This post is only coming about 2 weeks late…but that’s just the story of my life lately! Thanks for being patient with me while I’ve been so MIA from the blog – life has been out of control crazy & one week without writing turned into two…and then three & here we are…almost a month from my last post!
One of the big milestones from this past month – Jordan and I celebrated our 5-year wedding anniversary! It’s cliche, but I’m going to say it anyway, I can’t believe it’s already been 5 years! Jordan likes to joke and say, “It feels like 5 minutes…underwater…holding your breath!” – to which I immediately roll my eyes or just straight up ignore him. In reality, these past 5 years have flown by.
I’m not sure where I thought we would be, 5 years into our marriage, but I couldn’t be happier with where we are! Still married, fight box unopened (more details to follow), living in our own home with our fiesty little gal, Quincy & a boy on the way.
So in the spirit of celebrating ALL that we’ve accomplished in our last 5-years, we wanted to share with you all, 5 of the most important lessons we’ve learned. We chatted this past weekend at dinner while we were celebrating & I don’t mean to toot our own horns…but I’m pretty proud of us!
Bonus: Our wedding photos are sprinkled throughout because duh, it’s an article about marriage & our wedding is where it all started & they’re just so damn good. Every photo credit to Hooton Images.
#1 Quick to Forgive & Quicker to Apologize
I had mentioned this not too long ago on social media, but if there is legit ANYTHING I’ve learned from being married to Jordan is that I suck at apologizing first. I am a self-admitted grudge holder & there’s nothing more toxic to a relationship, specifically a marriage. Which is ironic, seeing as I’m also the half of the relationship that immediately needs to resolve the argument as soon as it happens, but that doesn’t mean I’m good at admitting when I’m wrong. Or even worse, putting aside my ego & apologizing even if I don’t THINK I’m in the wrong.
Marriage is an incredibly humbling relationship & over these past 5 years, I can probably count on one hand the number of really large fights we’ve had, but the amount of times we squabble over petty stuff is an entirely different story. The thing that both of these kinds of arguments have in common, Jordan is almost ALWAYS the first one to apologize. When he puts himself in the vulnerable position of coming to me & apologizing, it immediately breaks down any walls I’ve put up & we’re able to have a much healthier conversation. Which is a perfect segue to my next point.
Bonus story: Sometimes in weddings, you’ll see couples light a unity candle or I’ve even seen at beach weddings, the couple will each pour a little jar of sand into a big jar of sand, signifying the two lives coming together as one. We opted for a less traditional route at our wedding & we did what’s called a fight box.
Jordan built a small(ish) wooden box & inside we’ve placed letters to each other reminding the other one of why we fell in love & why we’re in it for the long haul, a bottle of wine (for me) & a bottle of root beer (for him). The idea is that we nailed it shut on our wedding day together & when we get into a really big fight, we’ll open it up together, I’ll drink the wine, he’ll drink the root beer & we’ll read each other’s letters. I’m proud to say, that sucker is still nailed shut!
If there’s a second thing that’s incredibly detrimental to any relationship, it’s lack of communication. We learned rather early on in our relationship that neither of us are mind-readers (unfortunately) & that over-communicating is where we thrive. If we have an event or social gathering, I’ll put it my Google calendar & invite Jordan to it & then I’ll also jot it down on our hard copy calendar at home AND make sure to tell Jordan about it a minimum of three times.
That might sound like a lot of work, but it’s become our rhythm & it’s what works for us. I know that Jordan needs gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) reminders of what’s going on, mostly because I do 99% of the planning. And bless his heart, with each pregnancy my memory has been evasive more & more, so as of late – he’s the one reminding me of what’s going on!
But communication is more than just what’s on the calendar that week. It’s about literally every aspect of our relationship. Are you feeling neglected? Are you feeling smothered? Are you happy? Are you upset? Are you confused by some of their actions? Are you hurt by something they said? Are you encouraged by something they said?
I can’t expect Jordan to read my mind & vice versa, so if something is bothering me I NEED to vocalize it, otherwise it’s going to fester & become a bigger issue than is necessary. And on the flip side of that, if Jordan does something or says something that makes me feel loved or appreciated, I try to vocalize that as well. Because we all need encouragement every now & then!
#3 A Servant’s Heart
I swear, even to this day, Jordan will say something that completely takes me by surprise & it will make me fall more in love with him than I ever thought possible. When he told me one of the lessons he’s learned these past 5 years was to have a servant’s heart, I swear I nearly melted in my seat. It was such a selfless thing to say & not what I was expecting at all.
I give him grief, probably more than necessary at times, about all of the things he has on his plate & how I need more of his attention (I’m needy like that…), but in reality, he is SO good at showing up for our family. He is constantly putting Quincy and me before himself. Which is no easy feat, because he legit has a bajillion things going on at once, but he continually does small things to let us know that he’s thinking of us.
I’ll never forget part of the sermon during our wedding ceremony; it was about how Jordan’s job as a husband was to put my needs, my wants, my desires, my goals & dreams above his, to lift me above himself. He does this, day in & day out, without hesitation. It’s a quality that I never knew I would cherish as much as I do now.
#4 Extending Grace
This was one that Jordan came up with & when I asked him to expand on what he was thinking he simply put, “We both suck at times.” I laughed because of how simple he saw it & then laughed some more at how incredibly accurate that is. I’ve heard people say that marriage is 50/50, but in our pre-marital classes, we learned that really it’s more like 100/100.
We both have to give 100% of ourselves 100% of the time because there are going to be days when we both fall short & can barely make it to the 25% mark, so if we’re always trying to show up for each other to the fullest extent, we’ll be there to pick up the slack when the other one has an off day, or week, or month.
It’s inevitable, our spouse will disappoint us, which totally sucks because we all naively think they’ll be the one person who doesn’t let us down, but we’re only human. The point is when that moment or moments do come around & they forget an anniversary or pick up only 1 gallon of milk instead of 2, or still the covers for the 18,000th time, we gotta give em grace!
We gotta let them off the hook every once in a while. Because that’s what the Lord does. His grace & mercies are new legit EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. And if we are to love like Jesus loves, then we also need to extend grace like Jesus does.
#5 Date Each Other
These past two years, since having Quincy, we’ve been doing a pretty poor job of this, but it’s something I really want to start focusing on again! Great timing though right? A little less than 3 months before we have another baby…but what I’m going to tell myself is there’s no better time to start than right now!
I’ve noticed throughout the entirety of our relationship, if I start to feel off or like we are on completely separate pages, it’s likely because it’s been a hot minute since we’ve spent some quality time with one another. Dating my husband is so much fun because we have our tried & trued date night places or activities, but we also love trying new things too! Sometimes if we get a real wild hair, we’ll do TWO things in one night now…like dinner AND a movie…or nails AND dinner!
All jokes aside, dating your spouse is important & the power of quality time shouldn’t be underrated.
So there you have it…the 5 lessons Jordan and I have learned in our 5 years of marriage. That’s not to say that we haven’t learned a whole SLEW of other things, because let’s be honest – we totally have, but those are the ones that stuck out in our minds & have made a serious impact on our marriage and relationship.
I’d love to hear what marriage/relationship advice you might have to share with the crowd, so leave a note in the comments below!
Thanks for stopping by, friends!