I will be the first to admit I didn't know anything about marriage when I said my vows at the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed age of 21. I may not have known the ins and outs of marriage but I knew Jordan and I would make a great team. Waking up today on our eighth year wedding anniversary with a husband in California (for work) and our growing baby in my womb, I couldn't be more thankful.
There is no secret method for a "successful" marriage but I have learned a lot in the past eight years. Here are a few of the key things I've learned
Engage in each other's hobbies. Staying connected, in marriage, can be a challenge especially when you might not seemingly have a lot in common. You know what I've learned? It's important to cultivate and engage in activities that you wouldn't choose because it will bless your partner: watch one sports game a week, go on that hike, attend a concert, visit a museum, listen to them geek out about Star Wars, watch Dancing with the Stars together on the couch. You might surprise yourself and start to like something new.
Communicate and listen. Yes, talk about your relationship... but also talk about your life outside of your home. Use your coworkers' first names, share how your meeting went that day, and that silly interaction at the grocery store etc. With the business of life, it can be easy to disconnect and Jordan and I find knowing the bits & bobs of each other's work/leisure life helps us to stay connected.
Bend towards one another. Marriage is not solely about getting you and your needs met. Your relationship will be extremely difficult if you aren't willing to bend towards your spouse. Bend towards the big and little things because when you both do, you end up meeting in the middle. This has been a huge thing for us and continues to be an area we both ask for forgiveness from one another.
Encourage independence. Jordan and I enjoy spending time together, but we also encourage nights away to cultivate other friendships and opportunities. Quality time is very important to us, so if we have several things planned during the week we make a point to schedule a date night (or date day, let's be real I am in bed by 8 pm most nights..HAHA).
Keep playing together. You might grow old together in age but there is no reason to grow old in spirit. Jordan and I still have silly inside jokes, text each other throughout the day and hold hands in public often. Life gets in the way during certain seasons but it's important to not let seasons become years. Life is hard but marriage shouldn't be. Keep playing together.
What lessons have you learned in marriage?