I don't really care for Valentine's Day all that much. It's become very commercialized, overdone, and cliché. But...I love that it sort of forces me to reflect a little on love, my marriage, and what all that means to me.
This last year has proved so much different for Landon and I than we ever thought possible. We hit a pretty low spot in our relationship back last late winter. Having a child threw off a lot of our norms, we were "newly" married (less than 5 years) and still figuring each other out, and both of us being introverts and communicating in completely opposite ways made arguments less than productive.
After hearing some amazing friends share their story of how they got marriage counseling, we decided to seek some out for ourselves. Best. Decision. Ever. We are now in a completely better place than ever before. We talk more, communicate more effectively, and I think I have fallen even deeper in love with Landon as a result. Praise God!
So, in honor of Valentine's Day, here are some things Landon and I have learned along the way...with many more to come!
This pretty much overlaps on every aspect of marriage, whether it is non-verbal or any other sort of communication. This one is key! Keeping those lines open is so important for Landon and I.
*The only argument you should have is over who is going to sacrifice first.
This is the one phrase from our counselor that is burned into my brain. And I love it! As Landon and I have come to an understanding of mutuality in our marriage vs. the traditional view, this has proven so true for us. It's not about who is in charge or who has the final word, it's about self-sacrifice on both sides.
*Talk through the hard things.
I have a bad habit of trying to will Landon to read my thoughts when I am frustrated. :) I now know that's just not possible! Now, we try to share how we are feeling, even if it may sting a little. The more honest and open we are, the more fights we avoid. Communication, folks.
*Find encouragement from other marriages.
We are so fortunate to be surrounded by a large group of people who have awesome marriages. And the beautiful part? They are all different and unique! We love learning from and hearing couples that have got some things figured out.
We love how my boss and her husband seriously make each other laugh...like for real! And they have been married twice as long as us.
-We love how our friends from small group finish each others' sentences and share stories like none other.
-We love how Landon's parents still go to high school basketball games on a Friday night even though they don't have any kids at home anymore.
-We love how some of our other friends from small group who have been married less than a year are cuddly and take little moments for a quick kiss or a quick hug. It's a great reminder to keep doing those things even though we've been married a bit longer.
*Keep faith at the center of our marriage.
For us, this one is big. Our faith plays a vital role in our relationship and we each are taking time to make sure we are focusing on a relationship with God.
We are looking forward to many more years of marriage, growing closer, and trying to be good examples for our kids. It hasn't been easy, and it won't necessarily get easier, but we are bound and determined to stick it through together.
Happy Valentine's Day!!