Today is mine and Dave’s 5 year anniversary!!! I know people always say the older you get the faster time flies, and I’ve really been noticing the fleeting days, months and years more and more. It is so crazy to look back on that day, it by far was one of my favorite days and memories, and will be forever. I am in no way a marriage expert, and I’m still learning every day how to be the best wife to Dave, but I have learned a thing or two about being married during these 5 years. I’d love to share what I’ve learned with you and hopefully we can cheer each other on, I can help encourage you in your marriage, and we can band together as we find some common ground as wives or in our marriages. Plus, you better believe I’m gonna share some wedding pics!
Sidenote: Girls, I want to share something with you on a personal level. Maybe you’re reading this post right now and you aren’t even close to getting married, you haven’t even found any guy you’re interested in going to the chapel with. Maybe you’re reading this and you’re feeling so alone and don’t think that there is anyone out there for you. Maybe you’re reading this and you’ve found your guy, but you remember the feelings of doubt you had before you met him. I totally understand all those feelings, because I felt the exact same. I just want to encourage you today…. God has someone out there for you! You may not find them within a week, a month or even this year, but he’s out there for you! Maybe you’re a gentleman reading this post- Same goes for you! But while I know that God has someone out there for you, You must do something too! Take this time while you are still single to grow in God’s word, understand who you are as a person and who God wants to help you become, and what you need in a partner ( this is extremely important). Enjoy and cultivate your friendships, and better yourself through working out, reading or practicing a skill. Don’t do this for anyone else… do this for yourself! When else in life will you ever have the chance to better yourself and be completely selfish with the way you spend your time and the things you do?
I took some time for myself after I broke off an engagement before me and Dave, a whole year to be exact. I wanted to understand more of who I was, what made me tick, explore things that made me happy, and grow in my relationship with God. I wanted to be ready for whoever God had for me… I wanted to be ready to step into a relationship with someone else… I wanted to be ready to grow as a partner. It was seriously the best decision I could have made for myself and I believe that if you also take this time for yourself, it will be the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself as well.
Don’t they look like models!!! 🙂
Okay on with the program 🙂
So these are a couple of the things I’ve learned in my five years of marriage!
You won’t always be attracted to your significant other
What? I won’t always be attracted to my husband or wife??? This may be strange to think about, but it’s just the reality. There are times that Dave will do something that grosses me out, it’s pretty rare, but when it happens, I don’t want to jump his bones. And physical attraction… Well that may change some too. Marriage has a way of making you pretty comfortable and many times that means gaining some extra pounds. During those times you may not feel very attractive and/or attracted to your significant other and that’s when you think about the other amazing qualities they possess.
You won’t always feel sexy or pretty
This is something that I’ve struggled with for a long time and I feel like many women have dealt with it at some point or another. Before I got married, I used to just think that I would feel sexy and pretty all the time once I was married, because I had a man who wanted me, who married me and loved me. (these were my preconceived ideas) But in reality it has a whole lot more to do with how you feel about yourself and how you see yourself. Even on days that I feel really confident, I can still have moments of doubt and that doubt in turn causes stress in our relationship. It causes me to shy away from Dave and not want him to touch me or be intimate, and that robs our marriage of some of the joys of being married. Always working on it, but realizing that I have to work on myself and whenever these thoughts arise, I have to bring them to God and continue to work on how I view myself.
Communication is key
There is so much truth in those three words! Communicate with each other about every aspect of your life. This will help your marriage continue to grow and will strengthen your bonds with each other. Not only that, but there won’t be as much confusion or possibility of arguments if you’ve discussed things and been honest with each other. Go over weekly agendas and talk about expectations you have for that week or for each other. I have gotten a lot better about this since the first couple years of marriage! I am a very independent person, so sometimes I book events, gigs, recording sessions, or lessons without discussing it with Dave and sometimes that throws him for a loop. Communicating with each other on a daily and weekly basis will help you see where your relationship has gains and what may need “watered.” It will also help with your conflict resolution skills! I have always been someone who likes to think through a situation and then discuss, but Dave doesn’t work that way. He always wanted to talk everything out then and there, the second something came up. While I hated it at first, I believe it has helped us immensely with our problem solving skills.
And remember those little things called “expectations?” We all have them, those preconceived ideas or notions of how things should be working out or should be. We bring all of those things into a marriage and many times don’t even realize we’ve set certain expectations until an argument breaks out. This is where communicating can really help! Don’t expect that your significant other can read your mind, because ( news flash) they cant! Tell them what you are needing or what you expected and hopefully that will help in the future.
Being kind makes everything better!
I know this may seem like a duh, but there are times that I am not feeling too nice and really don’t want to talk to Dave or even be kind, because it was “ one of those days”. But no matter what the day has brought or what I’m going through, its a whole lot better if I am kind. It makes the evening and the environment so much better and happier!
Sometimes you have to do things you don’t enjoy or reinvent the way you do things to make your partner happy.
When you start living with someone, you start seeing all their quirks and you see what drives them crazy. One thing that drives Dave crazy is when our house is mess and it’s cluttered! I hate cleaning the house and because I’ve allowed myself to get into a habit of not picking up my clothes after wearing them, our bedroom usually becomes pretty chaotic. I have a breaking point and once I reach it, I go crazy cleaning, but I don’t think about it too much until I get to that point. Dave on the other hand usually hits his breaking point a little sooner than I do. He gets really anxious and because we’ve been married for 5 years, I can tell when he is needing the place to get cleaned up ( he’ll usually begin to pace back and forth and he’ll of course stare at everything needing picked up). So while I don’t completely enjoy cleaning up everything, I am trying harder to put things away after I use them so he won’t feel so anxious in our home. I’m still not the best at this, but I’m getting better every day. I’ve also realized in order for this to happen, I have to be thinking about Dave- I can’t allow my selfishness to take over. I sometimes get a “one track” mind and prioritize things for school or even sometimes the blog, before Dave. (This is another communication thing) Okay… here’s a really funny thing that drives Dave crazy and I have to actively remind myself of… I have a habit of not refilling the toilet paper roll when it’s out. Instead of taking the used roll off of the holder, I’ll just sit a new roll right on top. It is seriously one of the easiest and most simple things for me to do, but I just get lazy and don’t really think about it.
You have to pick your battles
There are going to be lots of things that can get under your skin in marriage if you let it, so you really have to pick your battles. Not everything that makes you a little crazy is worth a big fight or argument. And ladies… we are the worst at letting things go! Fight fair! Don’t bring up something from a fight before because you want to have something to “one up” your partner with. Because you are two totally different people, with different expectations and upbringings, there are bond to be things you do differently and that alone may cause some tension. Work with each other and again, communicate!!!!
Understanding how each other shows and feels love is important
I absolutely loved reading the “Five Love Languages” book and I actually went into more detail in this post, if you want to check it out. By understanding each others’ love languages, we are able to better love each other and feel loved. It’s a great book! If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest reading it! When you do read it, you will find that the way you feel loved isn’t exactly how your partner feels love. Dave and I actually are completely different in how we show love and feel love, which, surprise, makes it a challenge sometimes. But by understanding how Dave feels love, I can be more intentional in those areas to show him that I’m thinking about him, and trying to love him the best way I can.
Scheduling time to focus on each other is a must
We have an extremely busy schedule and it’s so easy to go through a week without really taking time to enjoy each other! To be honest with you all, this is an area in which I struggle a lot. I think way too much about myself and all that I have to get done, (especially once the school year begins) and many times Dave and his needs are pushed lower on my list. I find that when the summer hits, I’m able to give Dave more of my attention and because I know I struggle in this area more during the school year, I am determined to be more intentional in setting up date nights or setting aside more time to just be with Dave. Unlike me, Dave is amazing in this area! I am seriously so blessed to have him as my husband and to know that he makes it a point to focus on our relationship and me. Ladies, sometimes we can learn things from our husbands! I want to be this for him as well and that means changing my focus sometimes, scheduling time to focus solely on our relationship and him, and again just being more intentional. I know it might sound a little silly, but I have actually been toying with the idea of planning a date night each week. where we can turn off our phones and all other distractions and focus on each other a bit more.
Put God first and everything will work out!
Luckily Dave and I haven’t had many troubles in life, yet- Praise the Lord. But when we have had struggles, we always remember to pray and ask God for guidance and help. When I’m weak in my faith, Dave is stronger and vise versa. This last month, God has provided so much for us. We were searching for a house and he provided one. We were in need of a fridge and He provided an even better one than we had dreamed and for Free. We also were given a lawnmower and week wacker for free. While we were worried and unsure, God was working out all the kinks. And even though Dave may have been freaking out inside about our situation, like me, he continued to remind me that God would come through.
Supporting each other and being each others biggest cheerleader can carry your through tough and incredible moments!
I absolutely love when I get to brag on Dave! He has worked so hard over the last couple of years to get a better job and be able to stay home off the road. I am so thankful that he is a hard worker and always wants to better himself. When he went back to school and even once he got his job at O’Reily, I wanted him to know how proud I was of him…. I wanted to be his biggest cheerleader! And being supportive of me and all I do seems like it’s always been super easy for Dave! Reminding your partner just how proud you are of them, can really be an important part in your marriage! Another part of supporting each other is being the shoulder to cry on. I’m many times the one that gets a little crazy and has weak, emotional moments, so Dave helps me get through by reminding me of all the times things have gone well, or truths that I somehow have forgotten. When you’re married, you’ll have awesome times and you’ll have some crazy hard times, but knowing that you’re in it together and that you’ll support each other no matter what will carry you through.
My husband is the best partner and the only one I want to do life with! Thank you, Dave for being such a wonderful husband and for sticking by my side for these 5 years! Thank you for cherishing me, always supporting me, and helping me in so many ways.