5 Tips We’d Tell our Newlywed Selves
Today, it is my wedding anniversary and I’ve asked my wife to write a special blog post, because she is a much better writer than I can ever hope to be. Please leave a comment at the end and leave your best marriage advice!
By Dyane Davis
How in the world was this picture taken 20 years ago?!? No really. We keep looking at each other and asking ourselves that because it just doesn’t seem possible! Our story still feels like it just happened, our journey like we’re just getting started…
We can’t help but think: What would we tell these two in this picture?’ We still have so much to learn… but can we take this small milestone moment to share together 5 simple thoughts we might say to these newlyweds?
1. Your life together is NOT going to turn out exactly how you think it will. Sorry guys. It’s just not. And it’s not just you – it’s true of every couple in the world! Does that mean you shouldn’t make plans? Nope. Does that mean it’s going to be terrible? Definitely not. But a lot of that depends on you. What will you do with that? When life throws a curveball or just isn’t what you expect- what will you do? Letting go of what you thought SHOULD happen and embracing what actually DOES happen will be key to discovering fulfillment. The secret? THANKFULNESS. Practice it. Speak it. Think it. Thankfulness will help turn your heart from longing for unmet (and maybe unrealistic) expectations to seeing how much you truly have to be thankful for!
2. That fight you’re having? It’s not about him. And it’s not about her. It’s not even about the thing you’re fighting about. Don’t fight the wrong fight!! The truth is – YOU ARE ON THE SAME TEAM. But you’ll constantly feel the urge to pull apart and turn on each other. If you can remember that you’re both fighting for the life of your marriage, you might just fight differently. Instead of attacking and trying to be right, you’ll work together to come up with better strategies to help you not feel the way you feel. Here’s an example: Instead of proving how you do most of the work around the house, you can admit to your spouse, “I’m feeling overwhelmed and can’t seem to get on top of everything. Can you help me? And then maybe I can help you with something later?” Fight the right fight and remember the goal.
3. You can never encourage your spouse too much. Never. In fact, life and other people will do a good job of dishing out discouragement and bringing them down. Look for ways to speak courage and life. Make it a discipline. Text it, speak it, write it and most importantly THINK it!! You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to go long periods of time without encouraging your man or your woman. It takes being intentional to bring out their courage. Be their greatest cheerleader!
4. Take time to remember your story. “What did you think when you first saw me? Remember when we first held hands? When you met my family?” Questions like these just put a smile on your face. Don’t forget what brought you together and how you fell in love in the first place. God asked His children to rehearse their story over and over – have some fun rehearsing yours!
5. Invest the time it takes to connect. There will be days (or months, or seasons) when it seems the last thing you want to do is deeply connect. Not just the surface level stuff – but really getting to that deeper level and connecting. For one of you, that might take figuring out the right questions, talking and listening. For the other, it might take physical intimacy (Yes, we just went there!) You will never ever regret the moments you take to be more emotionally and physically intimate with your spouse. But you might regret the moments you neglect connection. The good news? Renewing connection always gives a beautiful restart. It’s like recharging your battery – you are ready to take on life again. It’s not too late. Take time to prioritize your connection. It is so worth the effort!
Happy 20 years to us!! We never knew these years would go so quickly – but we also didn’t know our love could grow so deep.
(But seriously… how has it been 20 years?!?) #marriedforlife