Even though we're still babies at this, (like...really...just babies) we're definately learning some lessons. My dad always told me " If you could do one thing and it'll save you heartache-Learn from others mistakes/ successes"
So, to benefit (and I really hope it will benefit) all you sweet married couples. ..., for 14.95 you too know the secrets to an awesome marriage....just kidding. Really though, here's 12 mini- lessons we've learned/ are learning in the last 8 months.
Number 1: Do not understimate the power of raviolio's, frozen meals, and Chipotle when you've had a long day. Happy stomach=happy marriage. Plus, Burrito's make the whole world a happy place.
Number 2 Never ever make a joke at the expense of your wife or husband, especially in public. There's a good chance that she/he will be good natured about it, but it hurts in the long run. Work to make your husband or wife look good. its your job.. And we all know how we cringe when we see husband-bashing, or a wife-complaining. It makes no one feel good. (Luckily I learned this one before marriage-thanks mom!)
Number 3: Hobbies- even weird ones, learn to take interest in them, and you'll find out a whole lot more about your spouse. Ben goes and does photography for me, I'm learning to dig comic books. Its actually kind of cool the adventures it allows you to go on.
Number 4: When in an argument, ask yourself this question:
For Women: " Are the statements I'm making giving him credit, and respect (even amidst the argument) or am I dissrespecting him with my words, tone etc.? Does he feel like I'm throwing him underneath the bus and giving him 0 credit?" If so, Say " I'm sorry for disrespecting you by saying X, that was wrong of me". If you're not sure-be bold and ask.
For Men: "Are the statements I'm making expressing that I cherish and adore her, or are the statements expressing that I'm not captivated nor do I adore her." If so, say " i'm sorry for not cherishing you when I did/said x", that was wrong of me" If you're not sure-be bold and ask.
Variations are good-but please keep a) the apology b) the reason you need to state apoligy and c) ownership of mistake. It sounds a little mathematical, but it makes sure your bases are covered, and it makes the other feel like you're owning up to the mistake and not turning it into a " I'm sorry you feel like I did this" Its not the same...
Try it, You'll be amazed at how quickly arguements are solved.
Number 5: Laugh. Especially when things go wrong. Like taking 6 different wrong exits in a 10 minute period and thus being very late....one answer: Laugh.
Number 6: Flirt with each other. One its fun, two it feels good, three, it reminds you that being married really rocks.
"Number 7: Life is heaven when you're true to your mate... number 8 don't still or break this rule for heavens sake...nanana..." Remember the 10 commandment song?- shout out to Aunt Leah who taught me that song. It holds a good lesson: Be true. Learn to be above reproach on this one. I had to learn in dating with Mr. Benjamin that my friendships, especially the guy ones needed to change. I learned to make Ben my #1 with my jokes, with my secrets, with my funny stories, everything....Make your husband/wife number one with the things you share. Learn to not be emotionally intimate or physically intimate (more obvious) with anyone else, even in innocence. Be true even in those small ways so that s/he's the first and some times only with everything.
Number 8 Talk well about each other in public, and be intentional about showering love/respect on your spouse. While it honestly does make the other person feel like a rockstar, it has the surprising effect of making you feel like the luckiest gal/guy in the world that you're with that hunky rockstar.
Number 9: "Yes!" " Sure!" " You betcha!" " I'd love to!" Look for ways to say these word to your spouse. Get in the habit of it. It'll benefit you and your spouse.
Number 10 Extend Grace and realize "I'm just as new at this as He/She is." Giving each other grace to grow and being humble enough to realize you too need to figure things out is a surprisingly wonderful gift. When I give Ben as much Grace as I give my friends or even myself... I'm amazed at just how much more we get along. I would never get angry over my friend forgetting to pick certain things up, or for not reading my mind (ridiculous....but true) So I shouldn't treat him with less grace then I do my own friends. I'm learning this one.
Number 11: When I think I'm above reproach and "I'm TOTALLY Right on this one and Ben is 100 percent wrong."...I dare myself to pray. And guess what....20 minutes later, I'm walking back to Ben humbled with apologetic words instead of accusations.
God really is always the answer. He always restores relationships especially marriages-if I'm willing to lay down my pride and allow Him to work..
I Hope those that are in marriage are feeling a little more encouraged, or maybe God's using it to show areas that you can love on your spouse more (Even writing it I feel that way...)I really do love talking with other women about marriage, singleness, or just plain life. If you want to talk or hear some encouragement you know how to reach us!