I’m certainly no expert as I’ve only been married to Andrew for a little over a year, but maybe people who are newly married or about to get married will benefit from (or get a kick out of) this. ;)
1. Embrace the date night.
My favorite married thing is date night. We have crazy schedules, we have annoying work to handle, and we don’t always get to see each other as often as we’d like. The best thing to counteract the chaos is date night. :) Out to dinner, ice cream
definitely perhaps, and home to snuggle and watch a Harry Potter movie. May I suggest Longhorn or Olive Garden for dinner? I’m going to Longhorn tonight. :D
2. Know that little things are big things.
Write and leave out post-it notes that say “Hey. You’re hott.” Buy your spouse a cinnamon roll and wrap a ribbon around it as a surprise. (Or if you’re a boy and your wife is anything like me, get her cookie cake. It’s the best gesture of all time.) Get them a cutesy, cheesy card, and leave it in their office. Some of the little things Andrew does for me are some of my favorite memories!
3. Never, ever, under any circumstances leave your last piece of cookie cake in a box on the counter. In other words…communicate.
Allow me to explain. One time when we lived in the apartment, I had a slice of cookie cake in its precious little box, and I ate all but one bite. The last bite, naturally, had the most icing and was being saved for later to enjoy in its full glory. When I came back to look for it, it was gone. I searched frantically and, in desperation, asked Andrew, “HAVE YOU SEEN MY COOKIE CAKE!?” (I know…I’m way too attached.) He informed me that he thought I was finished and had thrown it away. Moral of the story? Never leave anything out you don’t want taken or thrown away without informing your spouse. Communication. Blessed communication. ;)
4. Try new things.
I’ll admit I’m occasionally really bad at this…mostly with trying new restaurants. Haha. But when we’ve gone to new restaurants, or gone on a new adventure, I’ve always loved it…I’m pretty sure. Lol. It’s nice to visit new places and gain new perspectives. Hit up the newest local diner, or drive to Missouri and stuff your faces at Lambert’s…anything that’s out of the ordinary and new. I’m craving a roadtrip now…
5. Have some “you” time.
I used to think “you” time was for people who didn’t like each other. I thought surely Andrew and I wouldn’t need it, we’re BFFs. I know now that you time is essential, healthy, and a little fabulous. I love my Andrew time, don’t get me wrong, but every now and then, a nice bubble bath and some motown on Pandora is just what I need. Don’t be afraid to have an hour (or a few) to yourself. Your spouse will need it just as much as you do.
6. Find a good example, and stalk them.
Okay, maybe don’t stalk them…but watch their marriage. Find an older couple you admire and watch how they interact…or even ask them to mentor you. We’ve been so fortunate because our parents and all of our grandparents have been happily married to each other for years and years, and it’s been a glorious blessing to have those examples.
7. Try to have hobbies together.
I think one of my favorite things is going on a morning walk with Andrew. Granted, I can’t always get him to wake up at 7:00 AM and hit up Hafer with me, but then again, he can’t always get me to watch Star Wars. It’s part of learning to compromise. ;) We’ve really enjoyed getting to do fun activities together though, and it’s nice to share in each other’s interests. I’m a big fan of the outdoors, and I think biking, walking, hiking, etc. is a nice, easy way to strengthen your marriage…and your glutes.
8. Plan vacations.
Even if it’s a day trip to Dallas, vacations are my faaaave. There is something so freeing about hopping in the car and driving as far as you want and doing whatever you want. I have numerous vacas planned out for us, some short, some long…the point is, we have LOADS of fun when we travel, and I think if we’re blessed enough to be able to get away every now and then, we absolutely should.
9. Talk about money.
We read up a bit before we got married, and I had a bunch of marriage advice and instruction in my Bible class in high school, so we knew that one of the major things people fight about (or even get divorced over) is money. I thought I’d be very “whatever” and let Andrew handle everything, but I’m a little too anal, and I didn’t realize it until I started having big kid bills to pay. Lol. One of the things that has helped our marriage is talking about money, how we’re saving, how we’re spending, and what the smartest option is for us as poor newlyweds. ;) We don’t splurge on shopping (too often), and we all know how much I love going out to eat, but I cook pretty often as well. We plan our budget as much as we can, and know the Lord will provide the rest. I don’t think we’ve had a single fight over money…just good discussions. :)
10. Fix things. Follow Christ.
Have you seen that picture on Pinterest of the awesome looking old married couple? There’s a quote over the picture that says, “We were born in a time when if something was broken, you fix it…not throw it away.” I LOVE THAT. I’m so vehemently against divorce because I’m so ardently in love with faithful, strong, forever marriages. I don’t think there is a more beautiful picture than a couple who has fought through the hard times and made it. What a beautiful picture of Christ’s unfailing love for us. If something is wrong, work through it and fix it together…never give up on it.
This was much longer than I intended it to be. My apologies. :-P
Marriage is awesome. I’ll end with that. :)