy bodies. We continuously think of things that need to be done and jot it down wherever we may be. However, if we are always so focused on that list, we lose focus on one another. It is so easy to let everyday life get in-between us. This forms a wedge and the longer it goes un-noticed, the further between us it gets. Soon, it’s like we have nothing to talk about and nothing in common to do. We’ve been close to this a couple of different times. It’s especially easy to do when the kids are around. That’s where we need to take time for our weekly date nights. We need to put the “To-Do” list down and spend time together. Go for a walk. Go for a drive. Do dinner and a movie. It is ok to step away from life and focus on one another. After all, “…until death do us part.” We will be around one another for quite some time, may as well enjoy it!
5. Laugh… A LOT.
There are very few days where I have not had a hearty laugh while being with Shane. He makes me genuinely happy. We have a lot of inside jokes, we pick fun at one another, we enjoy the dogs, we laugh at the kids, and we laugh at life. I may not be the most hilarious person on the face of this Earth, but, if I can make him laugh half as much as he makes me laugh, I’m satisfied.
Those five things have been staples in our marriage. I feel that after 76 days, we have a better understanding of how to make our marriage light-hearted and enjoyable than most people who have been married for years. I feel people tend to forget that their relationships weren’t always sour looks, battling selfish feelings such as irritation, jealousy, and frustration, or spending more time apart. There were, once upon a time, flushed cheeks, sweaty palms, butterflies in the stomach, and the dedication to spend as much time together as possible.
Instead, we’ve let the human emotions, the selfishness, and the hustle and bustle of every day life kill our butterflies…and more often then not, I see people stop trying. Don’t stop trying. Awaken those butterflies again and enjoy life with your spouse!
We are all familiar with 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8; “Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, it is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, it is not selfish, it is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But as for prophecies they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.”
Did you catch that? Love never fails. It tells us right there to not stop trying…
What are some things you do to keep the butterflies alive?