How We Keep Our Marriage Alive
Last weekend, Cody and I had the wonderful opportunity to escape to northern Arizona and experience cooler weather, changing fall leaves, and the company of one another — just the two of us! This doesn’t happen often, so it was quite the treat! We slept in, ate delicious food, went to the movies, hiked, drank wine, and talked with no interruptions. We are so grateful to my parents for giving us this much needed time away.
I will preface this blog post by telling you that I am no expert. We do not have the perfect marriage, and I will never claim to have one. Cody is human and I am human, which makes us both imperfect, resulting in an imperfect marriage. I am pretty positive when it comes to our marriage and relationship via social media, and that’s because most of the time, our marriage is truly wonderful. I am grateful for this man that supports me, loves me, and walks along life with me. However, it doesn’t come without its disagreements, challenging seasons, or fights. We are both very passionate and stubborn people, so you can imagine that fighting on the occasion is pretty much inevitable. *wink*
Cody and I both come from divorced parents, and one of the first agreements we made as a couple was that divorce would never be an option for us. (This is not to offend anyone that has decided to get a divorce; this is just something we personally have agreed upon in our own marriage.) With that, we have realized that we can either live miserable lives together or make the best of it and make a point of enjoying one another. We have chosen the latter and do our best to intentionally work on our marriage. Because, it truly does take work. I once heard a quote, “You’re either working on your marriage, or you’re working on your divorce.” Yikes. #truthbomb right there. At the same time, it really does make you think about how you’re approaching marriage.
After 8 years, we have realized that there are some things that we have done right to help keep our marriage alive. When we aren’t doing these things, we notice there is distance between us and an overall disconnect.
Here are some ways we’ve done our best to keep our marriage alive:
Make the time to talk to one another about our individual days
And I mean really talk about them! Not just a little “Hi, how was your day? Ok, good!” in passing. This can be difficult to do with children constantly demanding our attention and busy schedules, but even if it’s for 10-15 minutes after the kids go to bed, it is so important. I’ll be honest, sometimes hearing about Cody’s day isn’t my most favorite topic (love you babe!), but I know it means a lot to him, and I also like to understand how he’s feeling and what emotions he’s experiencing after his day.
Don’t make our schedule so busy that we don’t have time for one another
About a year ago, our schedule was so busy and packed that I felt like I barely had time to catch up with Cody. Our evenings and weekends were full of activities, and we were always rushing here and there. I felt like we never had time to just “be” and talk to one another. We took notes and learned our lesson after that season!
Prioritize a regular date night
I know, this one is kind of cliche because everyone tells you this when it comes to marriage talk. But, actually DOING it is key! Sometimes the prep work for it is annoying and almost feels not worth it, but I promise you — it is SO WORTH IT! We prioritize an actual “going out” date night at least once per month, and then we do some occasional “at home date nights” throughout the month after the kids go to bed. It’s all about being intentional here. Put it on the calendar and make it happen.
Have more sex
Yikes. I’m embarrassed to mention this one! Haha! This is an incredibly taboo topic, but really shouldn’t be. Sex should absolutely be part of a healthy marriage. Have sex and have it more often. I know it’s not always the first thing you might want to do, but don’t you always feel better afterward? *wink* Not to mention, it always makes you feel more connected to one another. Just do it!
Something about dreaming together and thinking about the future connects us to our spouse. It encourages excitement about what we’re doing together as we build a life for ourselves and our family. I believe it really helps you feel as though you’re a team and that you’re working toward something together.
There are plenty more tips I could offer and stories I could tell and insight I have heard from others, but these are probably Cody’s and my top five tips to keep our marriage alive. It can be hard in any season, but especially when kids are young and our lives are so busy. Let’s work toward being intentional in our marriages!