Look at us Nine Years ago...Love the mullet babe :)
Tomorrow my husband and I will celebrate our nine year anniversary.
I know, I know, it's not even a decade yet. But I still think that in today's society, nine years is saying something.
So to celebrate, I thought that I would do a Top Ten on How we make marriage work for us! Here goes:
10. Keep it silly! My husband and I still have fun together. He makes me laugh all the time and we have inside jokes that no one but us know about. Sometimes, when things get too serious, do something crazy to make yourselves laugh.
9. Learn how to fight! Every couple is going to fight sometimes, so you need to learn how to do it in a way that respects one another and respects the marriage. For us, we never name call, it NEVER gets physical (even a shove should never happen! If it is, you should definitely get out of the situation and talk to a professional!), and we try not to say broad statements like, "You always" or "You never". We try to keep the argument specific to what we are disagreeing about.
8. Get some help! It's important for couples to have some accountability. Not just to each other, but also to others. For us, we have our House Church and accountability groups that check in and make sure we are keeping our marriage strong. You have to have other people in your life that you can talk to, but that will also call you out when you are doing something you shouldn't. (Note: I'm NOT talking about people you can talk trash about your spouse to. This is NOT helpful!)
7. Make Him/Her a Priority! It is so easy to get caught up in life. Kids, work, hobbies, friends....the list goes on. But if you want your marriage to last, and be successful, you need to make the other, and your relationship, a priority. No one wants to feel like they are last on the list. So don't just say that they are your #1, let your actions speak louder than your words!
6. Talk About Everything! It's important to not keep secrets in your marriage. How can you expect to grow together when one person is keeping a part of their life from the other? Make sure that you are opening up to your spouse and letting them in on what is making you happy, what is making you mad, what you are thinking about, if you are facing temptation etc.. Nothing is off limits! It will help to keep you on the same page!
5. Date Nights! I have said before that I think Date Nights are sooooo important in a marriage. We try for once a month, some do it once a week. Whatever works for you, (and I don't think once per year is a good option!), make time and make it happen. It is seriously important!
4. Show Some Grace! No one is perfect. It's funny how we often want our husband/wife not to be so hard on us, but we forget that they need grace just as much as we do. When you want to pull your hair out and scream, just remember that we , too, mess up every day and need forgiveness. And then extend that to your spouse.
3. Protect Your Marriage! This one is a no-brainer for me, but I think it's where a lot of marriages get off track. I can PROMISE you that someone else would be happy to march right into your marriage and destroy it. Sad, but very true. So you have to be proactive in protecting it. Never assume that everything is okay. Be honest, ask questions, and work at making it strong so that when temptation and trouble march in, you are able to recognize it and escort it out :)
2. Be Careful With Friends! This one is controversial for some. I say, no close friends of the opposite sex. Why? Let me explain. Marriage will face enough temptation without inviting it in. I'm not saying you have to cut friends out of your life, but the friendships will/should change once you are married. It is showing respect for your spouse and it is saying that you are not willing to take any chances with your relationship. Trust me on this one.
1. Keep Your Commitment! This is # 1 for a reason. Because I can promise you that there will be hard times. I can promise you that you will want out at some point. I can promise you that you both will change, and grow, and become different people throughout your marriage. But if you want marriage to work, you have to decide that the commitment you made to each other is sacred, and that you will not break it for anything. For us, divorce is not an option. It's not even a word we ever use. Because if it were, we would probably be divorced right now. But I agreed to Love my husband, even when I wake up and don't feel in love with him. Because we see Love not just as an emotion, but a choice. We made that choice nine years ago, and now we are committed to that choice.
Hope that if you are struggling in your marriage, that in some small way, these guidelines that have worked for us, can help you, too.
I am linking up with Oh Amanda for Top Ten Tuesday! Check out what all the other Top Tens are today!