Marriage Advice and Questions – Part 1

So for today and the next couple of blogs we will be talking about marriage advice, and our wedding and marriage. And how amazing it is.

Do you remember a while ago we posted on Instagram…? We were redoing the “about page” on our website and it is one of the hardest things to do. No one likes to talk about themselves.

It’s hard coming up with things to write. You don’t want to be too generic but you also want to be relatable. It’s just hard.

So we posted on our Instagram page to ask people, “hey when you think about us, what do you think about?”

We were literally hoping for things like “your dog” and “Michael like soccer”. And people wrote the nicest responses. I think Laura was actually crying reading them.

Everyone was so sweet. It was such an uplifting thing. That we were definitely not expecting.

But one of the most common responses from that was.. Michael and Laura Fall Wedding - Marriage Advice 8 years after.

The perfect marriage

Was it avocados? Haha…It was our marriage. And that people look at us as having this perfect marriage.

Which we DON’T.

To clarify we do not have a perfect marriage. None of this is speaking from a point of “we are experts about this” But we have a damn good one.

*high five*

So we just thought we would share some things. But starting off with the fact that all marriages are imperfect. There are absolutely things that we struggle with. I feel like we try to show that on Instagram. Sometimes in the midst of an argument we will actually decide purposefully to share that on our Insta-stories.

To be transparent and show that yeah, we argue.

Michael and Laura first year anniversary - Marriage Advice

Marriage advice – questions about our marriage

I thought we could just ask each other a couple questions and share some questions that we got on Instagram. And just go from there.

What is it that you think makes our marriage so successful? Where do you think it is, that people see when they look at us that makes them think that we have a perfect marriage. What is that?

I think it is a mindset. In a respect for each other rather than a specific thing.  Return some thing that might be a heated argument into something a little less.

Both of our personalities are like that. One we error to please other people – so that stops a lot of arguments from happening. But also I think that we are both good at seeing other peoples perspectives.

I also think that we both know our own flaws and each other’s flaws at this point.  For example I’m not always a great communicator especially when we are in the midst of an argument. And Laura now knows that and will give me time to try to figure out what I’m trying to say. She will understand that that is not me not responding. Instead it’s me trying to figure out how to say what I’m thinking.

I think definitely after eight years of marriage we have earned what we are each strong out and where we are weak. And try to give each other grace in those areas we are weak. Obviously we are not perfect at that.

But yes Michael knows that I am super stubborn with things and it can be annoying. And I know that sometimes it takes him a while to communicate what he’s thinking.

Both try to give a little leeway when those things happen. And talk it out.Richmond Wedding Photographers - Michael and Laura in Kenya for a year.

Marriage advice – talk.. a lot

And I would’ve said that is our strong suit. We talk so much.

Remember that when we went to premarital counseling. Every single time we went in she would give us homework for the next time we were there.  She would say I want you to talk about these few different things and Michael and I would look at each other and say “do you want us to just answer that now?”

We already know where we each sit on that. We’ve talked through multiple times.

That is one of our strong suits. We take time to sit down and ask each other “how are things going”, “what do you think we need to be doing better” or “what should we work on”. We basically self council through our marriage.

And also keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be big things. It can be something that small that may be is important to you.

One thing that people asked us is what we would recommend newlyweds. And what I would definitely recommend before you get married is to go to premarital counseling.Richmond Wedding Photographers husband and wife - Marriage Advice for newlyweds

Marriage advice – questions about our marriage pt. 2

Next one is if you were speaking with the newlywed and they were asking you for marital advice. What would you say?

I don’t think there’s necessarily pertains to our own marriage but I think giving each other as much or as little spaces the other needs.

This is something we are kind of working out especially during the pandemic where we are both at home. We’ve sort of created a schedule where there are separate times during the day where we can each be doing our own thing. Something that is separate from each other where we can get things done.

I definitely think that having things that are your own is good. You are definitely molding and sharing a life but you can also have things that are just for you.

Pandemic has made it harder. I used to go to work and I would come home and we would have time to be able to share about our day and things to talk about. But now we are around each other all the time! So it makes it a little harder.

One thing that we did in the beginning of our marriage – where we did it together and separate. It was we read books. We would read books together but we would also read book separately and then come together to talk about it.

We did read marriage and relationship books but we also just read different life books. It just give us something to come together and talk about.Michael & Laura Wedding - married life

Marriage advice – Laura’s most hated piece of advice

We go to a lot of weddings and we’ve heard a lot of wedding toasts. And we’ve heard a lot of people give marriage advice at weddings to newlyweds. And one thing that people say all of the time [I know what you’re going to say] – I just want to say is a terrible piece of advice..

That where people are coming from. But every single time I hear it I’m just like NOOOO NO.

It is don’t fall asleep angry.

Don’t go to bed angry.

My advice: is if you’re angry go to sleep.

Who wants to argue with me late at night when I’m tired?!?!

[I’ll tell you right now, I definitely don’t!]

If there is one time you don’t wanna mess with me is when I’m really sleepy. And I think that is true for the majority of people.

It makes sense though. If you had a long day or you’re stressed out about some thing and a little thing hits a nerve it can turn into a big argument.

You’re not going to be in your clearest mindset.

Marriage advice – go to bed angry

Take a break and say “hey I love you, I’m mad at you, and we will talk about this in the morning.”

Yeah, done.

That’s like the respect thing that I was talking about earlier.

Getting into an argument while you’re tired is a recipe for disaster. Go to bed angry that’s the tip.

So true. When we are in an argument our best course of action. Even when it is the middle of the day. Is to just say OK. I need to take a second and think about this. Why I’m angry. Where this is coming from. What I need to tell you. What I’m feeling. And we will come back and talk about this in a minute.

And I think all of that is especially true late at night.

So just go to bed angry.

Stay awake to argue you were going to get really tired and say things that you don’t mean and it will be terrible.

Marriage advice – talking it out

Going along with that I think it’s really important to voice when little things bother you.

Just think when things build up it’s so much worse. And so even if it’s something that small or seemingly insignificant. I’ll say hey this bothers me. Just making sure that it’s not something that builds or just sits there.

I am definitely not one of those girls that says “it’s fine” without meaning it.

Let him know when some thing happens if it bugs me. Because then the next time that it happens it won’t be something that’s building up instead he’ll know and he will adjust his behaviors. 

Anyways we did post on Instagram about this marriage topic and we were going to answer a couple questions we got.

Marriage advice – “how to not fight”

THIS IS A FIGHT. WE ARE FIGHTING.

One of them was “how to not fight”. 

What kind of answer this but I think it is important to fight. Just instead have a lot of little fights.

That happens with us more often than not is that it’s just a discussion rather than a fight. Because we’ve been talking about it. So it’s not as impactful as it could’ve been.

Michael and I have some thing of a planner that we mail out to all of our brides and grooms. In the back of it there’s a little section about marriage. One of the things that we write is that it’s not that we don’t fight it’s that when we fight we are still respectful of each other.

I think that that is one thing to keep in mind. It’s OK to fight it’s healthy to disagree. In fact, it’s healthy to bring things up and hash it out. It’s just that you still need to be respectful when you do it.

Amy and Jordan have a podcast and they did one about how to fight.  LINKED: https://www.amyandjordan.com/2019/education/podcast/episode-002-five-rules-for-fighting/ 

One thing that they said that I liked is that they decided before they got married that he will never bring up the “D word”. Will never say divorce. No matter how bad it gets. And I’m sure we’ve never said that we never openly talked about that. But it’s not even something that’s on the radar. It’s not something that should be loomed over someone’s head in the midst of an argument.

Being careful not to escalate things by not saying something that you know will trigger the other person. But again these things happen when you’re tired. So don’t do that.

So yes fight. But be respectful when you do it.

Marriage advice – books to read before getting married

We got a lot of questions about books we would recommend or questionnaires you should do before you get married.

This is a common one. But I think the love languages book is a good one to read it before you get married.

Really? Michael hated when I need him read this book.

I think if anything you have to at least take the test. I think it does give a lot of perspective of how your spouse responds. It’s all about how you would like to receive love and how you feel loved. And that is not necessarily how your spouse feels or would like to receive love.

So it’s all about ways you can show love to your spouse. 

“The five love languages are five different ways of expressing and receiving love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.” 

Husband and wife Bible study. It was Gary Thomas Sacred Marriage and I thought that was really good.

If you are a believer, I think it is definitely one I would go to.

Go back to it a lot in that we know this is not about us.  It’s a foundation.Michael & Laura Wedding - Marriage advice 8 years after getting married

Marriage advice – Ask each other questions

As for questionnaires. Before we got married, I was going to Pinterest and typing in things like “questions you need to ask before you get married”. And I would just rattle them off to Michael and we will have long conversations and discuss all kinds of things.

And I think it was really helpful because it is something that we still do. We have a question cards all over our house and do all kinds of different things to open up discussion. Those kinds of things are great for car rides.

Think those questions are great because it could bring up a strong topic for you that you may not realize.

I’m gonna stop there for today but we will come back and discuss another marriage related things. If you have something that you want to talk about or a question for for us, feel free to send us a message!

 

 

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