Life has it’s twists and turns and throughout all that Jeremy and I faced in the first year of marriage. We came out the other side still looking at each other in love. For a honeymoon year we faced some amazingly large challenges together and, even if you don’t know the half of what we faced, you would be able to tell from the way that we look at each other that we stood side by side and faced them together. The depth of love that has been grown in us through those challenges.
What is one thing I can do to improve my focus on my number 1 priority?
As we head into this second year of married life there is on thing that Jeremy and I have discussed as being something we can both do to focus on our number 1 priority, our marriage. The one thing we need to be conscious to do is to not let ourselves slip into any bad habits.
Both of us have been there before, a place where self-interest of one partner takes priority over the other. A place where one feels like they are sacrificing for the other and then, as a result, resentment creeps in. We both know that journey and we know how very easily it can creep into a marriage and like damp in the corner of a house it can spread throughout like a hidden disease and goes unnoticed until its presence it so large it makes people sick.
The one thing I can do to improve my focus on my number one priority is to find ways to remind myself to keep insidious behaviours out of our relationship and out of our home.
I am hunting for ideas on how best to do this so I am open to your hints, tips and advice. In my research I have found what I believe to be the most comprehensive list of marriage tips on a single web page courtesy of Focus on the Family Canada. I have been through and highlighted a few that I feel are important for me to focus on in the coming months so it really is a matter of how to prompt myself to keep that focus.
So, where and how to keep these prompts. Any ideas? What do you do? I will have to come up with something…
Some of the things on my list to focus on include:
Taming the Hangry Beast
Jeremy and I are people who easily get buried in what we are doing. We dive into a task and, once started, are stuck with absolute focus. And sometimes that means we miss the odd meal or snack break. Often it isn’t until we finish up and go to head to the next task that we realise that we need to eat and restore. Which we will go and do. However, we don’t always break at the same time and often those breaks are used to communicate with each other which means one person is broken away from the task often already overdue for sustenance. These communications are often essential to the running of our home and staying on the same page, however, I have noticed that when one of us has not eaten in a while that we are not as good at sharing ideas, resolving challenges (usually to do with the family schedule) and planning the week or month ahead.
Some things that come to mind that I can do is to ensure that there are some snacks that are made up just for Jeremy and I that are available as we want them. Then, when we are looking to have a conversation, to remember grab one for each of us to snack on, with or without a hot drink, before we start powering our way through a conversation. It will hopefully help with remembering things so that they are translated into the diary or into actions. I think Jeremy and I would both benefit across our days by Taming the Hangry Beast generally as well as it being a help to our communications but, really, I also appreciate that having this kind of plan means that it is also an act of service that demonstrates love as well.
Host and Date
I think we are pretty good at getting time together as a couple. We do that really well. But something we con’t do nearly enough with children in the house every day is connecting with other adult friends. One way that we can really enjoy each others company more is getting some time in with other adults. I think, particularly enjoying the company of other married couples and sharing mutual encouragement. Hanging out and sharing our lives with others in a way that is real and genuine. That is something I would love for us to do more because sometimes it is nice to know that we are not the only couple in the world who are facing life’s challenges.
Keeping lines of communication open
Now, some days Jeremy and I are working side by side and others we are out and about focused on individual tasks. We have some days where we see each other in the morning and then, other than a fleeting glance and maybe the passing of a baton, might not see each other until we go to bed of an evening. And, even then, there is no guarantee that one of us is not already asleep! They are just busy days.
Something that I want to just be mindful of is making sure I make time to touch base and check in during the day. To let Jeremy know that I am thinking about him (even if it is just confirming family logistics or reminding him of upcoming commitments or tasks that one of us needs to undertake whilst the other holds the fort). It is important to let Jeremy know that I am interested in his day, in my absence, and to let him know that I am available to hear his heart or anything he needs to discuss whilst I am out undertaking my commitments.
Marriage takes work
Maintaining a healthy, positive relationship of any kind takes work. It just does. However, that does not mean that it has to be hard. In the wisest sources of advice I have found, from those who are 40 or more years ahead of us, it appears that one thing remains true. A successful marriage is less about the grand overtures and events but, rather, is more about consistency in the small things that are demonstrations of love each and every day.
Taking ownership of and being accountable for the small things can make a big difference. We notice that in each other each end every day and that has made a world of difference in how we see our future together – one that is filled with hope and joy which can be approached with a heart that is at peace because we have a strong and stable foundation. It is a journey that we look forward to for ourselves. Having the opportunity and privilege of sharing it with you is simply a bonus.
For more ideas on how to keep love flowing in your relationship check out our ‘Marriage – Fanning the Flaming’ board on Pintrest.