Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Keeping My Marriage Strong

Hello, friends!  Today I'm joining Shay and Erika for their Workin' It Wednesday topic of Keeping Your Marriage Strong.  As a wife of eighteen years this topic is near and dear to my heart!  By no means do I think I have it all figured out, nor am I pretending that I am "super wife", but marriage is something I greatly value making it a topic I'd love to write about!

November 14, 1998

Things that nurture my marriage, keeping it strong & vibrant ...

We speak well of each other.
The words I speak about my husband frame the way I view him and teach others how I will allow them to speak of him.  When I honor my husband by speaking well of him that shows those around me that I value and esteem him.  This sets the tone for the way they view and speak of him to me as well.  I strive to talk about my husband in the same manner when he's out of the room as I would if he and my daughters were sitting right there beside me.  

We still send each other love notes.
Something as simple as this still makes my heart skip a beat!  The littlest things can have the sweetest impact!

We escape it all and play together.
Life is stressful.  My husband has a high-stress job, as homeowners you know there's always something that needs repairing, and the countless other responsibilities we have can take a toll on us.  This makes getting away from it all a huge priority to us.  

If you ever wondered, "Why are they going to Disney World again?!"  This is exactly why!  It is our happy place.  There we truly feel like we get away from it all.  Even as much as we love our extended family and dearest friends, it is rejuvenating to get away from everything and everyone now and then.  Silencing our phones, shutting off the news, not following social media period, is like a much needed deep breath of fresh air!   

I know, I know, this is a marriage post and only about a third of our Disney trips are taken as couples getaways, but quality family time fuels us as well.  ;)

We laugh together.
Laughter is good medicine!  It cheers us out of a funk, it melts away stress, and it bonds us.  Whether it be something crazy that happened that day, reminiscing about the time we each did something silly, or tuning into a comedy, laughing together is something that makes each day more enjoyable!

We aren't afraid... be completely transparent and have tough conversations.
I have shared the deepest secrets I have with my husband.  I have revealed countless absurd thoughts and fears.  The things I'm most ashamed of in my life, he knows them all.  Breaking down any walls that may have been up at one point to protect myself from judgement or embarrassment actually had the opposite effect I had once imagined.  It allowed all shame to flee.  Humbling myself and asking for forgiveness where needed has given him and opportunity to show me grace.  Secrets are divisive and keep us from having a full and loving relationship.  Keeping honest lines of communication open, in the big things as well as small, help us to understand each other more fully.  I've found that transparency and vulnerability, while not always easy, draws us closer together.

We're still dating our way to happily ever after.
Time alone is so important!  Texts can wait. Every single thing that's online right now will be there later.  Setting every distraction aside to enjoy each others company is vital in keeping a marriage healthy.  It doesn't have to require dressing up, getting a babysitter, or making a fancy dining reservation.  Time alone can happen in the comfort of your own home, even with kids!  When our children were small I'd make a point to enjoy one on one time with Jason after their bedtime.  Now that they're older if we aren't able to go out but want one on one time I'll prep a fun dinner and snacks for the girls and ask them to enjoy a fun "sister night" in another part of our home while their dad and I have some time just the two of us.  Even snuggling on the couch with a snack and a tv show we're both into, distraction free, can be just what some days need.  

We are Team Platt.
On days when it feels like the whole world is against him (we all feel that way sometimes) I make sure he knows I've got his back!  I'm his biggest fan, greatest supporter, and his personal cheerleader, and he is mine.  When one of us is facing something difficult we are each other's first call, immediate prayer request recipient, and in turn also the other's first high-five for a job well done and hug when the it seems like it's all too much.  Supporting, sincerely caring for, and praying for one another greatly strengthens our marriage.

I prefer him.
There are so many people, things, and distractions vying for our attention and affections.  I strive daily to prefer him before others.  Ultimately I'd like to say my priorities are God first, Jason, my daughters, then extended family and friends. Honestly, sometimes I fail miserably, but that will forever be my aim!

I welcome him home warmly at the end of the day.
Around 4pm is my favorite time of day!  This is when I hear our car pull up the driveway and I bolt like a kid out of bed on Christmas morning to our back door to greet my man!  He smiles so cutely as the girls and I either sing "For he's a jolly good fellow!" or I simply do a happy dance and shout "Welcome Home, Handsome!"  When I ask him how his day was he typically answers, "Better now!"  We could all use a "better now" pick me up and this is my favorite way to provide him with one (although the excitement flows from me like a natural reflex, so the fact it makes his day better is in all honesty an oh-so-happy side effect! ;))

We don't compare. Period.

You've likely heard the phrase, "Comparison is the thief of joy."  I believe that is absolutely true and goes for marriage too!  Don't compare your husband to anyone.  Also, don't compare yourself to anyone either!  The majority of the time what we see of others is a polished look at their best moments.  After all who shares their least flattering moments on Instagram or records a petty argument for their IG stories?  No one would want to share that or see that.  We need to realize that social media is a really the "Best of (fill in the blank with the name of that photoshopped rockstar of a wife/mom or husband/dad)".  It can be fun to "ooh" and "aww" over seemingly perfect scenes of motherhood and marriage, but I guarantee that no one on this planet has a perfect life 24/7/365.  It's not fair to my husband if I compare my his worst day to someone else's crowning achievement.  I can't live up to flawlessness so why would I expect that from him?  We're both doing our best, giving and receiving grace along the way, and hopefully continually pointing each other to Christ!  Speaking of....

The person who knows me better than anyone else on Earth, even the very worst of me, loves me the best.  How can that be?  But, for the grace of God, it couldn't!  I praise God for the incredible gift of marriage, and His grace that sustains us!

Marriage is designed to be a picture of Christ and His Bride, the Church.  I more fully understand and appreciate Christ's love for me through the selflessness and grace Jason has shown me throughout our marriage.  In blissful seasons, and heart wrenching ones, he has held my hand and continually pointed my focus towards Christ.  Ours is not a love story without blemish, but the beauty of it, even in the darkest hours blesses my soul beyond words!

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  Hope to see you back here tomorrow for Throwback Thursday!  This week I'm sharing a craft tutorial along with a sweet love story of my own!

Join me in the adventures to come!
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  1. Oh what lovely tips. I love that you're Team Platt. And how well you speak of him and your little mini dates at home... and I'm loving his welcomes when he gets home.

  2. This post was so sweet! I can totally picture that grand welcome home in my head and it made my heart smile. You are full of fantastic advice, thank you so much for sharing it.

  3. I love this post! Thank you so much for the wonderful advice - this post is full of stuff I need to take to heart. I love your point about preferring your husband. That's such an important thing to remember. It's easy to let other things crowd our priorities and hearts. Giving grace and pointing each other to Christ makes all the difference. We are planning a getaway for March, and plan to shut off our phones and log out of social media. Can't wait!!

    Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort

  4. Great words of wisdom here. You guys look and seem so happy together. Thanks for sharing your secrets.

  5. I could not love this more! THIS is one of the MANY reasons you are at the top of my friends list (I don't actually keep a list, you know, but if I did, you'd be at the tippy top!)! You honor your hubby in a way that he deserves and that honors God. It's not just written here for kicks--I've seen it in action. I absolutely adore the love you and Jason have for one another and it is a beautiful blessing to be able to see it! This is truly one of the most beautiful posts I've ever read! I'm thankful to have you guys as godly friends who pursue a godly marriage in the same way that Trav and I seek to be and do the same. *happy tears*

  6. So many of these are on my list too! One I didn't include but that is SOOOO true is that you guys speak well of each other. It's amazing how making that decision to only speak positively can make such a difference....and boy can speaking negatively really make a negative impact on a marriage!

  7. One of my favorite couples! Loved everything you wrote. Love you guys!!


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