We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary a few weeks ago, and for the last 4 years, it’s meshed with the Christmas season in the most beautiful way. And with it taking place in December, the calendar year reflects the past year of marriage perfectly. Plus, as a teacher (and also a student) – it’s pretty much guaranteed that I will have off work and school with both winter breaks. Yay!
While 4 years still shouts “newlyweds,” and we have soooo much to learn, I still wanted to share a bit about some of the things that have helped us along the way. Something I have shared with multiple people is that marriage gets sweeter with time, and I still stand with that. Building a life together is hard work, but as time goes on – you get to know each other better as you discover what works.
These are all pretty random, but here it goes!
- Before making plans that involve time away from home, we always consult each other first. If it’s been a busy week, we recognize other things and people can wait.
- We never say the word “divorce.” Not even as a joke.
- I love the quote “Are my words kind, necessary, and true?” Sometimes while what I want to say to Nathan is true, if I’m being honest, it may not really be necessary.
- We (tryyyyyy!) to never say “never” and never say “always” when trying to explain our frustration (Ex- “You NEVER do _____”). More often than not, it’s not even true. And even if it is, it would probably be more hurtful than actually helpful to say it that way.
- We DATE DATE DATE…..we go on dates A LOT! Netflix at home….walks around the neighborhood….going out to eat. We consider a date anytime when we are together!
- Being honest is more important than faking agreement, and then resenting each other later in our hearts.
- When praying for each other on our own, the Holy Spirit can do more in 1 minute than either of us trying to be each other’s God: Ex- “Well, you NEED to work on ______.”
- We pick our battles. Not everything has to become a “big deal.” There’s enough that actually is!
- We try and forgive quickly. No one is perfect. No one does everything right. As much as we love each other – we are human, and in need of constant grace for all our shortcomings on a daily basis.
- The silent treatment is never a good thing. But, saying “Hey, I need some space. Can we talk about this in 30 minutes?” goes a long way.
- We celebrate our differences and view them as an assets, not a burden or weakness. Nathan is outgoing and extroverted and could go hard all day every day. He could become friends with a tree. I’m exhausted from just typing those sentences out. I’m an outgoing introvert. I love people. I love connecting, and *strongly dislike* small talk. I need alone time fairly often where I don’t have to engage in social interactions LOL. But we realize both of these are GOOD and come from God – and one is not better than the other! Both are needed in the world, and for building up the Church.
- Every week (typically on Sunday), we talk about what our week looks like and make sure we are on the same page about everything. This could be me sharing that I’ll have to stay later than usual at work on Tuesday, or he’s reminding me that he will be out of town for work Thursday through Friday.
- Our calendars on our phone are connected via email, so we can always view where each other will be (because I WILL forget if I have to rely on my memory!). This is often really helpful for me because Nathan’s job is not a M-F 9-5 job, and so what he’s doing , where he is, and who he’s with is always changing and it helps me keep track!
- Click! No looking at our phones when we head to bed. We do *our best* to charge our phones, and then leave them alone so we can focus on each other.