A few things I’ve learned in marriage

This summer my wife and I celebrated 15 years of marriage, woo hoo!  I truly cannot believe how quickly the time has passed.  The following are just a few things I’ve learned in that 15 years.

God uses my wife to speak to me – Men if you’ve been married for any length of time you’ve probably stumbled across this truth, or been hit upside the head with it.  God uses our wives to speak into our lives because the way they see and think about life is so different from the way we do.  Their perspective is sometimes shifted just enough from ours to help us see what we can’t in a relationship or situation.

Unvoiced, unmet and assumed expectations are very often the reason for our arguments – Most of the arguments that my wife and I have could be avoided with a little prior communication of our expectations when it comes to handling a situation or dealing with the kids.  And a little in the moment communication to say “Oh, I thought you were expecting ___” or “I’m sorry, I expected ____ and didn’t tell you” would keep many of our arguments from escalating.  We live with our own selves all day long creating expectations for others and situations and sometimes we simply forget to let them know what those expectations are.

Someone has got to say “I’m sorry” first – This is the pride killer but the marriage saver.  Someone has got to decide to say the first word, to make the first apology, to take that step towards the other.  Men I hope it’s you because we need to model humility, servant hood and love to and for our wives.  It’s not and easy thing to do but after 15 years it get’s easier every time and the duration of our “misunderstandings” shorten every year.  An argument that would have gone on for a couple of days is acknowledged, talked out, worked through and reconciled in a couple of hours now because we have learned to trust the other when we take that first step.  Oh and wives, when your husband puts himself out there and does take that first step please don’t cut him off at the knees or he won’t do it the next time.

The sex gets better and better – I can’t stand the stereotype of the older couple who have been married so long that everything is the same, work, kids, routine and sex.  I’m sorry but this has not been the case for my wife and I, we refuse to let it be.  The first few years of sex in our marriage were great…but the last several years of sex in our marriage have been mind blowing.  It’s one thing to join together as one, it’s another to enjoy each other as one, and that is the place that we’ve come to.  Understanding that sex is not just for me and making it for us is a small shift in your thinking but a huge shift in your approach and enjoyment.

There is always more to learn about your spouse –  I love the moments when my wife is talking to me and I find myself looking at her realizing that I still have so much to learn about this woman, it’s as if I’m seeing her again for the first time.  I have known my wife for 23 years and I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of who she is.  Part of that lies in the fact that she continues to grow and change and be shaped by God and I get to witness that growth and learn something new about her character almost daily.

Figure out their love language, then speak it – I kinda suck at this.  I mean, I know my wife’s love language, it’s gifts, but I fail so often to speak it when it’s such an easy thing to do.  A card or a note in her lunch would mean the world to her, but I don’t think that way and I am continually reminded that a small gift that let’s her know I’m thinking about her will pay huge dividends for us.

These are just a few thoughts that popped into my head as I quickly wrote this post. I do want to throw a part 2 in here later to flesh out some more pearls of wisdom and share some of the books and resources that have been helpful for us, but for the time being, lets hear from you, what have you learned?

Giving credit where credit is due: I quickly wrote these thoughts down after reading this post by Michael Hyatt.  If you don’t follow Michael’s blog you should he’s an absolutely amazing thinker, leader and writer.