What's Lacking in the Dictionary Definition of "Spouse"

I looked up the definition of spouse the other day and felt a little underwhelmed with how the dictionary defined it. "A husband or wife, considered in relation to their partner." To me, a spouse is so much more than that...

What a spouse is...

My spouse is my partner. We do things together. We're in life together, we parent together, we manage our money together and we make decisions together. 

My spouse is my confidant. Having someone that I can confide in about anything is comforting in a way. I love knowing that no matter what we share with each other, we still love each other and that we will help one another work through things that come up.

My spouse is my helpmate. Helpmate is defined as "a helpful companion". Helping each other looks like sharing the housework load, parenting responsibilities and other tasks that come with being married adults. Sometimes it means one of us takes on a heavier load while the other focus' on something else that we have going on. But in the end, we are both a helpmate to each other.

My spouse is my best friend. Sure, I have best friends outside of my marriage, but nobody knows me on as deep of a level as my husband. He sees me at my worst and my best, he knows my every quirk and my hidden talents. At the end of the day, I look forward to spending time with him the most.

defining the word spouse

My spouse is my safe place. My husband makes me feel safe to be myself, to take risks, to dream big and to feel deeply. He's the person I turn to for comfort when I'm sad or upset. He's the person I can let my full personality shine around.

My spouse is my home. When I was living at home after cosmetology school, I thought it was going to be hard to move out when I finally did because I'd created a home in my bedroom and my favorite spaces around my parent's house. But when I got, my definition of home changed. We've made every space that we've lived in together our home. I've learned that home isn't a place, it's a feeling and I have that feeling wherever I'm with him.

My spouse is my match. One of the synonyms I found for spouse was mate, and one of the definitions for mate is "one of a matched pair". I thought this definition was perfect. Our strengths, weaknesses and talents compliment each other and help us to become a good team 

definition of spouse

I really liked the definition I found for companion and felt like it fit with my vision of a spouse a bit better. "Companion - a person who shares the experiences of another, especially when these are unpleasant or unwelcome." There are a lot of people in the world who are willing to share in our joys and celebrate our successes; a spouse is one of those. But when you are deep in the hard times of life, your spouse is the one who will be there to hold your hand and help you through. They are the one who will struggle with you, grow with you and be there by your side no matter what comes your way. Marriage is more than a piece of paper and a spouse is more than someone to share your bed with.

A Text Message Service to Help You Prioritize Your Marriage

This post contains affiliate links. This means that I make a small commission off of purchases made through my links at no extra charge to you. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that support A Prioritized Marriage!

I created the 5 Minute Marriage Challenge or "Take 5" Marriage Challenge  to encourage couples to make time for their marriage every day. Making your spouse a priority each day is important in every stage of life and no matter what challenges or responsibilities are taking up time in your life. The five minute challenge provides couples with a way to start being more intentional about their marriage or to step up the time that they are already spending together. It's simple and a great way to make your marriage more of a priority in your life.

10 Minute Marriage Challenge

The Dating Divas have created a service that will help you and your spouse step up your game even more. It's simple and a great way to get your spouse on board with keeping the romance alive and finding ways to date each other on a daily basis. By joining the Divas' 10 Minute Marriage Challenge, you will be committing to connect with your spouse on a more regular basis and start being more intentional in your marriage.

Dating Divas 10 Minute Marriage Challenge

Wondering how it will work? Let me tell you! Every Wednesday and Friday you'll receive a fun, flirty or romantic idea to do for your spouse. On Mondays you'll receive a bonus text with a date idea from the "Get Your Date On" series that the Divas do each week. There is a version of the challenge forhim and a version for her, and you can sign up for each individually, but if you both are committed to taking on the challenge, you can sign up for the couples version of the marriage challenge and receive both the his and hers versions at a discounted price. If you sign up together, you'll both get two completely different text messages each week, just like you would if you signed up for the 'his' and 'hers' challenge separately. You'll be working together to make your marriage more of a priority and your relationship will benefit greatly!

prioritize your marriage and your spouse

The challenge lasts three months and will only open a few times each year. The current enrollment period is open for pre-orders today, June 27 2018 and closes on June 30, 2018 at 11:59pm MST. Click here to sign up now and get on board ! If the challenge date is past and you want to know when the next one will be open, click here to get on the waitlist . This challenge is also currently only available in the U.S.

TODAY, JUNE 27TH, ONLY!! Use the following coupon codes for 30% off your enrollment. Coupon Code for Him - HUSBAND. Coupon Code for Her - WIFE. Coupon Code for Couples - MARRIAGE MATTERS (Only $35 with code).

make your spouse a priority

I feel strongly about the importance of making daily effort to connect with your spouse and make your marriage a priority, even when life gets busy. Whether you have five minutes or 24 hours to spend together each day, make sure you are being intentional and using the time to strengthen your relationship. This challenge is a great way to make your marriage a priority again and reconnect on a regular basis.

Photography by Sadie Banks Photography

Raspberry Buttermilk Muffins

My family has always had a large garden and our summers growing up were usually spent planting, watering, weeding, harvesting and cooking with the produce grown in it. Most summer mornings, we would wake up to find my mom outside watering the garden, weeding her flower beds, or picking fresh fruits and vegetables. The first place that my dad usually goes after work is outside to check on the progress of things he's planted. All of the hard work my parents (and sometimes us kids) put into the yard and garden pays off every year. Not only do my parents have a beautiful yard full of flowers and lots of green, but we get to enjoy the fruits of our labor and share them with our friends and neighbors too.

fresh baked muffins

We haven't started a garden of our own yet, but we still enjoy fresh produce every summer, straight from my parent's garden. Bensen even got to help plant the garden this year and every time we're over, he checks to see how the beans are growing. In a few weeks, I'll teach him how to snip the beans, like I did every summer growing up, and then my mom and I will bottle them so we have those to enjoy through the winter months as well. He's helped pick fresh strawberries from their garden and eats them all immediately. It's safe to say one of our favorite things about summer is all of the fresh food we get to eat.

raspberry muffins

One of my mom's favorite summer foods would have to be raspberries and they've quickly become one of Bensen's as well. We eat them fresh, make jam with them and put them in a lot of different recipes. These muffins, or really any muffin she makes, usually disappear into our bellies before they even have the chance to cool off. Of all the muffins she makes, these are probably my favorite. They make the perfect addition to breakfast on our deck, a picnic at one of our favorite free summer activities, snack at the beach, etc. 

Recipe for Raspberry Muffins
Raspberry Buttermilk Muffins

These muffins freeze really well and we will probably be eating them for breakfast all fall/winter while I reminisce about summer mornings spent picking raspberries and summer nights eating these muffins with cheese and fresh veggies for dinner. You could also make them with frozen berries and add a little summer to your life when you're getting sick of the snow and cold weather in six months.

What is your favorite thing to make with fresh raspberries in the summer?

Raspberry Buttermilk Muffins made with raspberries fresh from the garden or farmer's market. Perfect addition to any summer breakfast, a great picnic food or a yummy late night snack.

Why You Should Take a Marriage Moon Together

I received my MarriageMoon package for free but am posting this because I feel strongly that it's something every couple could benefit from. All opinions are my own.

You've heard of the honeymoon and the babymoon, but have you ever been on a marriagemoon? We have been on a lot but until now, we've never called them that. At least twice a year, we take a night or two and get away for a romantic weekend, or I guess a second honeymoon together. We usually stay close and we don't spend much money, but we make it special and we use the time to connect with each other. We've been doing this since the beginning of our marriage and it's always been a game changer. After our getaways, we feel refreshed, more in love and ready to tackle what life throws our way. In the future, we're hoping to plan a week long adventure to someplace farther from home, but for now, our relaxing getaways are perfect for our busy pace of life.

Related: How We Keep the Spark Alive in Our Marriage

MarriageMoon for married couples

Whenever we get away together, even if it's just for a night, we look for ways to make the most of that time that we have to spend with one another. It's time when we don't have to worry about work, house projects, personal projects, the kids, the dog, etc. We're free to set aside the business side of life and focus on our relationship and the love that we have for each other. We usually splurge on eating out and look for a fun activity to do that we wouldn't normally do for date night. Sometimes we'll take advantage of not having to stay home after the kids are in bed and go on a late night walk, like we used to do while we were dating and early on in our marriage. But we most often just relax together, because life is crazy and we keep a busy schedule and having that amount of time to just be together is rare.

Earlier this month we got away for a night to celebrate our anniversary. My husband planned the whole thing and booked a room at one of our favorite romantic bed and breakfasts. We love going there because the rooms are cozy, romantic and don't feel like your normal hotel. They have an large tub to soak in, provide you with sparkling cider and cheesecake for free and bring breakfast right to the room each morning so you can snuggle and sleep in late. When we're looking to get away while sticking to a budget, this is always our first choice, because we know that it provides a romantic atmosphere, gets us away from our regular routine and encourages us to put our focus on our relationship.

Related: How to Enjoy Your First Weekend Away from Your New Baby

Romantic getaways for couples

My friend Chelsea from The New Wifestyle just launched a book that will only increase the benefit that romantic getaways have on our marriage. MarriageMoon is three day guide that will add intentional quality time to your getaway, no matter where you or or what you've chosen to do together. I love this guide because it doesn't take up more than an hour of each day and its activities are spread throughout your day. Despite the short time you will spend with MarriageMoon each day, it will have a big impact on your relationship and the love that you have for each other.

The great part about MarriageMoon is that you can bring it anywhere. Whether you're going on an African Safari or to Antarctica (both trips that Chelsea and her husband, Ryan or "Ravery", have taken together) or if you're choosing to stay closer to home, like we do most of the time. Simply slip your books into the suitcase with the rest of your necessities, and head off on a fun adventure filled with quality, uninterrupted time together. There are a couple of things you'll need to think about beforehand and you'll be provided with the information you need to do those, but for the most part, the MarriageMoon is simple and requires very little planning, just a willingness to invest in your marriage and each other and a determination to be intentional with it.

Related: 22 Ways to Increase the Intimacy in Your Marriage

MarriageMoon - a guide for married couples

I always look forward to our time away together and am grateful for the increase in connection we experience even after we've come home. Our getaways seem to help us become a better team, remind us why we fell in love in the first place, increase our intimacy and leave us feeling rejuvenated in other areas of our life. Now that we have MarriageMoon, I know that our getaways are going to make our relationship that much better because I plan to pull it out and use it every time we plan to getaway together, which should be at least twice a year, hopefully more.

MarriageMoon

Grab your own MarriageMoon Guide and maybe a copy or two to gift to other couples in your life who you know are invested in their marriage. The special First Edition price is currently at a $50 discount and comes with some added bonus' that might not come with future editions. Grab yours now and make your yearly "marriagemoon" a priority for the rest of your lives!

MarriageMoon

The Man I Didn't Even Know I Needed

In the seven years that I've been married to Joe, I've realized that there are things that I needed in a husband and didn't even know I needed. I think that it could have been a disaster if I'd gotten a man who fit that perfect profile I was envisioning because some of the things I listed weren't really a good match for my personality or really didn't matter in the grand scheme of life.

Luckily, I found the man who possesses qualities that I really needed. Joe is the perfect man for me. I fell in love with him for who he is and I fall more in love with him every year that we are married. He's the perfect match for me on every level. Whether we're out on a date laughing together or working our way through one of our trials in life, he compliments me and helps make us the good team that we are.

I've learned that...

I needed a man who didn't live for sports (or really even like them). I dated a few guys who let basketball/soccer/baseball/football games run their life. If a game was on, they were watching it and you couldn't bug them for anything or expect them to go anywhere that didn't have a TV playing the game. Joe couldn't care less about sports and it's kind of nice. Politics are his sports, so I do have to deal with something similar every four years, but that I can handle, even if it means planning our days at Disneyland around the debates.

I needed a man who was patient and not quick to fight with me. Joe deals with a lot being married to me. I can be very impatient, grumpy and emotional when I'm stressed, hormonal or hungry. Grumpy Wife is my alter ego (properly named by Joe) and when she comes to visit, nobody's happy. I'm so lucky to have a man who refuses to argue when I try to pick a fight and who will laugh or try to calm me down instead. He's not quick to anger, and on the rare occasion that he does get upset with me, I know that I've really crossed the line. Sometimes I hate that he is happy and optimistic when I'm in the mood to wallow and have a pity party, but I'm also grateful for it because I know it's good for me.

I needed a man who was frugal and not afraid to tell me no when I want to spend money. My parents taught me a lot of good things about money, but I didn't put them into practice like I should have. Being married to Joe, I've learned a lot about saving, paying off debt with gazelle intensity, and smart spending. He always encourages me to wait before I purchase anything and we are usually able to find the things we want on clearance or a really good sale. Being accountable to each other has made me more responsible and I think twice about whether or not I really need or want something before I buy it. I was able to complete my degree without taking out student loans, and we have a lot more freedom in our budget every month because we think smart about how we're using our money.

I needed a man who knows how to work hard but also how to relax and be lazy. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to be busy and I have a hard time slowing down. You'll rarely find me sitting around doing nothing, I always find a project to work on. Joe can easily spend 12 hours a day mowing lawns, landscaping or working on house projects, but also knows when to sit and do nothing but relax and enjoy life. He's slowly (and I mean slowly) teaching me to do the same. I'm learning to take time to recuperate from the hectic pace of life, and enjoy doing nothing together.

I needed a man who is a talker, but also knows how to listen. I'm a talker, but so is Joe. He can actually out talk me a lot of the time, and anyone who knows me well knows that is no small feat. Being married to Joe has taught me how to listen, not only because he likes to talk about things, but because he's a great example of listening quietly and letting a person talk.

I needed a man who could make me laugh. One of Joe's greatest talents is his ability to turn my frown upside down, usually when I would rather wallow and be upset. He can find humor in any situation and brings me back to reality whenever I start to get too upset or overthink things. This reality check usually comes in the form of a joke that helps me see the big picture and lightens the mood. He also tells the funniest jokes, and especially loves dad jokes.

I needed a man who knows how to have fun. Sometimes I get too serious about life and Joe always shows me how to have fun and enjoy myself. He jokes with people on a daily basis and isn't afraid to be himself. I especially love watching him play with our kids. He's spontaneous and care free and not afraid to get dirty.

Joe is good for me and I am glad that I married who I did. Never once have I looked at him and thought that I married down or settled. I definitely married up and he encourages me to be a better person every single day. He's not afraid to call me out when I'm not doing everything I could but he's also great at pointing out the things I am doing well. I married one amazing man!

What qualities does your husband have that you weren't necessarily searching for but that you really needed and appreciate?

Your "ideal spouse" list might be missing some important qualities.