Sep 29, 2014

5 Things that Make our Marriage Great

I wrote this post back when Eric and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary (which was... nearly a year ago... whoops) and I never got around to posting it. I thought it would be fun to share it now as I am thinking about all of the ways our marriage will change in the future when this baby comes. 


5 Things that Make our Marriage Great:

1. We are each others' #2. God is our #1, always. This is the most important aspect of our marriage, but also the toughest. I love Eric more than any other person in the world, literally. However, Eric cannot be the source of my happiness, or I would be disappointed. He is an absolutely amazing person, but he is human. As am I. As much as we love each other, we both desire that the other loves the Lord more.

2. We don't fight. We really don't. I always feel weird telling people that... I promise I'm not trying to brag or even say that we don't communicate. We disagree on things all the time (we're different people) but we refuse to fight about things. This is what comes naturally to use (we're both pretty laid back), but it has also been an important aspect of our marriage. We don't yell at one another. If one person is extremely upset, then they take a break until they feel better and we can resume the discussion. Discussions are fine, fighting is not fine.

3. We do not disrespect each other. It is such a terrible thing to watch spouses disrespect each other in public. I can't tell you how many times I have felt uncomfortable when someone has made a comment like "well, if you EVER did anything around the house..." or something along those lines to their spouse. If we have an issue with one another, we talk about it. It's just not good to bring up things like that in front of other people - it makes those people feel uncomfortable AND it's disrespectful and creates animosity.

4. We handle finances the same way. We've all heard that money issues are the #1 cause of divorce. Eric and I actually had a lot of discussion about finances before we got married (do you have debt? how do you feel about paying off debt? is it important to you live within your means?) which was so helpful. We both view money as a necessity, but not a source of happiness. We budget every dollar we earn every month, so we are usually not surprised by where our money goes each month. We also each have our own "fun money" so I can't get mad at Eric when he spends his on coffee shops and golf and he doesn't get annoyed with me when I spend mine on *ahem* clothes.

5. We try new things together. This one has actually been tough for us because we are complete homebodies and love Netflix as much as anyone, but I always feel like I learn something new about Eric when we get out of our comfort zone. Traveling together is the best way that I have experienced this, but I have also found that you don't necessarily have to go far or spend a lot of money to have this experience. We have done things like hiking, hosting people in our home, creating new traditions, etc. that have offered us a chance to know each other in new ways.

 Have you ever thought through the things that make your marriage great?

20 comments:

  1. Loved reading this! I agree with all of these things! Trying new things is something we always want to do but never seem to do. We need to make it a priority.

    Jill
    dousedinpink.blogspot.com

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  2. this is a great post! My husband and I don't fight like really fight, we argue sometimes but I can't remember the last time we raised our voices at each other - several years ago and probably drunk. A lot of our discussions and arguments come from misunderstandings - I am extremely blunt and sarcastic and he gets defensive when he thinks i'm being rude, rightly so. Money is definitely something you have to agree on, I am a spender and he is a saver but thankfully I am good at not spending more than he'll allow, if that makes sense. If he tells me to stop, I do. I have another friend who spends all their money no matter what her husband says. And oh, the disrespecting! My husband and I play and tease and I think a lot of people think we're being mean to each other, but I would never actually say something rude or mean in front of other people. It's not cool at all.

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    1. It's good that you both know where your misunderstandings come from - it's so much easier to talk through things if you both understand why you do the things you do. Raising voices at each other is so not ok! And the money thing is SO important! I can't imagine how hard things would be if I just spent money even though my husband had asked me not to. That's why we budget! We both agree that we can spend a certain amount of money on certain things and it makes it so much easier!

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  3. Great post. I fully believe in your number 1 and 2. People tell me I live with my head in the clouds if I truly believe Jeremy and I don't fight but we never have. Oh boy do we get annoyed with each other but we always talk to each other about it. My the one think I remember from premarital counseling was to not say negative things about each other and we have stuck to that always. Even if there are days I would love to make a comment I don't because if I say it out loud, I am going to believe in my heart.

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    1. People react the same way to me when I talk about not fighting! I'm like... we really don't! Why would people fight!? Fighting is so much different than having a disagreement. We talked about that in premarital too - saying negative things can become habit and all of sudden you are both bitter and angry. Not a good thing.

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  4. Love reading this. I feel similarly about my hubby. We really don't fight much either.

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  5. Loved reading this, and I don't think I saw it when it made its rounds last year, so it's new to me! It's a great list. It's easy to forget to be deliberate in a marriage - it takes work to not fall into easy patterns of Netflix and the same conversations. Being conscious of your activities and the time you spend together is so important. I love that you have trying new things together on this list, because it is one the easiest things to forget to do. I also wholeheartedly agree with the finance issue. I like that you each get a "fun money" allowance. My husband and I both have the same principles when it comes to spending/saving, but usually I just monitor our budget spreadsheet and bank account, and tell him when we can spend money and when we can't. May I ask what budgeting tool you use? I'm always looking for ways to improve my methods.

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    1. Oh man, It is so tempting to fall into the same patterns! We had a conversation about only watching tv on one weeknight and it has been a really good thing. Honestly, it's kind of forced because Eric has some evening classes, but I hope we will continue it even when he is done with school.

      We use Mint to budget and I HIGHLY recommend it. It automatically puts your purchases into your categories (like "Panera" would go into restaurants or whatever you have specified) but you can change that. You can also split purchases so like when I got to Target I can split a part of into groceries and part of it into "ashley fun money." You can also do it on your phone which is really great! Let me know if you have questions - I'm kind of a huge fan :)

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  6. I love this! I think my list would be very similar. We don't fight either, and I always wonder if that is weird. I think (hope) that tv shows and movies exaggerate the argumentative nature of most marriages. We always joke about it after seeing a movie with lots of yelling (or like, watching Parenthood) that we should probably yell at each other more.

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  7. I love this a ton! Nate and I don't fight either and I feel weird saying that too but, on the other hand, I think it's great when couples don't fight! :-)

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  8. Such a lovely post Ashley !
    Hope you and the little fam are doing great ! and taking it easy !
    M♥
    Simply Sutter

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  9. These are all important, well thought out reminders! Thank you for sharing all these!

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  10. Ashley, this is one of your best posts. I love the happy vibe I can sense through the screen...really! :)
    Also, could you please do a post on household budget?

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  11. Love this this! Many of these would be on my list too (definitely #1 :) ) It's so, so important!

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  12. What a sweet post! While I'm not married, I think these are important things to remember. The last one is especially relevant to my relationship at the moment as we're both perfectly content with staying at home but we love getting out and trying new things. Sometimes, we have to make plans to do that as it's always easier to stay inside. We've now tried rollerblading and rock climbing and we love it! We're excited to try more new things in Colorado since the scenery will be completely different. Finances are important too. When we move, it will be the first time we'll be sharing in bills and rent so we have come up with a plan on how to ensure everything is paid for and we both have side businesses that we plan to use as "fun money" as well as to save for our dream road trip. Such a great post Ashley!

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  13. Those are all great. :) Our post-kids marriage definitely works differently than pre-kids. Lots of different things thrown into the blender of chaos! :)

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  14. Such a great post, I especially appreciate #3. Everyone needs to consider what they are saying before they say it in public!!

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  15. Fun money is a must, I think. It really eliminates any arguments about what we prefer to spend our money on. But we do fight and yell sometimes too. We're both first children and NOT laid back and both really stubborn so... Yeah. It happens. We're learning :)

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  16. These are such great tips! I agree with them all. Thank you so much for sharing!

    xo, Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

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  17. You guys are awesome. What great inspiration. Thank you for sharing this!

    ♥ perfectly Priya

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