Over the past several months we have been asked many questions that I feel are important, and I want to answer them all. One question that comes in quite frequently is also one I feel to be one of the most important, yet sometimes the most forgotten. There are many variations of this question, but this is the gist: “How do you stay close as a couple after children?”
This is a great question in my opinion as I feel one of the most important relationships while starting a family is that of the parents. Although we are rookies in the parent department, I feel we have come a long way in the marriage department. Over 10 years of marriage will definitely teach you some new lessons on how to communicate, listen, understand, empathize, respect, and love one another. Since this is a questions we get asked almost daily, here a few tips that have helped me strengthen my marriage over the years, which in turn has given our relationship strong bonds that have helped us overcome any obstacle!
- Love each other unconditionally- When two people from different backgrounds find each other and fall in love, you cant always count on agreement on every topic. Many variables from your two backgrounds can bring up heavy discussion as to what is right, or what is best. Over ten years of marriage, I’ve learned there is never just one way to do something; never just one idea that is best; never one way of dealing with stress, or one way of showing love. We all have our own characteristics that make us unique. I’ve found that as I’ve embraced Ashley’s differences from my own, I’ve learned to grow and appreciate many things I knew nothing about. That doesn’t mean I trade in what I love or know, but that I respect and understand another viewpoint. This has been one of the key factors in what makes our marriage work. Rarely do we handle situations the same way, but we always strive for the same goal. I find this way of thinking and working has only led to personal growth, empathy for others, and a true understanding of service.
- Our Faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ- When Ashley and I met, there’s no doubt we were very different. I think that’s what makes our puzzle so complete. We fill in each others weaknesses and compliment each other’s strengths. One thing we had very much in common was our faith in God the Father, and our savior Jesus Christ. We had both been raised as Latter-Day Saints in the Mormon church, and had strong convictions to our Faith. This was our foundation. Our faith in our Father in Heaven and the Savior is what we built our marriage upon, and it has only blossomed because of that faith. How grateful I am for the faith God gave both of us to withstand all the struggles we have encountered, and not only make it through those trials still standing, but also stronger. Our Faith in our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has blessed our marriage immensely!
- Our Family- Ashley and I are blessed to come from two of the most supportive families ever! Although they are night and day different in so many ways, they are fiercely loyal, and without a doubt a steady shoulder we have to lean on. I know what a blessing family is and that is why I am so grateful for both of our families constant support and encouragement they have given over 10 years of marriage. We believe family is one of the greatest blessings God can give us. As we married and started our own family, we did not leave ours behind, yet united each other’s with the plan of growing both. We believe families can be together forever through Heavenly Father’s plan and Jesus Christ’s atonement. How sacred is that knowledge that what we gain here, we get to take with us in the next life and into the eternities! Family is everything to us, and we are blessed that our children have two wonderful extended families to look up to and lean on in their own lives.
- Date Nights- Its true that as you become first time parents, you want to spend every waking hour with your children. That is understandable. At the same time, however, you must make time for your relationship with your spouse. As we take on new responsibilities in the home, we sometimes find that we sacrifice each other. I think it ok to have sacrifice, especially for your children, but at the same time, I think we must adjust to our new roles and make time for each other as well. We have found that having a weekly date night has made a tremendous difference. It allows us to just focus on each other, catch up on the week, and really just catch our breath!
These are just a few things that i have found to be important variables in keeping our marriage strong and happy over 10 years of marriage. I have much to learn, but these have been so valuable in making the path smooth and keeping both of us happy and focused!
Check out some of our other recent blogs below!