Day 3439 – How To Have A Good Marriage

The other day, Bret asked “what’s our secret?” i.e. how do we have such a great marriage? Here’s a few things we realized.

The biggest thing is communication. From sharing when something is bothering you, to not letting anything be off the table, to sharing even when it won’t be fun in the moment. We’ve learned a lot about each other’s communication style too – it’s SO important to know when the other isn’t actually listening. Sometimes I just want to share an idea without input. lol, like, this may not be a great idea, but I wanted to share it. Then later asking for practical input.

Another big secret is actually talking about the end. I think keeping in mind that you will go at some point helps you embrace the now. Almost every goodbye is laced with a “incase I don’t see you again, it’s been a great life.”

What are your marriage secrets?

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Day 3390 – How Long Does The Honeymoon Phase Last?

A few months back, I read an article, 18 Signs the Honeymoon Phase of Your Relationship Never Ended. It made me so happy to see something like that posted, because, honestly, we are still in the “honeymoon phase.”

I’m not sure if we’ll ever leave the honeymoon phase.

It’s not that our marriage is easy. It’s not that we don’t have hard times. It’s not that there haven’t been tears.

It’s that we’ve grown stronger, every day of our marriage. It’s that we see that struggles actually make you stronger. It’s that having someone to hold you when you cry bonds you together.

So how do you stay in the honeymoon phase?

You are brutally honest with each other.

You are best friends, telling each other everything, and if at all possible – first.

You are ruthless about boundaries.

You prize your spouse most of all.

Are you still in the honeymoon phase?

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Day 3144 – 11 Years Later, He Still Surprises Me – or – The Way To My Heart

Yesterday, Bret had several appointments, and I had a massive project for the real estate business. I was so engrossed in the project, I didn’t check in with Bret at all. We have an app (Life360) that gives each of the GPS location to the other. This has been great for making sure Bret is ok when going on appointments in the city, or when Bret is waiting for a ride from me. Instead of having to call or send him a text via Siri, he can just open the app and know how far away I am. When Bret has several appointments, I do tend to check in and see what’s up. But nosiriebob, I barely even thought about him. To be fair, I was working on a project for our business, so there’s that…

Just as I was finishing up on a portion of the project, I thought, oh yea, Bret’s appointment was over 2 hours ago…I wonder how it went and where he is. No sooner had I thought it then the app notified me that Bret was home! Sweet! I was focused on my work, and only slightly noticed him pulling something out of his bag. I started to turn around and he said something along the lines of “don’t look” and I continued with my work.

He finally brought the surprise over and I was very very very pleasantly surprised. This guy. This man I’ve been married to for almost 9 years, who I have known for 11, brought me not a cup, not a bowl, but a QUART of cream of crab soup from Broom’s Bloom. Oh friends, it was amazing. I think I will concede that this is THE best cream of crab soup I have ever had, and it is consistently amazing. I’m so glad they’re open year round and not just in the summer.

To further show his amazingness, he let me take a picture. 🙂

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Day 3000 – 3000 Days Of Marriage And What Makes Our Marriage Great

I’ve been looking forward to this day for a while! It’s been on our calendar to celebrate for a few months. And I’ve mentally drafted this post a few times.

Yesterday, I drove past Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, and noticed they had a pumpkin beer on tap. Bret is all about the pumpkin beers and all things fall. It’s our favorite time of year. It just so happened that last night was also lobster night. $12.99 for a whole Maine lobster with a side. We’ve known about their lobster night for a long time. How long? Well, I was drinking the last time we were there, so well over 3 years. We figured this would be a great way to celebrate 3000 days.

Since it was a “fancy” dinner, I thought, you know what, I’m going to put on some perfume. I walked up to Bret and said “I did something for you I don’t normally do, smell!”
Bret – *smells* Oooo, pretty, it smells just like Batman would smell.”
I laughed and thanked him for giving me more blogging material. 😀

We arrived only an hour after they started…..and the lobsters were already gone! We missed it by just a few minutes. Granted, there were some big groups before us, and a limited number of lobsters. Totally fine. We ended up getting some great food. I got shrimp and Bret got a BALT-imore. A BLT with a crab cake and avocado.

We ended up chatting quite a bit with the bartender and then the guy sitting next to us. The guy is a serial entrepreneur like us and we chatted for a long time. We love talking business with people and it was a great conversation. Bonus points to Ellicott Mills for having Buckler, my absolute favorite non-alcoholic beer. I really admire bars that cater to the very very very small percentage of people who don’t drink, but do enjoy a non-alcoholic beer. And what’s that on the rim of Bret’s beer? Oh that would be cinnamon sugar! He really liked the beer, in case any of my local readers are pumpkin beer lovers.

Since I was wearing my Batman shirt (see yesterday’s post), the bartender encouraged us to checkout the bar downstairs. DUDES! A bat cave bar! There were Batman lights. There were Bat symbols. It was awesome.

I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate 3000 days!

So what makes a great marriage? What do you need to do to hit 3000 days (8+ years)? Obviously, every marriage is unique and what works for us won’t work for everyone. But I do think these can be helpful for a healthy marriage. Feel free to pick and choose what works for you.

– Don’t have private messages/texts with someone of the opposite sex. I will add Bret to conversations with mutual guy friends. I will tell Bret if a guy is messaging me, especially if the topic is sensitive in nature. This is a way that we can show honor to each other and keeping all parties safe.

– Tell your spouse big things first. Whether it’s great news or something stressing you out. Bret is my absolute best friend. If I can help it, he knows things first. Obviously, this isn’t always possible. But, again, this is a way to honor him.

– Tell each other you love them, as much as possible. If Bret is the one to go first, I will know that I was loved. In some respects, we say goodbye as if it was the last time, every time.

– Learn how the other communicates. There are times when I just want to complain. I don’t want a devil’s advocate. I don’t want a solution. I just want to rant. I’ve learned I just need to start the conversation that way. “This thing is really bugging me, I want to complain, don’t try to fix this.” Of course, most of the time, I’ll finish, feel better, then ask to hear the other side, and ways to fix it. I’ve also learned that this is helpful when I’m sharing a new business idea or book idea. In the beginning stages of something, I don’t want to hear why it won’t work, what’s wrong with it, or edits to it. So I know to tell Bret, this is a new idea and I just want to share. This has been huge in our marriage.

– Lift up your spouse in public. In our first pre-marital counseling session, our amazing leaders pointed out something we did – making fun of each other and them not knowing if we were joking or serious. It wasn’t so much that it’s a terrible thing or we were saving really mean things about the other. This was the key point – “take the opportunity to build each other up in public and not tear them down.” It was such a huge shift in how we acted in public…and honestly, most of the time in private too. It’s one of those things that you don’t realize how bad it can get or how bad it appears until you notice it. We were at a dinner with some friends a few months later, and one person made a negative comment about their significant other, something along the lines of “it would be nice if you cooked for me at home like this.” It was very uncomfortable and you could tell it hurt the other person.

– Have fun together. Laugh together. Be kids and goofy together.

– Enjoy the journey. There are some days when it’s hard, whether it’s a situation we’re walking through or decision we have to make. There are some days when it’s easy, fun, and wonderful. Each season is necessary for the other. You won’t fully appreciate the good times if you don’t walk through the hard times. You won’t fully be able to press on during the hard times, if you didn’t remember the easy times and know they’re possible.

May your marriage be filled to overflowing. Enjoy the journey my friends.

And Bret, thanks for 3000 sunrises and sunsets. For standing by me when I am strong. For kneeling by me when I am weak. Thank you for making this marriage thing seem easy.

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Day 2500 – What Makes A Great Marriage

Today we celebrate 2500 days together or just about 6.85 years. A lot has happened over those years and I have come to realize that marriage is not made up by years or even days, but thousands, nay, millions of tiny (and some big) choices.

– The choice to wake up, without grumbling, and make coffee for your wife. (Serious shout out to my amazing husband for this!)
– Paying the bills, again.
– Waiting in line.
– Choosing spiritual health over silly entertainment, thus being stronger for your spouse.
– Holding the wife when she’s crying, again….for no reason….again.
– Eating cheap food.
– Making sacrifices so you can live like you want later.
– Giving each other space when it is needed, even though all you want to do is be with the other.
– Working five jobs so your spouse can work at their dream job….even if dream morphs only a few years later (another serious shout out to that awesome Bret person).
– Realizing you’re not perfect.
– Realizing and accepting that you’re a big fat sinner (Thank you Dave Harvey).
– Knowing when to hold on a little longer and sleep a little less.

Bret, Huz, ol buddy ol pal, I can’t wait for another 6.85 rotations around the sun.

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