What I re-learned while my Husband was away on business:

So we all remember my marriage advice from last month, right!?  Well let’s just say that when I wrote it for my friends, I didn’t realize at the time how much I needed to re-visit some of those points for myself.  In re-reading this post, I saw clearly some of my own downfalls and am happy that my eyes were opened to these matters 🙂

If you haven’t read them, check it out https://wordpress.com/post/88862308/153/

So let’s go over this again as the items I was reminded of while my husband was away on business, cause sometimes the truth hurts….but it will set you free 🙂

1.  Water your own grass!  It isn’t greener elsewhere no matter what you see.  To have the marriage you want you have to work at the marriage you want.

I had to realize again that my husband and I are different for very good reasons.  I see romantic men and feel envy towards their significant others. But I have to remember that it starts with me, am I showing my husband those same things?  When he does something sweet or goes above and beyond, am I showing him the appreciation he deserves?  I need to keep working at the marriage I want and love what I have because it is pretty darn awesome!

Julie-Marriage-Advice-Printable-Work

2. Communicate about everything, ALL THE TIME!  Ruts and roadblocks will come, but keep talking.  To remain quiet and push things down can harden your heart.

Well, Well….we have been in a bit of a rut.  I work 2 jobs, am active in a few organizations and lead a very busy schedule.  I am very happy our children are now all old enough to go with me to some of these items, but it put a block between my husband and I.  We retreated to our vices (video-games and iPhone) and just let it be.  This week we started to open up the conversations more with the help of Chat Packs…fun little question cards to help get conversations started. (that aren’t about finances, kids, work, everyday stuff)

3. FORGIVE!  Try to think the best of your partner always, more than likely they are not intentionally trying to be hurtful. We see and hear things through our own filters, based on our own experiences….that isn’t necessarily the same as your partner.  And also remember to forgive yourself of your mistakes.

In my opinion we are great forgivers.  Neither of us stay mad for long and we usually resolve things quickly.  What I realized is that even though we resolve issues, I haven’t ever asked for forgiveness straight out, so I am going to work to do this more.

4. KEEP DATING!  No matter how short the time, make time for each other.  Find that one thing that is “your thing” to do together! Mini golf, craft beer, amusement parks, charity work….make a goal to do that thing as often as you can.

This is a hard one for us and we stink at it!  We find time to get away for a private dinner for our birthdays each year and our anniversary….otherwise we take the kids with us to do just about everything.  We need to work on this more and we both know it.  But I might need to take it upon myself to just plan it and do it.  Waiting for each other isn’t getting us anywhere.  I have also started to look at dates differently.  A 20 minute walk to grab a coffee downtown is totally a date 🙂

5. Support each other’s dreams and decisions.  Remember you are one of their decisions and they were yours!  Create goals together and work toward them.

My husband has always supported my crazy ambitions; roller derby, hand-guns, travel, concerts.  He knows to extinguish my dreams would be to extinguish my heart.  I need to work to help build his dreams more.  He is a very content individual, but when I see the spark in his eye, I need to help lead/push him toward the goal.

6. It is okay to go to bed angry, but it is not okay to react disrespectfully.  Sometimes a good nights sleep can put some perspective and space between you and your hurt feelings!  If you need to rest, ask to talk about it in the morning over coffee.  You might not sleep well, but think and pray, I promise it helps:)

Mad or not, I like to cuddle and when my husband is gone….I sleep like crud.  I need the closeness and closeness dissolves the hurt fast.

7. Don’t be afraid to love more.  We go through cycles and sometimes you will feel like you are putting in more, or you are putting out more loving feelings, that is perfectly fine….where it gets hairy is when you are both drained and upset at the same time (refer to some previous points for help)  Marriage isn’t 50/50…it is 2 people giving 100% all the time and our individual 100% don’t always match.

I don’t think I love more, I just show emotion more.  I have to realize that it doesn’t mean he loves me less because he is less outspoken about it.  He says it.  He goes to great lengths to show me, we just speak different love languages.  Not right or wrong.  I am learning to speak his love language better. (Acts and Appreciation)

8. Be willing to apologize first.  It doesn’t mean you lost ground, it means you are gaining a loving foothold which is a much faster route to resolving issues.  When in doubt read the book Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs ( I have read it more than once.)

I am always working on this, because I know full well that things I take offence to usually are all on me.  What I hear and what my husband says don’t always equal and it usually has something to do with one of my filters.

9. Surround yourself with really great friends and family as resources.  When you need marriage council, go to a respected and trusted individual.  We can’t always do it alone, but we also don’t want to vent to lots of outsiders.  Go to people who know the hearts of you and your spouse, who can give sound Christian advice….not what you want to hear!

I have found more and more people to add to my life in this capacity.  It is wonderful to have tough love from people working to live God’s will in their lives.

10. PLAY!   Never grow up 🙂 Yes, we need to mature.  We need to work and pay our bills….but never be too old to laugh out loud.  Laugh at yourself.  Spray your partner with the hose while watering the garden and let them chase you.  Playfulness will keep your spark alive.

After writing this, I have worked to live it more.  The monotony of life needs to be broken up with great bouts of laughter and I am happy to report that we are laughing more at home.

Here is to continuing to build the marriage of love, respect and trust we want every single day.

~Cakes~

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