What I THOUGHT was Common Sense About Marriage + GIVEAWAY

This past Valentine’s Day, David and I decided to do a little something out of the norm and attend a young couple’s newlywed evening. The night began with Mass, followed by dinner, a few talks, and dancing.

And let me just preface this by saying the day of the event, David and I did NOT want to go. We had just been in an argument that morning and the last people we wanted to hang out with was each other. Not exactly how you want to spend your Valentine’s Day amiright?! But we put on our “happy” face and our fancy clothes and headed out despite our not-so-pretty attitudes.

Well when we were asked to do the readings for mass all I kept thinking was I’m probably not in a good place to do these readings but, not wanting to explain myself, we said yes anyways. I got up to do the first reading… Gen. 2  18-24… the creation of woman.  A great reading. Next, David was up. And of course he had the reading from our wedding… oh you know the one… 1 Corinthians 12. Well I don’t know about anyone else in that chapel, but that second reading was speaking RIGHT to David and my grumpy selves.

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“(Love) is not rude, it does not seek its own intereests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.”

Okay, thanks, God, we get it. So suttle. Not.

After Mass, David and I talked it out before heading to the dinner and we were feeling much better, especially after getting some food and wine in our bellys. But then came the talks. They were given by a married couple who are both counselors in the Michigan area and were focusing on things that can break your marraige and things that can build your marriage. And I’m not going to lie. I was sitting, listening to this couple talk, and at first  all I could think was, well duh, I’ve heard that before.

Everything at first seemed like things I already knew. Like the importance of Christ in the center of your marriage, praying together often, treating your spouse like you treat friends or co-workers, finding out how they feel loved (not how you feel loved) and making them feel loved, not being resentful of past hurts, not holding grudges or piling on guilt or making someone feel bad for something… All of these, and more, were given to us (in a more pretty and articulate way than I just gave) as ways to better your marriage. But the more I realized I’d heard these before, the more I realized David and I weren’t necessarily good at doing them.

We’ve heard these suggestions all our engaged and dating life, and so it was second nature for me to think that, we’ve heard them, we know them, so that’s it. But I’ll admit. I know I’m guilty of doing something nice for David and hoping for reciprication. Or one of us blaming the other for something that is just silly and not necessary. Or one of us just fighting for the “upper hand” in an argument. Over and over I’ve heard these things we should do for our spouses, but I can’t say that David or I’ve been the best at practicing  these daily.

After the reading we’d heard that day (one I’ve heard plenty of times before) and the “common sense” talks we’d heard, I knew David and I needed to make some changes. On the way home that night we talked some more and apologized again for our lame-o fight.

I’m learning this whole marriage thing isn’t the easiest thing I’ll do in my life. But it has the potential to be the most rewarding.

As I continue to learn more about being a better wife, I’m going to be starting another round of 31 Days of Prayer for Your Husband on March 1st! I would love for you join me. Don’t worry if you aren’t married or engaged, this is a great prayer for your future spouse, yourself, the men in your life, or really just about anybody in your life.

Click the link below to sign up and receive daily prayer intentions for your husband as well as corresponding Bible verses. After signing up, you’ll receive an email asking you to confirm your Sign Up.

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By signing up, you’ll ALSO be entered into a GIVEAWAY to receive a rosary from Keogler Studios, a prayer journal and some other fun finds! Bonus entries for following me on Instagram and  Twitter AND /OR share this on Twitter :) If you’re already following me, you’ll still get the bonus entry… Happy praying and good luck to all!

Annie

365 Days Later…

One year of marriage down, many more to come. Two Saturdays ago (Oct. 4), David and I celebrated our one year anniversary. It seems crazy that it’s already been a year! The past few days have been filled with, “A year ago we were doing this” or “a year ago we were doing that“. There is just so much to remember about that special day.

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To celebrate, we decided to keep it pretty low key, but still be able to get away and have a nice night out. That Friday night we stayed in the city and went out to eat at a fancy-shmancy restaurant in downtown. Like most places we go, David ended up making friends with all the workers and we stayed and chatted with Mike-the-bartender about HIS newlywed life and baby on the way.

Later we headed to our home for the night. We stayed at the same hotel that we stayed at on our wedding night, Motor City Casino and Hotel. Obviosuly we weren’t there for the casino but David had never gambled before so we spent about an hour down there at the slots. Needless to say we didn’t win back the money we spent on the wedding… Maybe next time.

The hotel stay was perfect because we got upgraded to a river view/Ambassador bridge view and they even left us some chocolate covered strawberries. Not too shabby. AND of course once Saturday rolled around we started drinking out of our champagne glasses and nothing else. We decided to NOT bring them to brunch as we didn’t want strangers handling them. But brunch wasn’t complete without crepes at my favorite French place downtown. Because crepes have kinda become the unofficial food of our relationship. Everywhere we go, we stop at crepe places, but it’s totally unplanned.

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We headed home and just spent the day as the two of us and even got to enjoy our anniversary cake (same kind as our wedding cake, white with rasberry filling omgYUM)

Anyway, all in all it was a magnificent day/night. We talked a lot about the past year and the upcoming year. And then I came across a great discovery.

For our wedding shower, my aunts had everyone write on an index card, one piece of advice that they wanted to share with us. Some of them were great. Some were confusing. Some were hilarious. And some were too inapropriate to put on my blog :) But here are a few of the best AND worst marriage advice we received:

BEST: Travel the World Together– This advice came from my aunt/Godmother who I am very close with. She and my uncle have always been big travelors which is something I love about them. Although David and I have done a LOT of our world traveling together already (4 months abroad in Europe while in college is a long time), there is still so much to see. We have plenty of states to make it to maybe a few more countries if we’re lucky. I love traveling with D and we always come away with the best memories.

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^^ Munich, Germany.  During the days of just being friends. Oh how things have changed…

WORST: Never Go to Bed Angry– I realize that this is often advice given to new couples. But I’ve gotta say I’m not the biggest fan. I WILL say I do NOT like going to bed without resolving something, but I think that sometimes, not always, but sometimes things can not be resolved in a night. Often when we are over tired or just trying to hurry and make up, we may not say what we want/need to say. Or worse, we may say something we will regret. I think sometimes it’s better to let it go till morning when you’ve gotten some sleep. By morning, you may look at the situation and realize it’s not as big of a deal as you thought. I mean it’s a nice romantic thought to not go to bed angry, but I think realistically it’s bound to happen and it’s okay.

BEST: There is More than One Right Way to Do Something– Whoa I love this one. David does laundry different than I do. He loads the dishwasher different than I do. He makes the bed different. And folds clothes different. And cooks different. There are a lot of things I learned when we first got married that we do differently. But it all gets done. Maybe not the same way. Maybe not at the same rate. But we both had to learn to hold our tongues when we saw somebody doing something in a different way than we were used to. I’ll be honest, it definitely hasn’t been easy. And I still catch myself about to say something and then remember I should hold my tongue. As long as the task gets done, I have no need to worry.

WORST: Greet Your Husband at the Door with a Smile and a Drink– I’ll admit. I’m very traditional. I like the idea of having dinner made when my husband gets home. I like the idea of him coming home to a clean house. But all in all, this advice seems a bit unrealistic. For one thing, 3 out 5 days of the work week David and I drive together, so we get home at the same time. The other two days, I generally get ‘home’ earlier, but I spend that time running around getting errands done. Most of the time I try to have something prepared for dinner, even if it just means re-heating leftovers so they’re ready when he walks in the door. Do I greet him with a smile? Sure. Is it at the door? Generally no, I just peek around the corner of the kitchen and throw a quick hello at him so I don’t burn the food. And as for greeting him with a drink everyday? Well David is more of a lightweight than I am and I certainly am not striving to turn him into an alcoholic. Strange advice, I must say…

BEST: Never Stop Dating Your Spouse– This one couldn’t be more true. I think it’s helped our sanity and allowed us to experience new things. But we’ve never really called our dates ‘dates’. We just plan fun things to do I guess. Like our “Moving Day Bucket List”. We made a list of all the things we love to do in our current area and we have to do them at least once more before we move. Or our spontaneous Puppy Dates to the puppy store near us. They let you play with the puppies as long as you want. Instant smile factor. Or our trip to the ZooBrew! I think it’s important to always be trying new things and never stop exploring.

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WORST: Never argue– Okay this one is obvious as to why it’s the worst advice. But the WORST part of this advice we were given is that it was given to us by the oldest person at our wedding shower (90+ yrs old) and she had been married the longest out of anyone in the room (50-60+yrs). We were expecting some really heartfelt, deep stuff. I mean being married to someone that long is a HUGE accomplishment and I wanted to know what great, words of wisdom she’d have. I laughed when I read her ‘advice’. David and I have already failed at that one, let me tell you! I think it’s healthy to argue sometimes and needs to be done. Even if it’s little. Everyone needs to get their point of view out and sometimes you need to yell it out. It’s okay. Don’t hold it in. For the love of God whatever you do, just don’t hold it in.

BEST: Hold Hands While Having an Argument– This one seems very weird. I got this advice from a close family friend. She got it while on a marriage retreat with her husband. They were told, next time you really are going at it, make a note to hold each others hands (no matter how much you don’t want to at that moment). Believe it or not, you’re more likley to listen, and I mean actually listen to the other person when you are having that intimate physical touch with them. A few others have told me to do this and all have said it made what they were fighting about seem so stupid and insignificant. They learned to love each other better through the fight AND they’re fights got shorter as well as they started fighting a lot less. Now D and I have never actually tried this but it’s something to think about next time you’re going at it. Just try it, no matter how weird it feels at first.

One thing I’ve learned over this past year is that what works for one couple, very well may not work for another. It’s not a comparison game and that’s a hard line to walk. I’ve been guilty of this myself and that’s why I’m glad we had the advice cards at our table. Because we can pick and choose what advice will work for us. And just laugh a little at the rest :)

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