Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What I've Learned in Two Years of Marriage



I can barely believe it, but today is Rory and I's two year anniversary! Most days I feel like we've known each other for so much longer than almost three years. We have been through a lot of change in these two short years- new jobs for each of us, a house, a puppy, a new car, and lots of miles put on my car with various road trips to see family and friends and get away together.

Getting married was a huge deal, obviously. But everything that led up to that day was all preparation for a lifetime together, and at the end of the day, the wedding is not nearly as monumental as the life that you build together for years to come. I can honestly say that the last few years with Rory have been the most joy-filled of my life. There have been many trials and hard lessons learned, along with scars and wounds brought to the surface that threatened to choke the life out of our marriage. But through it all, God has become bigger and greater and all the more powerful in our hearts and minds. He has given us a great life together, and I truly believe that the best is yet to come. We thought we knew and loved each other on July 11, 2015, but today, two years later, we know and love each other even more. People always tell us that it just keeps getting better, and now I believe them! The best is yet to come.

Rory Alexander Mathisen is not just my husband. He's my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, my advocate, my defender, and the greatest joy to walk alongside each day. He makes every day brighter and loves me like Christ loves the church by laying himself down on my behalf. Since two years is the equivalent of 24 months, today I'm sharing 24 things I've learned about marriage. Happy anniversary to my sweetheart!



1. Marriage is not about making me happy or making Rory happy. It's about glorifying God.
2. Watching Netflix on your screen while the hubs plays video games on another screen is the perfect compromise for a night in.
3. Starting a conversation about the budget before eating dinner (read: when you're both hangry) is not a good idea.
4. Starting a conversation about a testy topic right before bed is also not a good idea.
5. It's always a good idea to pursue intimacy. ;)
6. It's also always a good idea to think before you speak.
7. Sometimes (well, pretty much all the time) you should pray before bringing up something that bothers you about your spouse. Also take the plank out of your eye because chances are he's not the only one with a problem.
8. Road trips are ideal for fun and deep conversations.



9. Cooking together, painting together, doing anything together around the house is a great bonding exercise.
10. Be very careful with the way you tell stories about your spouse when you're in front of others. Always paint them in a good light and be self-aware.
11. That being said, self-awareness is all-around great for marriage and life in general.
12. Praying together morning and night brings peace and unity to your relationship.
13. If you're on a special diet and your spouse isn't, just do it with them. It makes all the world of difference. But know that sometimes you can cheat with them so that they don't want to die for lack of carbs or sweets. :)
14. Always always always share your money and talk about the budget clearly and specifically. What's mine is yours, what's yours is mine.
15. Slow dancing in the kitchen is a sweet romantic gesture, and it's free.
16. Making a little stop by their workplace during the day is a huge pick me up. Sometimes I stop by the hospital where Rory works just to get a kiss and tell him hello. :)



17. In fact, if you can, a lunch date during the work week is oh so fun.
18. And along those lines, CONTINUE TO DATE. How the dump are you going to have a relationship if you don't get out and do something together? It doesn't have to cost money, so don't make it about that. It's about quality time. Go out to eat, go on a walk, exercise together, work on a fun DIY project, garden, do whatever, but be sure to date. I love our date nights so so much.
19. Getting away doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, but it sure is good.
20. Sharing the scary and ugly parts of yourself is so hard, but so rewarding because this person has promised to love you no matter what and won't walk away.
21. Say "I love you" all. the. time. Doesn't matter if you think it's overkill, the other person needs to hear it more than you know. Along those lines, be sure to say "Will you forgive me?", "I forgive you,"  "I'm proud of you," and "Thank you" all the time, too.
22. Reading the Bible and worshiping together unites your hearts and helps you grow spiritually as a couple.
23. Not taking yourself (or life) too seriously does a world of good.
24. Making things fun just makes marriage (and life) all the more enjoyable.

All photos by the lovely Elissa Ewald.
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