I love reading about Alyssa and her hubby. It's great to read about another couple "doing marriage" while being in school. It can be really difficult sometimes to make time for each other when things like studying gets in the way. My husband, Nate, and I have been married for almost two years. It's been two wonderful years of growing and learning more about each other daily. I see so many marriages fall apart - even after just a year or two - so I wanted to share with you all some of the ways we've found keeps our marriage strong, healthy, and loving!
PS. All these tips are great for dating couples, family relationships, and friendships too... Maybe ignore #5 though. ;-)
1. Make Time to Communicate: I can't stress this one nearly enough! In a world where we're all so busy and have all sorts of distractions it's so easy to not have deep meaningful conversations where you're able to voice your opinion. Right now we have such limited time together - Nate's in grad school, we're both working full time jobs, we're super involved in our church, I blog, and of course there's also whatever else life throws at us. This doesn't leave us much time together and DEFINITELY not a lot of deep conversation time. Because of this, Nate and I make sure we go on walks together at least four times a week. During these walks, we don't have distractions keeping us from talking. Sure, I might be crying as we're passing our neighbor's house because of something that's on my heart that I'm sharing with Nate but it's totally worth it. (Plus, I cry a lot so I'm starting to get used to people seeing it) Nate and I also have started going out on Sunday nights to sit down somewhere outside our home, away from distractions. Happy hours are great for this because we can sit for an hour or two, have some drinks, and walk away only $10-15 poorer.
2. Be Each Other's Biggest Cheerleaders: You need to have each other's backs no matter what, even in the small things. (Nope, I'm not talking about big deal, "you can't abide by that" stuff like abuse, neglect, etc) It's easy for me to have Nate's back when it comes to schoolwork or preparing a sermon for church. You know, the big, career driven things. Recently, though, Nate wanted to start homebrewing. I know it's a little thing but I'm not a huge fan of beer. I think it's kinda gross and smells yucky. I could easily just decide to not encourage him in it and ignore the fact that it's something he loves. Instead, I jumped on board! I talk to him about it, learn alongside him, and even taste the beer he makes. (Yes, I do tell him it's disgusting as soon as I try it) Nate supports me too. He'll spend hours talking to me about blogging and really desires to understand why I am so passionate about it. He is starting to know my blogging friends by name and understands that they're real friends to me. He knows my passions and dreams and is helping me pursue them.
3. Take Time to Yourself: No matter how much you enjoy your spouse, you're still your own person. Nate and I both need our alone time. Firstly, we're both introverts (me a little more than him) so we get revived by being alone. The time I spend reading or blogging or crafting rejuvenates me and makes me a better wife. Even extroverts shouldn't be spending all their time with their spouse. Go out with friends, get involved in a sport, join a hobby WITHOUT your spouse. It will make your time together so much more special! Secondly, if Nate and I were together all the time we'd probably bite each other's heads off. Seriously. I can get vicious, especially when I'm tired. It's something I'm working on.
4. Have Fun: Why be married to someone you can't have fun with? Sometimes I think if anyone else saw the shenanigans that went on in our house they'd think we're nuts! We have more inside jokes than I can even remember. We love to laugh with one another. Whatever you have fun doing, make sure your spouse knows so you can do it together. I love to dance so Nate signed us up for swing dance lessons. We both love to go on trips so we try to take as many as we can together. Joy is so important in a marriage.
5. Be Physical: This one is pretty self explanatory - Hold hands. Give each other back rubs. Cuddle while you're watching movies. Hug a lot. Kiss even more. And, of course, enjoy "bedroom time". Seriously, you guys, if you're not being physical there's something wrong - get counseling (And I don't mean that in a negative way. I'm a huge advocate for counseling.)
Love is such a special thing! I sincerely hope that each and every one of you truly commits to loving, respecting, and honoring your spouse! It's the best thing ever!