The Wives to Watch in Every Stage of Life series is one that I've been really excited about for a while! Each stage of life looks different and brings unique challenges to every couple. My hope is that you will be inspired by the stories of the women featured in this series. I hope that their experiences will help you find more ways to make your marriage relationship a priority throughout every stage of your own life.
It's been a couple of months, but I'm excited to get back into this series with today's post featuring Amy Miller of Freshly Married. She and I are currently working together on The Wives Workshop (which you should all attend) and we share a passion for educating and inspiring couples to make their marriage the best that they can.
What does it mean to you to prioritize your marriage?
When I think of “prioritize your marriage,” I feel a connotation of selflessness. So to me, it means you not only recognize its importance, but you are also willing to give up other things in order to keep this relationship healthy and growing. Sacrifices are not easy, but we’ve shown a pattern of making little sacrifices back and forth for each other and for our family, and that strong pattern of love makes it feel like a good choice. Because I believe that marriage is the most important relationship after our relationship with God, I think putting your marriage first is ALWAYS going to be a good choice.
How have the different stages you’ve experienced in life affected how you prioritize your relationship with each other?
In our short four years together so far, we have been through some interesting stages and experiences, such as the married student life, job changes, various medical issues, job loss, moving, and buying our first house. Even though some of these experiences show growth and can be exciting, they have the potential to make us stressed, frustrated, worried, depressed, and stretched to our capacities. When this has happened we help each other better focus on what matters most, and in return that obviously prioritizes our relationship.
For example, During our second year of marriage, we just moved into our first home at the same time that I had just started a new semester of school after a 2 year hiatus. Needless to say, it was a lot of emotional change for me all at once. My husband was working full time and teaching night classes a few times a week. I had already cut down my social life so much because of how busy we were, and yet I was still struggling. Having so much going on for months straight was hard on us individually, and as a couple.
After talking about things, my husband was selfless enough to stop teaching night classes, even though it was a huge passion for him at the time. It’s something I will always remember, and has made me want to avoid either of us having to make these tough decisions. The next semester I lessened my class schedule, which meant I would graduate one semester later than I planned, but I was so much happier, and my relationship benefited from it.
This experience has helped us continually be aware of what is too much to take on for long periods of time, and if it gives the impression that it’s going to be hard on our relationship, we don’t do it. It could seem like a boring life not taking exciting risks, but in my mind, the stability of my marriage is not something worth risking.
What are some rituals/traditions (big or small) that you have with your spouse?
One of our weekly rituals is date night, of course! We have it on our schedule every single weekend, though sometimes it ends up being on a weekday, or we count vacations or fun family events as our date night. This was important to us from day one, which is why we already have money put aside to pay for a weekly babysitter when we have kids! Haha.
We are also big movie-goers, and decided to document every movie we saw in a fun way. We pose in front of the cardboard movie dioramas that the theater usually has set up. Some of the dioramas are pretty interactive so it makes for some fun poses! We have specific digital photo album we put these pictures in, too.
How have the obstacles and challenges that you’ve faced as a couple made you a stronger team?
The different challenges and obstacles we have faced together have taught us a lot about our strengths and weaknesses, individually, and as a couple. We try to assess our strengths and weaknesses together, figuring out how we can help each other grow. But also, we figure out where our individual skills are going to be best utilized in our life together, whether we follow typical gender roles or not. I think that’s what makes us a stronger team, and why I love the word “team” as part of a description for marriage!
Tell me about something that you hope to be able to do together in the future.
Something that we are hoping to do together in the near future (hopefully!), is to have and raise a family. It’s something we’ve been trying for a year to do, but have had challenges in. We both knew ahead of time that having our own children wouldn’t be easy, but we have so much optimism and faith in the process. Having our little puppy, Oli, around helps us be more patient, too. :)