Marriage Advice Round-Up!
If you know me at all, you know that I love marriage. I love being married. I love hearing stories from couples who have been together for 50+ years. I love the anniversary dance at weddings. I love reading, studying, learning, and investing in marriage! For as long as I’ve been a wedding videographer, marriage was something that I wanted to focus on. I didn’t want the stories to end on the wedding day. I love keeping up with couples and following their journeys through marriage. My hope is that the wedding films I create can bless a marriage. I never want a wedding film to be a showcase of the decorations or details but to be a celebration of a love story that will last a lifetime.
Throughout the years, I’ve done a number of things trying to focus on celebrating marriage, through making “After the Honeymoon” videos YEARS ago, filming an anniversary video, and now, my monthly Marriage Tip Monday series on YouTube. If you like videos better, you can stop reading and jump right over the playlist to watch all the videos right here:
If you prefer to read, I’m going to walk you through a few of my favorite pieces of advice. You can get ALL the tips in the playlist above, but these ones I also wanted to write about and expand upon.
No, not the movie. Although that’s good too. I’m talking about a notebook that Mark and I have written letters back and forth to each other for over 10 years now. We started this in December of 2012 as I was 8.5 months pregnant with our first child. I know this because in my first letter to him I wrote about how I was on a bus and my seat was kind of cramped and my huge belly was getting in the way and kind of messing up my handwriting.
Here’s how it works. It’s pretty simple. Grab a notebook. Write a letter. It could be anything, a thank you note, expressing your deepest feelings of love and adoration, recording a recent memory you want to remember, anything! Then hide the notebook for the other person to find. We’ve hidden it in cereal boxes, the freezer, pillow cases, in coat pockets, you name it. Your partner reads it, feels all sorts of love, writes back, hides the book, and so on.
Mark and I are now on our second notebook. We just picked up a new one last year from Diagon Alley when we were there at Universal Studios. This is one of my favorite things that we do and it’s always a nice pick-me-up any day of the week. Also, don’t feel the pressure to keep this going back-to-back-to-back. There are often times days, sometimes weeks, and occasionally over the course of the 10+ years we’ve been doing it, months that have gone by before we write back. It’s okay! Just pick it up and start again any time!
Here’s the video on this topic:
For several years in our relationship, Mark and I asked each other these same questions every single Sunday. This was during a season where we had two little kids that I was staying home with, I was starting my business, Mark was in his early years of teaching, and there was a lot that we were juggling. These questions helped us get on the same page every week and be proactive about how to be the best husband and wife that we could each week. Here are the questions:
Our favorite was to go for a walk and talk about these questions. There was nothing like tackling a week when you knew you and your partner were on the same page. These questions and really just the regular check-in was a great way to build our communication and foundation for the week. You may find that you only need to do these questions for a season, like Mark and I did. Or, maybe it’s a lifetime of asking these questions to keep that communication line open and active!
TRADITIONS + GOALS
In this tip, we look both at our pasts and to our futures. I think it’s important for couples to create their own traditions that are special to them. They could be centered around holidays, as that is often what we think of when we think of traditions but it could also be anything throughout the year! Here are a few traditions that Mark and I have started in our family:
Whether you have kids or not, I love the idea of creating something that just *YOURS.* This is something that YOU do together that brings a little piece of warmth, comfort, consistency, and celebration to your lives together. This is building your HISTORY together.
On the other side of the coin, looking forward to your future, Mark and I love to make goals together. We do this every New Year’s (see this post about setting New Year’s Goals!) The goal of marriage is to be together forever. And beyond that, I hope that the goal is to be HAPPY forever. When you work TOGETHER on building your future together, that can go a long way. It’s not I’m making my goals over here and he’s over there working on his own stuff. No, we’re working TOGETHER. That doesn’t mean that I can’t have my own individual goals, I certainly can. Talk through those individual ones but also make some goals together as a couple. Need some ideas? Here’s a few of ours:
Some areas in your life that may help you start thinking of some goals you’d like to create would be financial, spiritual, health, community, life experience, etc. Get out a pen and paper and start brainstorming! Here’s the video on this topic:
Well there’s 3 of my favorites from my 10-part video series on marriage tips (maybe more coming later?!)! Check out the playlist for other pieces of advice including counseling, communication, and how to invest into your marriage.
And, psst…I have been working on something secretly behind the scenes focusing on marriage. (Are you surprised?!) It’s a long, big project that will take me time to complete, but get excited! Keep your eyes peeled for more information on that coming later this year!
love, your marriage lover,