Wednesday, February 28, 2018

5 tips to help make a healthy marriage

dress c/o Chicwish (currently sold out - similar here)

I am so excited to share this post with you, it has been a long time coming. Stephen and I had the chance to model for an AH-MAZING photographer named Jennifer Hodder, here in Kelowna last September. It was just as the weather was starting to turn from summer to fall and we were lucky enough to sneak in just at the last moment while all the peaches were still on the trees. Sofia + I actually went back just a few days after this shoot and picked some fresh peaches for our peach pies. I posted our adventure in this post and the pies in this post

The shoot was so much fun, it was the first time Stephen and I had ever done something like this before. We have only ever had our photos taken twice and both times were by a friend of mine back in Arizona. Stephen usually prefers to be behind the lens as photos aren't his thing but he knew it was important to me so agreed to participate. Since we never did engagement photos when we got engaged 3 years ago, it was fun to bond over this experience and now we have adorable orchard photos to add to our photo galleries. 

Today I am going to share 5 tips Stephen and I have learned over the last 4 years (2 years of dating and 2 years married) to make our marriage stronger and healthier. We are in no way experts and we in no way have the perfect marriage but we have been through A LOT, and although 4 years is not 10 or 20 years, I feel like we have overcome some big obstacles in our short time as a couple.

5 tips to help make a healthy marriage:
1. wake up each day thinking of what you can to do help make your partners day a little easier for them. This is something that is so important and it doesn't have to be anything big sometimes the littlest things mean so much more. Most of our disagreements over the years stem typically from the same issue, 'what could we have done or thought of doing to help the other person out?' Marriage can not be selfish, you have to be thinking of  your partner from the moment you wake up till you lay your head down at night. I am not saying think only of your partner and not yourself because you definitely need your own time, but you are sharing a life with someone so you should constantly be thinking of how you can help make their day easier. 

2. go on a drive together, even if it doesn't lead you anywhere. Ever since we Stephen and I started dating we have taken drives together often. It is a great way to spend one on one quality time together, letting the emotions settle and if there are situations that need to be discussed you can talk in the car. We have gotten to do lots of adventuring all over Arizona and now up here in BC, which always helps add to the memory bank!

3. forgiveness but not forgotten. They say marriage is not supposed to be perfect, it's not supposed to be easy, and you will say and do things you don't mean. They say marriage is about who you are willing to work through those hard times with, who you are willing to forgive and make changes for the better. Forgiveness is important but also if we are the person asking for the forgiveness we need to not forget what we did hurt the other. You have to learn from your mistakes and make changes to adjust to the others need!

4. know where the line in and do not cross it. This is a big one for me, so many times relationships are ruined because someone crossed the line. Whether it is little things like pushing someones buttons to major issues or actions that we can't take back, crossing the line is never going to make a healthy marriage. Anyone remember the episode of FRIENDS when Chandler kisses Cathy? Joey says, "you are so far past the line you can't even see it, the line is a dot to you!" I think it is important for each partner to know where their significant others line is and not cross it. Stephen likes the play with this boundary, seeing how close he can get to the line and thats when he needs little reminding of what will happen if he keeps pushing. I also think that finding each other line boundary is something that takes couples a little time to figure out. 

5. go to bed each night at the same time. 90% of our relationship Stephen and I go to bed at  the same time every night. It has been this way since we first started dating. This is our unwind and bonding time together! It is not always easy, especially since I work from home and from 2:30-8 every night I am with Sofia, which means I only have the morning to fit my work in. We like to spend as much time with Sofia after school as possible, so if Stephen is working I won't get any work accomplished until she has gone to bed. That means come 8 o'clock I try and squeeze in a few hours before sleep. We save all of our shows for evening time, and we always wait for one another to watch them!  If I am overloaded on work he will watch the shows I don't reallllly care about while I work on my laptop, but we always spend at least 30 mins each night laying together and unwinding. AND we always kiss each other goodnight, cliche right?! Sometimes it's an annoyed, you drive me crazy peck and others it's such more lovable. 

Stephen and I have one anniversary date, April 22nd. It was the day of our first date and then two years later it was the day we got married. I made it easy for him to remember! This year it will be 4 years total and 2 years of marriage, it seems like sooooo much longer haha. In that short amount of time we have lived in 4 different houses, got 2 dogs, traveled to 3 different countries, moved countries, got primary custody of his daughter (she's mine too!!), built a house from the ground up, lived with my mom in a 2 bedroom little townhouse for 4 months, and been to more country concerts than we can count. Some of our accomplishments have been amazingly fun and some have been more stress than we could handle at time. Each year we seem to take on another big project however we are hoping to let the dust settle and relax for a bit more!

Here's to many more years of marriage, sweetheart.  May we learn, may we grow, may we overcome the obstacles! 

photographer: Jennifer Hodder


Emily said...

First of all, these photos are GORG!!! Oh my word- so pretty and something y'all should definitely frame! Second- so many great pieces of advice in here. Nick and I go to sleep at the same time almost every night too and it's sometimes our favorite part of the day because we get to talk and unwind together (and we totally save all of our TV shows too!)

Candace Hampton said...

I will definitely be using some of these tips for my marriage. You two look so happy and lovely together!

Amanda @ A Good Hue said...

These photos are beautiful! These tips are definitely going to be coming in handy... thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

These photos are downright gorgeous! Seriously so so dreamy. And I agree that going to bed at the same time is super important! We need to be better at this because I notice how it affects our dynamic the next day!

xo, Sara

♥Renee @ •Getting Fit Fab• said...

These photos are so gorgeous! I always feel like going to bed at the same time is important. Also putting the Joey comment from Friends made me laugh, it's so true once you cross the line it's so hard to come back from!

Maggie said...

Aw you two are so cute together! And love the advice, so real and honest!

Lizzie said...

These photos are just gorgeous! I love how they turned out!


Unknown said...

Great post. Marriage really is constant effort from both sides, but so worth it. Congrats on your upcoming anniversary.

Unknown said...

This is SO sweet! Gorgeous photos love. Hugs, Kait

Anonymous said...

These tips are so great! I also love this photoshoot. Everything is so pretty.

The Double Take Girls Blog said...

These photos are so pretty! Love the tips you shared about marriage. So true! :)
LIndsay & Whitney

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Lena Charles said...

healthy lifestyle and healthy foods to eat are the two major pillars we need to build. In fact, a few healthy lifestyle tips can go a long way in improving your overall health and mental well-being.

Peter Floyd said...

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