Eight + Lessons Learned

Eighth Wedding Anniversary + Lessons Learned

I will be the first to admit I didn’t know anything about marriage when I said my vows at the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed age of 21. I may not have known the ins and outs of marriage but I knew Jordan and I would make a great team. Waking up today on our eighth year wedding anniversary with a husband in California (for work) and our growing baby in my womb, I couldn’t be more thankful.

There is no secret method for a “successful” marriage but I have learned a lot in the past eight years. Here are a few of the key things I’ve learned

Engage in each other’s hobbies.
Staying connected, in marriage, can be a challenge especially when you might not seemingly have a lot in common. You know what I’ve learned? It’s important to cultivate and engage in activities that you wouldn’t choose because it will bless your partner: watch one sports game a week, go on that hike, attend a concert, visit a museum, listen to them geek out about Star Wars, watch Dancing with the Stars together on the couch. You might surprise yourself and start to like something new.

Communicate and listen.
Yes, talk about your relationship… but also talk about your life outside of your home. Use your coworkers’ first names, share how your meeting went that day, and that silly interaction at the grocery store etc. With the business of life, it can be easy to disconnect and Jordan and I find knowing the bits & bobs of each other’s work/leisure life helps us to stay connected.

Bend towards one another.
Marriage is not solely about getting you and your needs met. Your relationship will be extremely difficult if you aren’t willing to bend towards your spouse. Bend towards the big and little things because when you both do, you end up meeting in the middle. This has been a huge thing for us and continues to be an area we both ask for forgiveness from one another.

Encourage independence.
Jordan and I enjoy spending time together, but we also encourage nights away to cultivate other friendships and opportunities. Quality time is very important to us, so if we have several things planned during the week we make a point to schedule a date night (or date day, let’s be real I am in bed by 8 pm most nights..HAHA).

Keep playing together.
You might grow old together in age but there is no reason to grow old in spirit. Jordan and I still have silly inside jokes, text each other throughout the day and hold hands in public often. Life gets in the way during certain seasons but it’s important to not let seasons become years. Life is hard but marriage shouldn’t be. Keep playing together.

What lessons have you learned in marriage?

Year Five | Year Six | Year Seven

25 thoughts on “Eight + Lessons Learned”

  1. Happy anniversary! My beloved and I will be celebrating 5 years this fall, and I can affirm each of your points. I think #1 is so important. Engaging in the things that interest my husband (and his reciprocal appreciation for my interests) keeps us connected when personal pursuits might try to pull us apart. One of the important things I’ve learned in 5 years is that marital intimacy is so much more than physical intimacy. Intimacy with my husband is intellectual (talking about important topics or world matters) and spiritual (sharing our personal faith journeys with one another). There are seasons of marriage when physical intimacy wanes, and other forms of intimacy carry you through. Thanks for sharing!

  2. All of those lessons are so necessary for every marriage. So happy to stopped by your blog today! – I need to work more on some of them, but I have them present as part of my life as a wife. Thanks for sharing this blessing, and – CONGRATULATIONS!

  3. Happy anniversary! Isn’t it crazy to think back on how that wedding day is practically a lifetime ago, given all the things that are different in life now, and all the things you know about live/love now? You two have such a wonderful foundation that will serve you well in the next stage of your family šŸ™‚

  4. For us, “Independence” has never been something we’ve emphasized–just with such different jobs and working hours, we’ve found that for us, whenever we can actually be together, we want to be–which, over the past 6 years, has meant that many of our friends and experiences have been together rather than individual, and we like that. We never feel like we get ‘too much’ time together, you know what I mean?

    1. We are the same way but there are certain relationships and conversations that are best cultivated separately. He has a weekly guys night and within the creative community he’s always meeting people for coffee or lunch etc…especially younger guys who view him as a mentor.

  5. Happy Anniversary!! This is so great. I love the idea of “bending towards one another”. That’s SO important as we learn to be one and not to just worry about our own wants and needs. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Happy Anniversary! I love all your tips. Taylor (my husband) and I are in a stage where we don’t get much time together, so we cherish the moments that we do get, but we’ve also been kind of lonely when the other isn’t there, and it’s been hard for us to “get out and find friends” in a new city. But I think that’s where “encouraging independence” could benefit us greatly- encouraging the other person to get out there and enjoy our new life, even when the other of us cannot participate šŸ™‚

    1. There were a few years where we had pretty different schedules and only one day off together. It was difficult. I hope you are able to slowly reach out in your community and find people you can call on when you aren’t able to be together.

  7. I love the “life is hard but marriage shouldn’t be.” I always have people asking if marriage is hard and my answer is: Life is definitely hard. Marriage is only hard if you make it hard. We can’t change the circumstances of life most times, but we always have the power to change our marriage for the better.

  8. What an answer to prayer to be pregnant for this anniversary! I really appreciate these lessons you share, especially the one about continuing to play and have fun. Silliness has always been a way that Dan and I connect, but we’ve been notably less silly and carefree lately. We’re trying to build it back in slowly — through funny texts, silly nicknames, and trying to make each other laugh. It really does brighten up the day and our relationship!

    1. Isn’t it funny how a silly text can mean so much? You are in such a transition stage of life but that’s why a foundation is built…it carries us through the seasons when life gets a little crazy.

  9. I really needed this post today! My husband and I have been together for five years but married for almost two and lately, that ‘bending’ hasn’t seemed very apparent (mainly me not bending) just because we’re in a big transition phase in our lives (moving across the country/starting a business/planning a family within the year). Lots of stress! Sometimes I feel like it’s me vs him, but reading your post made me go back and watch my little 5 minute wedding video and I feel a little better šŸ™‚

  10. My husband haven’t been married for long (less than a year) but we have already learned that we need our “me-time”. I have always been the kind of person that loves to spend time alone and I should have known that getting married would not change that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *