I loved my husband when we got married, but the love I have for him now after almost five years, is so much richer than it was on our wedding day. Building a thriving marriage requires all the necessary ingredients (communication, forgiveness, fun, intimacy) and time.
As time goes on, we change and we have experiences that change us. Getting to share those moments with our spouse is a precious gift but it requires of us every day. We are constantly investing into our marriage, whether in a positive light or negative. We can choose to build one another up or tear each other apart. We can get caught up in our schedules and act more like roommates. We can get caught up in our personal goals and neglect to support our spouse in theirs. We can stay proud and hold on to resentment instead of finding a path to forgiveness. If we are not intentional, our marriage that was once blossoming will begin to wilt.
One of the communication practices that has helped us over the years, is taking time to reflect and talk about the health of our marriage. Here are four questions we ask one another:
1. What were some of your favorite moments that we shared over the past year?
We have found it SO helpful to remember and celebrate the good together, especially when coming out of a painful or simply busy season of life. I always love hearing what moments stand out to David too because it reminds me of what he enjoys as opposed to what might have stood out to me.
2. What do I say or do to make you feel loved and supported? Is there anything I say or do to make you feel unloved, disrespected, or unsupported?
Okay, this is two questions but they coincide and most importantly they keep us humble. They help us truly listen to one another. We take turns answering without interruption. Once we have both shared, we discuss anything that needed to be addressed. Sometimes, the answers are simple and light-hearted. Other times, we need to take time to process what the other person shared before discussing. Either way, these questions challenge us to be vulnerable and to love in how we respond.
3. What goals have we accomplished recently and what are some areas you would like us to grow in our marriage over the next year?
One of our recent goals was to simply have more date nights and make fun memories together. We have also had more intense discussions about financial goals or growing our family. This is always one of my favorite topics to discuss because it's about building our life together.
Working through these questions help us to evaluate where we are at individually and sharing our answers brings us together as a couple. Some times we answer these questions on our anniversary while other times we work through them more frequently. What are some practices you have set up in your marriage?
PS How sweet are Lindsey and Jacob?! I absolutely loved getting to capture these gorgeous anniversary images for them! Photos were taken at The Houston Warehouse Studios in Houston, TX. I just love how versatile this studio is.
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