Yesterday was our 13th wedding anniversary. I have to say I think this last year was possibly the best in our married life. We grew so close through Joni’s health problems.
And then building a house together was actually a wonderful experience. I loved having something we communicated about constantly for months. We were a great team and hardly disagreed. It was so fun feeding off each other’s ideas and creating a home we both love. I will miss that constant communication once we are all settled. Maybe we will have to choose a new project to work on together… Or maybe raising kids is a good enough project!!
Anyway, I love Kent and his good heart. I am grateful for all we learn from each other and our differences.
I wanted to write down some ways I’m pushing myself in marriage lately:
1) Expect less and appreciate more. I’ve found so many times that expectations lead to disappointment; whereas appreciation leads to happy surprises. Thus, I’m trying to do a lot more of the appreciating!
2) Don’t over-estimate my own contributions to our family. I think it is actually scientifically proven that most people tend to overestimate their own benevolence. I know I’m guilty of it. I work hard at home all day, but I forget how hard it is to work a full-time job, especially without complaining…since Kent rarely complains.
3) I’m learning to communicate better like Kent does and just say what I need and want. How does he do it so naturally? I have the hardest time saying, “I really need your help,” and instead wishing he could read my mind. Life is a lot easier for both of us when I “channel Kent” in my brain and just say what I need.
4) I learned this next one while reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. When I’m feeling resentful about always being the one to do some task around the house, I ask myself, “Does this really need to be done this way, or is it just what I want personally?”
The truth ends up being that most things I just want and aren’t a need. So then if some chore, like having clean counters, is a “want,” I deliberately tell myself I’m doing it for me. “There is no need to be resentful because this is something I’m doing just for me.” Nobody else needs the counters clean right now! It is so freeing to let go of that resentment and do things for myself!
And sometimes if I really want something and can’t get to it or mentally can’t do it alone, I can still ask for help. As it turns out, my joy over Kent helping me out is even greater when I realize the task is just for me and not a family need.
5) Deliberately physically connect with Kent in some way each day. I have to remind myself of this one constantly because life gets so busy, and physical touch doesn’t feel like a need. But lately I’ve realized I benefit more than I ever supposed. When my heart is heavy, or my mind is weighed down, I’ve noticed physical connection makes a difference for me, and bonus-Kent and I act more loving toward each other in many ways when we are connecting regularly in a physical way.
Happy anniversary to my man! Let’s keep doing more of this marriage thing.