Monday, July 9, 2012

8 years

July 9, 2004 Spence and I got married after 6 years of dating.  This being our 8th anniversary means we made it through the dreaded 7 year itch.  Having 14 years together, I feel that we have learned quite a bit.  We literally have grown up together.  I mean, the guy still had braces and I still had bangs.  Babies, people, we were babies!  We have not only learned a lot about each other, and still do, but we have learned some stuff about relationships and marriage in general. 
So, here for you are 8 tips for making it through the 7 year itch (these are actually some things that we talk to engaged couples about when we mentor.  Yes we are so good at being married, we tutor others in it.  KIDDING!)
  • It's actually ok to go to bed with out resolving a fight.  I know, I know, some people will argue with me.  But I am right here.  I am one of "those people".  You know the kind who in the heat will say something completely ugly and inapporpriate most likely bringing up something from years ago in order to hurt the other person. (Just keeping it real people) Spencer and I have found that it is better to let us (ahem, me) cool down and then we can talk things out rationally
  • Do not try to have a hundred dollar conversation in a dime moment.  What does that mean?  It means that the time to discuss having another child, moving somewhere, budgets, or anything else that is big is not as one of you is walking out the door. Spence and I have gotten in the habit of scheduling times to talk about big stuff.  Trust me, it will save you from having some fights
  • Do not under any circumstances talk badly about your spouse to others.  If you hang around people who bash their significant other, you may want to find new friends.  You need to surround yourself with people who will walk alongside you and encourage your marriage even in the hard times.  You should have some trusted friends that you can go to when you and your better half are on the outs.  These friends should point you to Christ instead of pointing at your honey
  • Have fun together.  I realize sometimes we get into a rut.  We are tired people and tend to collapse after the marathon of dinner/bath/bedime.  We get on edge and need to get back to having fun instead of just vegging out and killing brain cells with tv.  Plan date nights, hang out with other couples, laugh together, but you have to plan this stuff.  I doesn't just happen
  • Continue to study each other.  What made me tick when I was 16 is different from what makes me at 30.  Having children has changed what I value and how I am best shown love.  I have always loved sleep, but now... Spence letting me sleep in is speaking my love language! Keep working to show each other new ways that you love the other still.
  • Reflect on the good and the bad and the normal.  Spence and I take our anniversary each year to talk about the top good and bad from the previous year.  It seems at times that it is easier to remember the hard or bad thing that happened over the last year.  But it is also really good to remember the everyday.  I don't want to only remember the highest of highs and lowest of lows.  I want to remember our normals, probably things I take for granted each day: how excited I am when he gets home each day, playing music while cooking dinner and dancing in the kitchen, making ice cream runs after the kids go down. 
  • Pray for each other.  Not just little thrown up prayers, but real stuff.  I pray for Spencer about his integrity, his job, his time with the Lord, his leadership, his parenting and so much more.  Spend real time praying over your spouse and also for your relationship.  Praying has helped me so much when Spence and I aren't seeing eye to eye.  Not in a "please God change Spence on this", but in a real seeking the Lord way.  Most often I am changed through this time and not only is my relationship with Spencer better but my heart for God is strengthened as well
  • Assume your spouse has your back.  Instead of jumping to conclusions or feeling selfish, assume the best of your other half.  When things don't come out the way your thought, don't think that the other person did it to you on purpose.  Instead think that it was an accident or a mistake.  This will help many arguments.  Show each other grace.  We have been forgiven much, so how can we not forgive?
OK, so we do not have these down perfectly.  We are still working on them and will continue to do so.  I do know that these past 8 years of marriage have been the hardest, but best of my life. I love living life with you Spencer.  Thank you for choosing me.  Love you babe!


Cyndi - YaYa said...

Congratulations you guys! Love you both!

rootoftherighteous said...

Great post! I think I'm going to print out these 8 tips and tape them up around my house. Very wise! Congrats on 8 years with your man!
-Ashley u.

Jen T. said...

Good post, Courtney. So thankful for how God is blessing and using your marriage!