I hope you all have had a great Tuesday! Tonight I’m sharing 6 things we have learned after 4 years of marriage. Many of you have been interested in me sharing more about this, so I figured it would be fun to share what Ashton and I have both learned so far! I will be sharing 3 things I’ve learned, and Ashton will be sharing 3 things he has learned as well. 🙂 Feel free to share what you have learned in the comments, especially if you have been married longer than us! We can always use some good tips! 😉
6 Things We Have Learned After 4 Years of Marriage
1. (Hannah) – Always Be Ready to Give 100%, Not 50%.
I honestly knew the basic idea of this before marriage, but I didn’t fully live this concept until after several years of marriage. Marriage is definitely not both partners giving 50/50. There are going to be weeks or even months when you may be giving 75%, and your partner is only giving 25%. You have to always be ready to give 100%. Just believe that they will give in the extra effort when you’re the one who needs the help instead. Life is unpredictable, and you are both still two individuals getting through each of your own struggles. You are both growing and learning every single day. You just have to support each other the best you can (literally in good times and in bad…in sickness and in health). I feel like love is truly shown in these moments.
2. (Hannah) – “Checking In” with Each Other is Vital!
I was going to say communication is vital, but communication is such a broad term and very commonly mentioned in these kinds of posts about marriage. I want to be more specific. Both people in marriage normally have different love languages. You may need mainly words of affirmation and quality time. Your Husband may need mainly physical touch and quality time. You might both be getting lots of quality time, but you aren’t keeping up with the other person’s main love language. This means that his/her “love tank” probably isn’t as full as it needs to be.
I HIGHLY recommend reading the book “The Five Love Languages”. Lots of you heard me talk about this before on Instagram. 😉 It’s SO good! It’s really helpful for you to both read it, and then discuss what your love languages are. You gain so much insight about your spouse when you do this. Then you can check in with each other on a regular basis, and make sure the other person isn’t feeling like he/she is missing something important that they need from you.
3. (Hannah) – Always Remember to “Chase” your Spouse.
While it is so good to know that you can depend on your spouse to always be there for you, it is so important to not always treat them that way. Sometimes it can be so easy in marriage to put your spouse on the back burner, because you know that they will “always be there”. This will definitely hurt your marriage, and you should always try to make them your top priority after God. It makes such a difference if you remember to look at them and realize how lucky you are. Think about when you were dating, and how much you wanted to do things to make them happy at that time. Remind yourself of that daily, and try to think of little things you can do to make them happy or feel special and appreciated. I promise this will make such a difference! 🙂
4. (Ashton) – Be Completely Transparent about Your Goals and Aspirations.
Being a self-starter, this is one thing that has always been difficult for me. I tend to work on things silently and keep things very close to the vest until I begin to see some reward in my projects. However, after four years of marriage I have realized that my productivity and, ultimately my success, is not hindered, but amplified when I am completely transparent with my wife on what I want to achieve. When I was able to finally be open about what I was working on, I not only had her blessing to pursue my goals, but she turned out to be completely on board and supported me in whichever way she could. This peace of mind gave me clarity and relief which allowed me to focus on my craft even more.
5. (Ashton) – Never Compare Your Spouse and/or Marriage to Others’ – Including the Ones You See in the Movies. 🙂
Let’s face it…we have all done this. We tend to compare our spouse and our marriage to the non-realistic versions we see out in public and on the silver screen. Ladies – We’ll see something like a couple being married for decades and the wife falls victim to dementia. Then the husband reads her excerpts from a notebook to help her regain her memory. Sound familiar? Although this is a sweet story that tugs on the heart strings, this heartfelt story is not reality (in most cases).
Fellas – we see women doing things that are completely out of their comfort zone and not realistic in order to please our physical needs. One example is becoming a “slave to her master” and being tied down in the “Red Room”. Yes. This is a Fifty Shades of Grey reference. These are only fantasies. Each spouse has his/her own interests and strengths. I’ve found that your spouse is his/her best self whenever we do the best we can to highlight them.
6. (Ashton) – Communicate Often About Your Financial Goals.
Did you know that the #1 cause of divorce is money? It may be surprising, but if we take a second to think about this, it really makes a lot of cents (see what I did there). 😉 We all fall into the trap of hiding purchases from our spouse by buying things out of another bank account. Or even worse, another credit card. However, this method is not sustainable long term. I understand that some married couples choose to have their own bank accounts. I have found this to not be sustainable.
I’ve seen many marriages, as well as our own, flourish whenever both spouses are completely on the same page when it comes to money. Try sitting together and create a bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly budget and update that budget accordingly. Hannah and I put our budget in the Notes in our iPhones. That way once I update how much we have left to spend, she sees it instantly. We have found this to work out very well for us! Now, these things are only short-term. Long-term finances, such as investing and retirement, should also be an ongoing conversation between you and your spouse.
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Marriage can be so hard and rewarding at the same time. I just know that I’m so thankful God gave me Ashton to share the journey with! How many of you are married? How long? Let me know! 🙂
If you want to read the “Love Letter to My Husband” post I did for our 2nd wedding anniversary, just click here.
Have a great rest of your week!