Next month is Brenton and I's 2 year marriage anniversary which is so insane because it has gone so quickly! Marriage and the dating to marriage journey as a Christian was a highly, highly requested topic when I posted on my stories last week asking what you guys were wanting to read about. With that, I wanted to share a few things I have learnt along the way, including keeping your marriage alive during different seasons. One thing I will say is: marriage and relationships take work - it's not always going to be 100% smooth sailing. You are two different people with two different expectations, pasts, upbringings etc. So you have to be willing to put in work, admit when you're wrong, honour your partner and communicate! Which leads me to my first (and very important) point.
We did pre marriage counselling when we got engaged, before we got married. It was a safe space for us to chat about expectations, worries and anything we were nervous about going into marriage. It was hands down one the best thing we ever did for our marriage! Being able to smoothen out bumps and speak about expectations of the role of myself and him in the home and in the family dynamic helped prevent so many arguments which could have happened. I recommend it to everyone who is engaged!
Communicating your needs is so important in relationships. As cliche as it is, communication is key! It's important to be upfront. Be honest, be open and communicate. Your partner can't read your mind. On that same wavelength, no matter how busy or chaotic the day has been, we will have dinner at the table together every single night. I set the table with nice tableware, we put our phones away, put some nice music on and we sit and enjoy dinner together and catch up on each others days. We are really intentional to slow down during this time and just be, together.
Support each others goals and dream together
Talk about your goals and make sure that you dream together! Also, make sure that you are supporting each other in your dreams. I love that Brenton encourages me in my endeavours and will constantly check in with me and ask how I'm going on certain projects / goals. He also is my number 1 hype man and the man behind all of my workout videos, pictures etc. He will always without grumbling be happy to film me, take photos and help me in any capacity I need. When I reach my goals, he celebrates me and vice versa. Remember that you guys are on the same team. Cheer each other on!
Continue to date each other and have date nights/date mornings
Prior to having Luca, we were able to go out a lot more on date nights. Movies, dinner dates, night walks, etc. Since having Luca, we definitely go out a lot less at night and instead do a lot more breakfast, coffee and lunch dates. We still have date night every Thursday. I also mentioned in my September goals blog post that I want to do date mornings as well as date night as well because our date nights has been getting a little lost when we are home. We want to start doing a 'date morning' where we schedule an hour or two where we work-free/phone-free to go for a walk or a sauna or a gym session together or go out to breakfast. Whatever we feel like that week.
Some date night ideas:
- Going out to dinner
- Cooking dinner together
- Watching a TV show that you save together for date nights and making a little charcuterie board (we have been doing this a LOT lately! Especially on the sleep-deprived weeks).
- Picnic at the beach/park
- Going to go see a movie
- Going bowling
Date morning ideas:
- Making breakfast together (pancakes, bagels etc. It's always fun to make something from scratch).
- Go for a walk or hike
- Go for a swim
- Get a coffee together
- Play tennis together (Brenton and I loved this in lockdown!)
- Get a massage together
Know each other's needs and love languages
If you haven't heard of the 5 love languages, have a look on Google! Knowing your partners love language is so important. In a nutshell, your love language is how you express love and how you feel love/receive love. For some people it's quality time, others it's acts of service etc. It's important to know that sometimes you and your partner have different love languages. This means you have to remember to be loving your partner in a way that they feel loved. If they feel love by quality time, carving out some time to sit and get a coffee with them could make their whole day. Be intentional with this.