Debt. Infertility. Depression. Miscarriages. 2 Bachelors degrees. Job changes. Anxiety. Profession changes. Buying a home. Working 80 hour weeks. Major surgery. Past mistakes. High risk pregnancies. Chronic Illness. Moving. Starting new businesses. Having 3 kids 4 and under. <--These are all things that could have broken our marriage over the last 10 years. And I'll be completely honest- some of them almost did. MARRIAGE IS HARD. We have had to fight to get to where we are today in our marriage and it was WORTH IT.
Over the last 4 years we've had friends and followers reach out to us and ask us for advice about relationships- how we make it work despite everything that we've been through and continue to go through. I've done a few posts here and there about what works for us...but tonight I thought I'd share 3 tips that are fresh on my mind...
1- Acknowledge that you both need to get better. Basically a nice way of saying that neither of you are perfect ;) No pointing fingers, just a mutual agreement to focus on daily self-improvement. For us this came in the form of daily exercise, healthier food choices, spiritual study, and self-development reading. It looked different for both of us (we both started with the same book, "The Compound Effect" by Daren Hardy...but then we choose books we wanted/felt we needed.) As we started to feel better about ourselves and work on personal growth- our walls came down and communicating with each other became easier.
2- Learn each others love language and personality types. This might sound a little cooky ;) but I have SO much more patience with Matt now that I understand why he communicates and acts the way he does in certain situations! He has a completely different personality than me- and it's wonderful. Now that we understand our personality types it makes us able to focus on each others strengths and acknowledge our own weaknesses. Research "personality plus" and "the 5 love languages". Both free tests you can take online- but the books are excellent too!
3- You have to learn to talk. Communication is SO important. One of my favorite books about communication is "Crucial Conversations". It helped me learn how to fight (seriously) in my marriage. I was doing it all wrong and it was ugly! We still have disagreements to this day, but because we understand one another (personalities) and have learned how to communicate- our "fights" end up getting resolved much quicker and without the anger/blame/shame/tears etc.
Our Fave Books:
-"The Compound Effect" by Daren Hardy
-"The 5 Languages of Love' by Gary Chapman
-"Crucial Conversations" by Kerrie Patterson
-"The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown
-"Love is a Choice" by Elder Lynn G. Robbins (LDS Author)
(I'll stop at five lol..but if you have something specific you need help working through, ask and I might have a recommendation!!)
Guys, we're NOT perfect. We are still figuring it all out. We're still newlyweds in the grand scheme of things!! But I truly believe that we were sent to this earth to build relationships with those who are placed in our lives-- in our families.
We are ALL IMPERFECT. We need each others love, compassion, and understanding to get though this life. But in order to give each other those things, we need to BE OUR BEST SELVES! Make the choice to be your best self, for you and for them <3
I hope that by sharing what works for us, we can help someone else take the first steps towards leading a happier, healthier life!
Let's make the choice every day to GET BETTER, TOGETHER <3
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