On Marriage...

Kyle and I celebrated two years of marriage last week. This made me reflect on the foundation of marriage, and what we have learned from this time. By no means have we become experts, but I like to think from time to time we do something right. 
One thing Kyle has taught me is to not judge by appearance. So many people appear to have perfect marriages from the looks of it. It's deceitful. Then again, why would we showcase the negative, as if it's something to show off. Let it be known though, (I speak for just us, but I'm certain most agree) that we have a less than perfect marriage. 

 We have fought. We have cried. Mistakes abound. But we are also truly happy.

Here are some of our lessons learned: 

1. Your words dictate EVERYTHING. The way you speak to one another is a vicious cycle. For us, Kyle will say, well you spoke this way, so I started to treat you this way, and I'll say, well you treated me this way, so I spoke to you this way. WRONG. You cannot get rid of darkness with more darkness. There must be light. 
Proverbs 15:1 sheds beautiful wisdom on this: "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." 

2. Recognize that I am my biggest enemy. We spend much of the time ignoring our faults in marriage, because we are too angry and busy noticing our spouse's. When you do find what it is that you do wrong, and honestly get with yourself to fix it, it is again-another cycle. Humans are re-acting creatures. We act because someone acted towards us. When we fix our own problem, it blesses your spouses, and us as well, because your attitude toward him will dictate his attitude toward you.

3. Learn to argue. Marriages end up in divorce, undoubtedly because they didn't learn how to argue. Arguing is a part of marriage. No two different beings, with different backgrounds and brains will always agree. I say marriages end because of poor arguing, because while there are wrongs like infidelity and finance issues, amongst others, all of those end up in arguments. Our solution is to find a way, in the midst of your anger, to argue civilly. For me, I literally will run and lock myself away in the bathroom and pray for two seconds. "God, help me to not sin in my anger. Help me to see him like you see him." This helps me because, one, I take the focus off myself, which gives me time to think more clearly, and two, because it makes me remember that ultimately, it is God who I need to please. I once heard of a couple who when they argue, they hold hands and look into each other's eyes. Whatever it is, find something to calm your anger, then speak with common sense, as if what you are saying was being said to you.

4. Give a little. Goodness gracious, what would it be like if we held each other to a standard of grace and not perfection? It's easy to expect. I am guilty as charged. At the minimum, we expect that our spouse would do for us, the same amount that we would do for them. But if when we are disappointed, whether rightly so or not, we take a moment to place our mind and heart in a graceful attitude, we may just avoid an argument, raising our own blood pressure, and extending a little of the grace that is so generously given to us. I mean, how good does it feel to get caught speeding and being told, "I'll let you go this time." Darn good. Can we just "let it go this time?" I think a lot of times we can. And to go a step further, sometimes, when choosing to let it go, you don't even have to tell your spouse, it's just out of the goodness of your heart. For instance, Kyle will leave a pile of dirty clothes on the floor. Two options: get mad and rightly tell him so, or pick it up and never say a word about it. Of course if it's something that happens frequently, then you should discuss, but for that time, I can just give a little grace, and be happy.

5. Make memories. We are our own family now. What we create now is going to pass on to generations. It's important. I like the thought of making our own traditions. Silly things like going on walks on Wednesday nights, or cooking together on Saturdays. Whatever little thing, as insignificant as it may be now, just may be the glue that holds on in years to come. It may be what your grandkids do with their spouse one day. Or it may be what you look back on ten years from now and realize how much you cherish that intentional time. Make a big deal of your life together. It's really a once in a lifetime thing. Whether you're going to get groceries or a new car, realize what a gif it is, that of all the things in the world that could be happening to you, of all the places you could have ended up in, you are SO blessed, that ended up with this one person to love. It's worth all the effort, and it's something to protect. We say, take pictures, and laugh, because "the trouble is, you think you have time."

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  1. I LOVE this post Nicholl. Everything you said is so right on, I can especially relate to number one... I'm so guilty of that! I'll act this way, because he spoke to me that way and he spoke to me that way because of this... it's definitely a viscous cycle!! We recognize it now and usually pull ourselves out of it pretty quick. Totally agree about the arguments too, learning how to do it in the right way and also resolve things quickly is so key! Thanks for sharing this. Congratulations of two years marriage - I wish you both so many more happy years to come :) xx

  2. This is a great post! I appreciate you explaining everything and being so open on your blog. My boyfriend and I have been together for 3.5 years and I feel like we've got all these things down - but also know that when we do get married it'll all be new again and we'll have to learn all of these points (along with some others, I'm sure) all over again. I'm bookmarking this for later :) Thanks!


  3. Love this! Such a great post; I run to the bathroom too!!! :)

  4. thank you for this post, it was definitely my favorite of yours! im getting married in 54 days (eek!) and know i have so much to learn but it is so great to hear from people that it really does work and is worth it. i know God picked my fiancé just for me and am excited about what our future holds and now im just hoping that we learn how to implement all that you have learned along the way!

  5. I agree with all your points. I'm glad you two have God in your life. Because He is good for marriages. Thanks for the prayer in point 3 because I'm so quick to get angry, even little things that doesn't matter. I love your point 4 on giving grace because I pick up his clothes and shoes.

    Happy 2nd anniversary and many more!

  6. Happy anniversary, what a sweet couple!

    X0x- S
    Simply Sabrina 

  7. Happy anniversary!! Beautiful insight to marriage :)

  8. Nicholl,

    I truly love this post so much - you are being so real and raw and aren't afraid to blog about it! I give you mad props girl! My boyfriend and I have been together almost a year and a half. While we aren't married, it's my first real and grown up relationship with a good guy. But even with good relationships, there is fighting. All of these things you said are true. We are currently in the phase where we are "learning" how to fight, especially in a healthy way (no low-blows or jabs during our fights) because we are learning that words and mean things can't be unheard. Anyway, ok I'm venting- but I really love this. Seeing my boyfriend like God sees him-- this is the best advice I've ever gotten. Good for you- thanks for sharing - I'm sharing this too!

    XO Jenna

  9. So beautifully written! Thanks for the reminders. It's amazing how much easier it is to love and forgive someone when we try to see them through God's eyes instead of our own.

  10. Great post, I was matron of honor in my bff's wedding after I had been married for 3 years and one thing I said was always kiss goodnight, even if you are not 100% happy with that person.

  11. Great post, considering I just got married!!! I really love number three on learning how to argue. That can be really tough for some couples. I understand that arguing has to happen in a marriage, so doing it the wrong way could ready dissolve a relationship quickly.


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