It’s Wedding Tip Tuesday! For this first week of Tip Tuesday, I won’t be giving you tips on how to select the perfect wedding dress, construct your wedding timeline, or find the perfect venue. While all of those things are super important, this week is all about preparing for life after ‘I Do’.
Let’s face it, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘Marriage is hard work.’ I too, heard this statement after Mr. Smith and I were engaged. I would inwardly groan and say to myself ‘Well maybe it’s hard for you, but it won’t be hard for us. We love each other so much, we will make it easy.’
Those well meaning friends were right. Marriage is in fact hard work. After four years of marriage, one child, and life’s twists and turns, I won’t deny that. (This is not to discourage you. Marriage is amazing! Read on)! Still, for every reminder that marriage is hard work, I never received any sound advice or words of wisdom on how to make the ‘hard work’ enjoyable!
Have you ever purchase a plant? When you brought it home you probably had grand ideas of how you would keep it alive and nurture it so that it would grow into a mature and beautiful plant. Let’s say the first few weeks you wake up every morning to water your plant and ensure it's getting enough sun. When bugs eat at it’s tender leaves, you abolish them, saving your plant. But as the weeks go on, you start to forget about your tender plant. You wake up and realize it hasn’t been watered for days, so you water it. It looks a little less peppy than usual, but you decide it’s doing ok. Soon you forget about your precious plant altogether. You became busy with work and life, and forgot to nurture it. The morning you wake up and notice your plant is dried and shriveled, is the day you realize it’s to late. You can’t revive it.
Married life is similar to taking care of a plant. It needs your full attention and constant nurturing to keep it alive and healthy. When 'bugs' or bad things creep in and try to steal the life from your marriage, you must have tactics to combat the enemy.
Through the years of marriage, Jay and I have read books together, listened to marriage DVD's, and sought ways to keep our marriage alive. Yes, it can be hard at times. Married life brings on a new set of challenges that you must tackle together. Hard decisions about life and financial issues will have to be made with both of your opinions being valued.
But I am here to say married life is THE BEST LIFE. You will have a constant companion, an ever present cheerleader, a shoulder to cry on, a person that has your best interest at heart, and someone to create amazing memories with. Because marriage is such a precious gift, it is worth fighting for and working hard for. And start now! You don't have to be married to learn about having a healthy marriage. In fact, you should begin now. The more tools you have in your tool box the better off you will both be when life throws tough situations your way. I've highlighted some of my favorite marriage resources (with links) below. Jay and I by no means have 'the perfect' marriage, and neither does anyone we know. But I am a firm believer of trying and never giving up. It's so rewarding having your soul mate by your side to love and cherish forever and ever!
The best marriage resource we have found. It is an in-depth study of why your communication styles are not wrong, just different. This DVD series will inspire you to love and respect one another despite differences.
This book is such a valuable resource that assists couples in finding ways to make their spouse feel loved. It helps you discover what love language your spouse speaks: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, or physical touch.
This book explains to couples how to experience a lifetime of passion and fulfillment in marriage. It helps couples to identify each other's most important emotional needs and develope habits to meet them.
This is my personal advice. Don't ever stop dating one another. Date nights and time alone are so vital to a healthy relationship. Get dressed up, put on your makeup, and go have fun. It's to easy to fall into routine, and it's wonderful to experience something fun and new with each other.