What We Learned In Two Years Of Marriage
Marriage is like learning curve inception. In itself, you are figuring out how to be in union with another human. At the same time you’re separately attending ‘life school’ and have individual lessons to bring to the relationship.
I heard time after time communication is key and I 100% agree, but often its your habits that create a constant flow of connection and understanding in your marriage. Between you and your partner, build practical routines and set your own relationship rules that set you up for success. Two years into marriage, we still feel like we’re on this steep learning curve and are constantly refining how we interact and operate on a daily basis.
Plan your week together on Sunday nights.
We started a communication code of ‘us’ nights and ‘me’ nights. Looking at the week ahead we decide what nights we will spend together and which we will be on our own. That way we can be more efficient in getting our personal projects done during the week, while still prioritizing time to be together without interruptions. Writing down individual weekly goals in our journals and sharing them has become a powerful tool for moving us forward.
Take personal ‘retreats’ apart from each other.
People give us confused looks when we say that we like spending time apart. There are several scenarios, such as a business trip for me or a motorcycle trip for Justin, that make more sense for one of us to stay at home. Encouraging your partner to get away and cease opportunities to grow will deeply enrich your relationship when you come back together.
Find your quality time formula.
Justin and I connect best outside of the house when the laundry, our home office, and yard work is out of sight. Put down your phone (or leave it in the car) and go for a walk, sit at a cafe, or grab a drink on a rooftop. Focus on what the other person has on their mind and ask questions to take the conversation deeper. Help each other process the highs and lows of life and brainstorm your future together. Our relationship starts to feel disconnected and dull when we don’t dream and do together. Regularly scheduled quality time keeps you on the same page about goals and supporting where your spouse is in their journey.
Never stop honeymooning.
A family member gave us the pre-marital advice to go on several honeymoons a year. Having a personality that gets sucked into a work vortex when I’m at home, taking trips is so healthy for my mental and relational health. Traveling keeps a fire lit in our relationship to continue stepping outside our comfort zone and living intentionally. We gain inspiration and cast a vision for our next steps when we are in a new environment with an unfamiliar culture. We budget for periodical travels spaced out every few months so that the fire doesn’t burn out.
Encourage them to pursue passions.
One time I heard Justin say ‘I think I would do this if I were still single.’ Immediately I said ‘babe, then you must do it!’ We want to make sure we are never holding each other back from the things that light us up. You’ll both be so much happier and vibrant when you keep pursuing the passions in your heart. Ask your spouse what they would do if time, money, and location wasn’t a factor - then find a way to tap into that dream right now, even if it’s on a small scale.
To sum all of this up - the key factor in a thriving relationship? Openness to growth.
When you’re both willing to give and take honest feedback, you acknowledge that neither of you is ‘right’. You allow room to grow together, rather than drift apart.
What marriage questions do you want Justin and I to answer? Comment below and we’ll make a marriage Q+A on my Youtube Channel!