Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tuesday Talk: What Love & Marriage Has Taught Me

July 24, 2014

My husband and I are quickly approaching our 12 year wedding anniversary.

We started dating back in 1998 and have known each other since kindergarten so it feels like we've known each other forever.  Our moms were great friends and kind of arranged our marriage at our weekly play dates.  Their plans came true and we started dating in high school.  We've lived in 4 states, 5 soon to be 6 homes, added two cats to the family, traveled together, added 1 and soon to be 2 kids to the family and have had some great adventures together.  It was fun to sit down and come up with five the things we've learned about love and marriage since we got married.

We > Me
We are happiest when we think of ourselves as a team.  We're both working towards the same goals, not trying to win or take sides and we are working together to make things happen.  We encourage each other and take time to see what is important in our day to day happenings.  We try to plan out schedules to help each other out, support one another and encourage us to be the best we can be.  We strive to put others first and factor in the needs of our spouse when making decisions.  Thinking of us is much better than just thinking about me.

Share
Share your life.
Share your highs and lows.
Share your joys.
Share your careers.
Share your hobbies.
Share your smiles and tears.
Share your likes and dislikes.
Share your days.

Life is so much better and it's easier to connect with your spouse when you're sharing your life with them.  It's hard for them to know how to encourage and support you if you're failing to include them in the things that are happening in your life.  We have gotten into a good habit of sharing in all of the areas I mentioned above.  It's fun to have someone checking in on your progress or giving you encouragement to see something through. 

It's been a bit of a challenge to keep this up once we added kids to the mix, but we've still continued to put forth the effort to share.  Pre-kids we would go out for breakfast dates before work, go get smoothies together after work, go for long walks, get away for a weekend or stay up late chatting about things.  Now we plan date nights, make time for just us after Olive is in bed, have several short conversations throughout the day, text regularly and just have to be more intentional about sharing our lives with each other.

Love Always Wins
We do best when we come at things from a loving perspective.  We are on the same team and really want to see each other succeed.  Our marriage work best when we approach things in a loving way and the end result is usually much more positive.  Being critical of your spouse, using harsh words or holding grudges really does no one any good so it's much better for us to communicate regularly and openly.

Together is Our Favorite Place to be
We really enjoy being together.  We make plans on our own during the day time, squeeze in work meetings, play dates and such all during the day so that we can be together as a family in the evenings.  We don't make many plans during our family time and try hard make fun plans together.  We go for walks, get take out, run errands, go to the park, travel and just hang out as a family when we can.  We both have friends and have things we like to do on our own, but we make being together a priority in our family.

Compromise
I've had to work really hard in this area.  I am a take charge, organized, like to be the boss, problem solver kind of girl so it definitely doesn't come easy to me to compromise.  I was not very good at it when we first got married.  I obviously compromised some, but it wasn't my first reaction and it involved lots of grumbling on my part.  I am happy to report that almost 12 years later my husband would say I'm a much better compromiser, much more flexible in regards to making plans & decisions and much better at taking a moment to think things through from other perspectives than I used to be.  You'll find me saying yes to last minute dinner invitations, saying yes to plans that weren't exactly what I had in mind and agreeing to things that wouldn't be my first choice. Our marriage works better and everyone is happier when we're both compromising.


What things have love and marriage taught you over time??


Several of my bloggy friends came together for a little blog hop this week.
Check out all of their different takes on writing about LOVE this month!


Beth at Our Pretty Little Girls  //  Becky at BYBMG
Jessica at Sweet Little Ones  //  Emily at Raising Barnes
Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me  //  Stasia at Our Life on a Budget
Sarah at Abiding In Grace  //  Ruthie at Rear. Release. Regroup.
Laura at Life Is Beautiful  //  Christina at Waltzing In Beauty
Michelle at Grammie Time  //  Tina at Go Big or Go Home
Whitney at Polka Dotty Place


It's time to link up with my favorite Tuesday Talk Ladies this week.
Join us with your favorite recent post.  
We had 175 people join us last week.

Polka-Dotty Place

11 comments:

  1. Such a sweet and loving post. Being a team is key. When one person is doing all the work to accomplish goals for the family then it doesn't work. I can really tell that you and Kevin make sure to do things together. Olive and Fletcher are going to appreciate the strong bond the two of you have. It will be a great example to them.

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  2. That is so awesome that you've known each other since Kindergarten! Not many couples can say that. And with all your moves, I'm sure it's comforting to have "home" in him wherever you go!

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  3. This is good stuff, Whitney! I love your thoughts about approaching marriage as me < us. That is something we are working on but have not quite achieved. I also loved hearing how you've grown in your ability to compromise over the years. It gives me hope because I'm SO not there yet. Loved this post!

    Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort

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  4. What a beautiful post - every word of it is so true! Especially sharing and talking about life so you're on the same page (even when it's hard to find a free moment together!). Marriage has taught me that it is so important to keep God at the center. There will be difficult times - medical or financial worries, being away from family, and obviously many more possibilities. We've had our share and prayer and His Love are definitely what kept us unified and helped us get through the difficulties! Beautiful post, Whitney! -Jessica, Sweet Little Ones

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  5. I can't believe you've known each other that long. What a great story. You always look so happy and it is so lovely to see how your family is growing in that happiness.

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  6. All of these things are so true and I love this post! You have been blessed with such a beautiful family!

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  7. You've learned some great lessons a long the way! Thanks for sharing your heart and your story! It's so fun to see your family growing!

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  8. Such great tips Whitney. I think my favorite of all is the We > Me I can always feel things shift when I start to loose focus of that one.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

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  9. I love these lessons, Whitney. I wrote a similar one and shared it on Tuesday Talk as well. The idea of compromise is something I've been working on as well. My husband has been so patient with me, and I'm always thankful that he knows Im still a work in progress.

    The lesson I learned most from marriage is its hard work. It's not always hearts and flowers (especially when kids are involved), but somehow we make it work because it's all worth it. We are worth it to each other, and we are worth it for our daughter.

    Thanks for such a beautiful post and for hosting Tuesday Talk this week!

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  10. These are great lessons, Whitney!! The priest who did our pre-marriage prep encouraged us to remember the "me" is about to become a "we," kind of like your first point!

    Your picture is beautiful, too!

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  11. I love this post! I have learned many of the same things in my 10 years of marriage. You put them into words so beautifully. :)

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I LOVE hearing from you!! Thanks for taking the time to leave sweet comments; I enjoy reading every one of them. I reply to your comments via email so make sure you aren't a "no-reply" blogger.
Smiles, Whitney