9.10.2013

Love and Marriage

I got married when I was 20 years old. I met Mat when I was 15 and a sophomore in high school. We met in biology and my first run in with him involved him spitting in a cup because he forgot to bring a liquid to class. Classy stuff. :)

In my mind, we've pretty much grown up together. I love doing life with him. We are constantly learning what it means to have a good marriage and definitely still growing. In this eighth year of marriage, we have grown closer and learned more about each other than we have the previous 7 years. So, I began to think about the top 5 things that we have learned.

Her smirk=the best!

1. Different is not wrong, it's just different. We went to a Love and Respect seminar when we first got married and it set the tone for our marriage. We are still learning this even to this day, but the point is that we're learning. :) We do our best to stay off the crazy cycle: without respect, he reacts without love and without love, she reacts without respect. However, the opposite is also true. Love and respect--it's a powerful thing.

2. I'm usually right, except when I'm wrong. Just ask him. ;) He values my opinion and often asks for my input when he's creating, building and making career decisions. That means the world to me. His opinion matters to me too, but in a different way. I'm not a questioning person. I usually don't ask if what I'm about to do is a good idea, or if there's anything I should tweak. It's in my nature. However, I don't make decisions about things that will affect our family without talking with him first. Not to get his approval per se, but to get his input before making the decision. If he's as comfortable as I am, then I'll make whatever decision is best. In contrast, Mat will ask for my input during his entire thinking process. Either way, I love putting in my opinion input and getting his.

3. Debt is dumb. Just learn this early people! I wish we had known this. When we bought our first car it was the result of a car accident (ahem, another lesson) and the insurance paid out the value of the car. We took the money, applied to it a credit card and then went an bought a brand new car complete with car loan. Does that sound dumb or what? We didn't buy a used car because the interest rate was going to be whopping 6% instead of 2%. So bought and new car and I distinctly remember sitting down and figuring out that the $1500 cash back that we'd get from the new car "special" or choosing to do the "special" 2% interest rater equaled the exact same thing! We were not smart. Credit cards (mine), laptops that died before they got paid off (his) and a brand new car with loan (ours) taught us lessons we plan on sparing our children from. Now we only buy if we have cash and so we don't buy much; when and if we do buy stuff, it's takes time. We are totally okay with that.

4. Having children is no joke. It takes work. Every single day. Arguing/disagreeing in front of them is not an option. If dad says no, so does mom. If we don't agree then we discuss it when the littles aren't paying attention. On the other hand, going on dates and only talking about the children is a no-no. It's really easy to keep them as the main topic of conversation but before they were, we were. :)

5. Marriage should be fun. For a while we were stressed out. Working, working, making it, not making it, working, throw a kid (or two) in the mix, living, scheduling, working some more. We forgot to laugh, enjoy each other, remember that the reason we got married was because we enjoyed being around each other. Learning how to communicate, respecting each other's time and opinions, valuing what the other contributes to the home and family life will ease up even the heaviest of loads. When you love on purpose, laugh because you remember that your spouse really is funny and not take life's journey so seriously (and by seriously I mean in stride, not Neverland), you'll have a lot of fun.

We are farrrr from perfect. We are still working on setting a budget every month (I love budgets, he gets overwhelmed at the details), getting our chores done (I kinda refuse to take out the trash, he leaves his shoes everywhere) and learning how to grow a business and a ministry at the same time (I love photography, he loves youth ministry). I couldn't imagine doing life with anyone else and am so glad that God saw it fit that we should be together. :)

Happy Tuesday!

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