Today we are celebrating our sixth anniversary. While I realize that in the realm of anniversaries this is a rather small one, it still makes me feel old. Young people don’t celebrate six years of marriage. Besides, my memory has been altered to the point where its hard to remember LBA (life before Andy).
Over the last six years we have had more adventures than we could have ever imagined, challenges we have tackled together and a few low points we would prefer to forget. But overall, God has shown us incredible grace in giving us an awesome marriage. I call it God’s grace because we are both have difficult, stubborn, type-A personalities and by all accounts we should be at each other’s throats.
While I fully expect to reach year twenty and laugh at my quaint, naive post, I thought I would share a couple of things we have learned over the last few years together.
Remember that you are a team. This is probably the #1 principal that has helped our marriage. When you got married you tied your life inseparably to your partners so what is good for them is good for you and vice versa. Instead of looking at an issue as my interests vs his, try to look at it with the motive of the best possible outcome for you both as a team. When you and your spouse are on the same team one may have to sacrifice but no one looses.
Ask yourself if it’s really worth a fight. Sure, your husband forgot to pick his underwear off the bedroom floor or your wife spilled coffee on your car seats again, but 30 years from now is that what you will remember? Talk it out but keep things in perspective.
Choose to believe that your partner has your best interest in mind. This can be hard to remember when you are in the midst of a disagreement, you are sleep-deprived or the topic is emotionally charged.
Make your spouse a priority. I’ve worked nights and weekends for the majority of our marriage, which means Andy and I rarely have any normal days off together. I’ve had the option to move to an afternoon shift but that would mean I would see less of Andy so I have sacrificed good sleep for consistent time with him. For his part, Andy plans his weekends around getting home around the time I wake up.
Play together. It can take time to find a hobby that you share and often one spouse is way more interested in the hobby before the other one is. Before we got married, my idea of a hike was a 2-mile excursion on a paved trail with a backpack full of snacks and drinks. As I ventured out of my comfort zone I discovered a love for the outdoors. Hunting, autocross and cooking are among some of our failed shared-hobby experiences but we had fun trying!
Remember that your spouse cannot fulfill all of your needs. No matter how awesome your spouse is, he or she can never fill that need for love and respect in your heart. If you thought that when you got married you would never feel lonely, disappointed or unloved, you will be disappointed. Maintain good friendships to fill the need for some good girltalk or brotime. Ultimately though, only Jesus can fill those deepest needs in your heart so don’t forget to make time for Him in your day. A couple quiet minutes reading your Bible or journaling out some angst can make a world of difference.
Have lots of sex. What’s the deal in Christian circles about women acting like they don’t enjoy sex?! It’s like the unspoken secret in the church. Sex is a gift to both of you and both of you should enjoy it and look forward to it. Not only is it awesome but it can act like a reset button in a marriage, bringing a couple back to a place of unity.
There is so much more I could say here but I just brought up the s-word so I know ya’ll aren’t listening anymore.
Andrew Pierson, you have been the best thing that has ever happened to me and I am so thankful for you! Thanks for working hard to lead our team well. You are still my dream come true. I can’t wait to see what adventures lie ahead.