As a Marriage & Family Therapist and a Professional Counselor, I should know how to have a great marriage, right? …..well….. like a doctor who sometimes doesn’t eat healthy or exercise, I sometimes don’t communicate or “pick my battles” well. There is a difference between knowing what I need to do and actually doing it. Besides, my husband and I are only 4 months into this whole marriage thing. We have a long way to go and many more years to practice.
With that said, here are a few things I’ve learned in our start to married life:
- Prioritize Your Time Together: Other than my relationship with God, my husband comes first, and vise versa. It is an amazing feeling to know that I come first in someone’s life (after God). Our days and time can get filled with so many things…..entertainment, electronics, work, sports, social events, anything….Prioritizing time together guards against filling our schedules with everything but one another. Our premarital counselor suggested scheduling on the calendar a time each week with your spouse to “do nothing together”. If a friend calls or something comes up, we tell that person we already have plans.
- Laugh & Have Fun: My husband has a way of “making light” of situations. Life can have a lot of stress, and I am the first to admit I get overwhelmed. Laughing not only makes the tough stuff more bearable, but it reminds us that life is a gift and life is short. Plus, marriage is fun!
- Serving one another is key: This one is much easier said than done. Marriage is not 50/50. I knew it wouldn’t be going into marriage, but I have encountered this phenomenon first hand. Marriage is 100/100. I want to give 100% without expecting to get anything in return, and vise versa. If we both serve completely, we know the effort we are both investing towards the health of our relationship.
- Focus on Your Own Personal Growth, not your Spouses’: It is so easy to point fingers at others instead of pointing the finger around and looking ourselves in the mirror. I have things about myself I want to work on and change, and I know my husband has things he wants to work on as well. As I work on my own personal growth and let my husband work on his, we are both better people for each other. I don’t need to “change” my husband, and he does not need to “change” me. Our job is to love & support one another.
I look forward to adding more and more insights into what I’ve learned through marriage in the next 4 months, the 4 months after that, and 4 after that, etc….. We have so much to learn & so many ways to grow, four months at a time 🙂