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 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.
Chelsea and Ryan Avery are a couple that I have admired for quite a while now. Last year they set a huge goal to speak on every continent and they achieved that goal, ending in Antarctica for a big adventure over Thanksgiving. Their dedication to each other, their individual passions, their big dreams as a couple and their new little one inspire me. I know that they will inspire you as well!
What does it mean to you to prioritize your marriage?
my husband and i talk a lot about priorities both in a professional sense and within our marriage. i often remind him that "you can do anything but you can't do everything" - that is where priorities come into play. we set intentional and purposeful time together - solely the two of us.
How have the different stages you’ve experienced in life affected how you prioritize your relationship with each other?
we are currently in the thick of it! we have a 5 month old daughter so this has taken time to learn how to take that time together because when we are stronger as a team, we parent her better! before we became parents, we prioritized our marriage by scheduling "love days!" this looks a little different now because it turns out babies need your attention but we have carved out "love afternoons" or "love date night." it's so recharging. put your phone on airplane mode, let your friends and family know you are out of touch (seriously - your kid will be fine OR check your phone once an hour only to see if you have a call from your sitter).
we started a communication training business together and went full time in 2013. before we made this life-changing decision we both agreed that our personal partnership will always come before our business partnership, even if that means dissolving our business. we rely on this heavily and spend a lot of time *communicating* our needs as they change.
What are some rituals/traditions (big or small) that you have with your spouse?
each night, whoever gets ready for bed first will put toothpaste on the other person's toothbrush! it's a little thing but something we have been doing for years that makes us both smile.
we also end each and every night, even if we are in different cities, by answering four questions. the first two are: "what was your favorite thing about me today?" "what was your favorite thing about yourself today?" you can see the other two here and why we do them!
we also must watch "elf" together every year at christmas and we are NOT allowed to view it without the other because #duh.
How have the obstacles and challenges that you’ve faced as a couple made you a stronger team?
becoming parents has definitely been one of the most incredible but also challenging points in our marriage. i am currently dealing with postpartum depression and that has been hard. we were together for 9 years and married for 6 years before our daughter atlas came on the scene. we talk constantly about how much we have relied on our past in order to get through those tough newborn days. we both came into our relationship knowing that at times it will be hard but if we both stay committed to communicating to each other with respect and love - it will always be worth it. we have found that once we are on the other side of those challenges and obstacles, our relationship is stronger and our love grows deeper!
Tell me about something that you hope to be able to do together in the future?
in 2015, we had a BIG dream to travel to all seven continents and we did it (and set a world record in the process - craaaazy). then in 2016 we created a life together and now are currently on our greatest adventure. we hope to be able to travel together as a family and show our children (one is here now, one will come along later) how diverse and incredible the world is and how privileged we are to get to see it!