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Aug 19, 2020

What Marriage Has Taught Me

I'm so happy to welcome Amy to the blog today!  Amy is the first of a few marriage-related guest posts that I have lined up for the next few weeks, and I just love what she has to say so much!  These 11 pieces of advice for a wife are so important...I know that I'll be referencing this list over and over! Amy also has one of the sweetest, most genuine hearts that I can think of.  I've been so blessed to meet her and get to know her in the blogging world, and am excited to have her taking over Heavens to Betsy today!

Hi!  I'm Amy...wife, mom of two littles, elementary teacher, natural health minded, San Diego dweller.   I love to read, go to the beach, drink coffee, and spend time with my sweet family.  My hubs, Steve, and I celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary in May.  And looking back, there are so many times I know I wanted to give up, to quit, throw in the towel on our marriage.  Because it's hard.  But as hard as marriage is, it is also fulfilling, rewarding, fun, and worth every bit of hard work put into it. I still have a long way to go as far as learning what it means to serve, honor, and love my husband, but  I wanted to share eleven things I've learned [mostly the hard way] these last eleven years....

+ Never go to bed angry.  I know I heard this so many times before I was married, but it wasn't until I was married that I realized how true these words are.  It seems so simple, and yet, when pride gets in the way, it's a very difficult thing to do.  If you go to bed angry, you don't sleep well, and the next day will probably be another angry day.  Awful, right?  Seriously, once I learned to swallow my pride and admit when I'm wrong, I started sleeping so much better and makes my days so much more peaceful.

+ This is something I learned from experiencing others doing it, and I realized I never want to be the girl who does this... never disrespect your man in public or to the public.  When I hear girls talking poorly of their husbands, boyfriends, significant others to other people, it crushes me.  And you know if they're saying such terrible things to other people, what are they possibly saying to their face?!? Just don't do it.  Because if you can't think of anything nice to say about your husband, you're not thinking hard enough.

+ One of the things that I love most about Steve is that he understands my desire [and sometimes need] for time away with my friends.  No kids, no hubs, just me and my girls.  Sometimes for dinner and drinks, sometimes for a weekend away.  And it always refreshes me.  Makes me miss him so much and appreciate him all the more, so when I return home I'm recharged and ready for my wife duties.  I know he enjoys his time away with his friends as well, so when he asks to take a day or a few days away with them, I always say yes.

+ This next thing.  It's huge.  Especially for someone who's stubborn, like me.  Learn to compromise. Like seriously.  I don't always need to take myself, my ideas, my wants, and my desires so seriously. Sometimes it doesn't need to be about me.  Sometimes [most of the time] I need to give in a little.  Or a lot.  Because it shouldn't matter that he wants to keep his toothbrush on the sink instead of in the drawer. And maybe he doesn't put the dishes in the dishwasher like I think they should be, but he saved me some time and put them in anyway.  And when he folds my t-shirts different than I like to fold them, he gets a high five for folding the laundry so I don't have to.

+ One thing Steve & I have always been good at is date night.  For awhile, we consistently went out on Tuesday nights, because that's when we consistently had a babysitter [yes, we're some of the lucky ones who have 2 grandmas in town who'll watch our kiddos anytime].  And because it was Taco Tuesday.  Cheap tacos and margs?!? Yes please!! It's not longer solely on Tuesdays, but we still get in at least 2 dates nights each month.  Be intentional about it.  Be creative with it.  We've done date nights that haven't cost any money. And if you have kids, but don't have grandmas other family members in town to help, I'm sure you have friends who have kids who would love to trade free babysitting for date nights.

+ Once you forgive your spouse for something, never bring it up again.  I used to always say things like, "I forgive you, BUT...".  Now I try not to do that.  Steve truly feels like I'm forgiving him once and for all if I never bring it up again.

+ Be encouraging.  Give compliments, write notes, say "I love you," for no particular reason.  But encourage your man.  To him, in front of him: to your friends, family, and kids.  Encouragement is HUGE for men.  It strengthens their pride in all the right ways.  

+ Give grace.  This one is hard for me, for some reason.  Even when giving grace to myself.  I'm not sure why, but it's something I'm really working on.  We all make mistakes.  And if I'm asking for grace from Steve, I need to be willing to freely give it to him as well. 

+ Pray.  With your man.  For your man.  Ask him to pray for you.  Steve has always been so good about this one.  Several years ago I started to keep a journal of the things we specifically prayed for together.  It's so encouraging to go back and read through that journal and see all the ways God has shown up in our marriage.

+ Travel together.  Whether it's a day trip close to home, a weekend away, or an adventure half way around the world.  Do it. Save for it and go.  The time spent together and the memories you'll make will be priceless.  

+ Have fun together.  Sometimes this is hard because life gets busy and can get in the way of fun. But take time to slow down and have fun together.  Make each other laugh.  Especially if you have kids. It's so great for kids to see their parents having fun together.

As a wife, I still have so much to learn.  For many of you, you're probably reading this list and thinking, "How could she not know that?!?"  But I'm hoping you take away one thing from this today. That as you go through your wife things today, you will try to or try not to do one of these.  I love meeting new people and would love to hear from you, so feel free to stop by and say hello sometime:

Connect with Amy here:
IG: @amycaudill // Facebook: Amy Caudill // Twitter: @setfreeblog // Blog: www.amycaudill.com 

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