Free Marriage Advice: 8 Things We’ve Learned in 8 Years

(Photo above is by Beth Rose Photography. Hopefully I’ll have a bunch more to share from this shoot soon!)

As our 8th wedding anniversary approaches (it’s Tuesday!) I thought I’d share some nuggets of marriage goodness Jason and I have gathered the past few years. In our opinion, we have a pretty awesome marriage. We’re not marriage experts but you get what you pay for! Here we go:

1. Share a sink
Now, if your master bathroom already has two sinks you might as well use them. But Jason and I always thought it was pretty silly when some couples go through a lot of trouble to make sure they each have their own sink. We also have one relatively small closet. It’s about sharing. It’s about moderation. These are important values to us.

2. Turn off the car radio
Actually, it rarely gets turned on in the first place when we’re together. It’s not a “rule” but just something that we’ve gotten in the habit of. Jason and I have had most of our best discussions in the car. The uninterrupted alone time is precious and perfect for debating, dreaming and digging into important issues.

3. Do home repairs together
Not only do DIY projects save money and increase our skills, they force us to work together as a team. Sometimes we get frustrated, grumpy, tired but we’re able to encourage each other, brainstorm and troubleshoot, and ultimately celebrate our finished project together.

4. Don’t let each other get away with crap
We have chosen to lovingly, gently hold each other accountable. It’s been a process learning the “lovingly, gently” part of this and even more so, how to receive the constructive criticism without defensiveness. It’s one of the greatest gifts we have given each other. No one cares more about your personal success than your spouse.

The next 4 are things we were told before we got married so we can’t take any credit for these ideas:

5. Go on date nights
I think it was my parents that suggested this. Even though we don’t have kids yet, date nights have proven to be worth the extra commitment on our budget sheet. Sometimes we really just need some time away together that doesn’t involve work (dishes, cooking, tiling, gardening, etc.). We always come back home feeling more in love.

6. Pray together / pray for each other
“Couples that pray together, stay together” is the old saying and apparently it’s statistically true, too. I can’t say we’re great at making time to pray together but praying for each other is a huge priority in our house. It means so much to me when I catch Jason praying over me at night (when he thinks I’m sleeping). And I know it blesses him knowing that I get up early most mornings and spend time praying for him in his studio.

7. Be the first to say you’re sorry
Because being right and holding your ground really isn’t worth it.

8. Don’t quit your marriage
Way to end on a high note, huh? Seriously, I think all marriage couples have times—fights, incidents, rough patches—that make us want to just walk out the door and never look back. Humans are selfish by nature. We want what we want, when we want it. We’ve never allowed divorce or separation to be an option worth considering. It’s just out of the question for us. We have to make a choice to resist selfishness everyday and to put each other above ourselves. That is love.


4 Responses to Free Marriage Advice: 8 Things We’ve Learned in 8 Years

  1. Amy says:

    great tips!! congrats on EIGHT YEARS! can’t believe it’s been that long. also, super cute pic. can’t wait to see the rest.

  2. […] (One more photo and “8 Things We’ve Learned in 8 Year” here.) […]

  3. danielle says:

    You guys are awesome. THESE are awesome. Congrats!!

  4. Lo says:

    Congrats guys! I believe every points you made. However, it really helps when you married someone who actually loves you. Today is our 8th yr wedding anniversary and we are separated. I know you said don’t quit on your marriage. But what if your spouse is the one who wants you to stop fighting for your marriage? And with a 2 yr old son, I can’t help feeling selfish.

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