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.
Sara reached out to me a few months ago and wanted to participate in this series! I'm excited to share her insight and the things that she's learned in her married life so far.
What does it mean to you to prioritize your marriage?
It means to put our relationship first before all other things in our lives including family, friends, hobbies, and work. Those are all important things, yes, but keeping our marriage strong is the most important.
That means sometimes turning things down if they cut into our time to spend together. It also means being intentional about that time we spend together. We spend most weeknights and weekends together, whether it is simply watching Netflix together, taking walks, doing projects around the house, or having special date nights.
How have the different stages you’ve experienced in life affected how you prioritize your relationship with each other?
In the almost three years we’ve been together we’ve weathered several different job changes, health crises, and challenges with family members, and I believe that we have come out stronger in each one. I think that they have made prioritizing our marriage more difficult, but definitely even more important. When things get tough we lean on each other even more then we do in the “easier” times.
The next big transition in our lives will be having children, which I know will change our relationship in a lot of ways. I think it is important to focus on what will not change. We have already discussed how our marriage is still going to be the top priority, because a strong marriage is the foundation of a strong family. We also want to keep traveling and have regular date nights, even with small children.
What are some rituals/traditions that you have with your spouse?
Every night we try to have the same wind-down rituals. I scratch his back and he will rub my back or brush my hair. We will cuddle and sometimes will also reflect on the day based on how tired we are. It is one of the ways that we battle stress’ effect on our relationship. My top love language is quality time and his is physical touch, so he is definitely a cuddler, while I love spending time talking and just being together. As well, every morning he doesn’t leave without three kisses and an “I love you.”
We also intentionally plan several date nights every month. These have included visits to museums, historical sites, sports games, gardens, festivals, and more. We try to get more creative than simply dinner or going to a movie, because a date night is an opportunity to increase intimacy, laugh together, and experience new things together. I feel that date nights have been a really key thing to strengthening our marriage, which is why I started a date night series on my blog.
How have the obstacles and challenges that you’ve faced as a couple made you a stronger team?
As I mentioned earlier, we’ve definitely had some stressful and challenging times over our almost three years together. But I wouldn’t have wanted to go through them with anyone else at my side. We’ve gone through a number of transitions together and each had struggles with work and our health. While going through them has been stressful and has sometimes put a strain on our relationship, I feel that we have definitely come out of them knowing ourselves better and that we are stronger together then we are apart.
The challenges have served to remind us how important it is that our marriage is the priority. Because when everything else has seemed to be going wrong, our relationship has been a place of safety and refuge from the craziness. It has been inevitable that sometimes the outside stuff has affected how we relate to each other. Stress does that and sometimes we’ve taken out that stress on each other. But mostly it has caused us to appreciate the other more and lean on each other instead of turning on each other.
Tell me about something that you hope to be able to do together in the future.
Our top goal is to be able to have children soon. We look forward to being able to bring a little one into our family and share with them our love and all that we love about the world we live in. We also hope to have many more years of traveling together. Seeing the world and its many wonders is something that is a top priority. So far our big trips have included Costa Rica, France, and Spain, along with shorter trips to locations on the east coast. Our next trip is a road trip down the coast of California in November.