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Friday, February 26, 2010

Marriage is what brings us together today.

As you know, my marriage is so, so, so very important to me. It's important to have that relationship at the forefront of my life, making every effort to keep it in top notch shape. Declan and I have been together over eight years and have been married for three in August, yet everyday I seriously love him more. If you would have told me that would be the case back when I was 19 and head over heels in luurrve, I probably would have laughed at you and thought it was impossible to love him anymore then I 'thought' I did at the time.

But, it's true.

Each day our relationship grows.

Each day I seriously treasure my marriage more.

Each day he blows me away with some selfless act that makes my heart leap. [Don't gag yet...there's plenty more to go.]

For us, there's no big secret to all this. It's just knowing each other well enough to realize it's in the little things. The unconscious things. The every.day.things.

We laugh.

A ton.

We make fun of each other in a lighthearted way all the time.

We say things to each other that make absolutely no sense to anyone listening (and gawd, I hope they aren't listening!), but send us into fits of laughter every time.

We have an odd lingo of our own.

We act childish and weird together at times, and darn-it, it makes marriage more fun.

We try to re-live and re-tell old stories of our past together because they're so very much part of our story.

We tell each other e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

We make sure to tell each other just WHY we love the other.

We are best friends.

He knows what little things to do to make me feel special and fill my love tank. He knows that the way I receive love (my love language) is through quality time. So, he'll sit in the bathroom with me while I take a bath or shower, to catch up with me about my day or simply to keep me entertained for a few minutes because I don't prefer being alone. He watches shows that he would have neeeevvverrrr watched on his own simply because he knows it's important to me. He'll send me an email at work to tell me that he doesn't think I'm crazy for crying that morning on the closet floor over maternity pants, and that "he wants to be there for me" every step of the way in this pregnancy whether its pretty or not. Seriously? My heart melted too. He encourages me in my writing, in my future as a mother, and is my biggest fan.

On the other hand, I know my husband well enough to know he receives love through words of affirmation. He needs encouragement, to be able to talk about his day and know I'll listen, and be told what a great job he's doing running a department, being a husband, or will be as a soon to be daddy. I'm working on doing a better job at being affirming, because it's not just a natural characteristic in me. He knows that I support him in anything he does, that I think he's talented in so many ways, and that I'm his biggest fan, too.

Don't get me wrong, it's not ONLY the little things (but those things sure make everyday a lot better)...because our marriage is built on a firm foundation, which I believe is a key factor to our happiness and desire to see a fruitful marriage. When we said our vows to one another, we invited God to be the center of our marriage. You see, for us, we're just better with him present.

A year ago Declan and I read a book that's based on the love & respect principle. It also became a big part of our marriage, but almost sub-consciously. The gist of the book is: Every man desires in his heart to feel respected by his wife, while every woman desires to feel loved and pursued by her husband. It rings true to us.

With these bigger components as a solid foundation and the additions of the everyday small things, it has truly been the recipe for a fulfilling marriage. No marriage should suck the life out of you, nor should either person be bringing the other down. Your marriage shouldn't exhaust you. Because, we all know we have 329038 other things that exhaust us on an everyday basis, right?

Declan loves me enough to let me be me, in all my uniqueness and with all the flaws I have, and I do the same for him, recognizing that we're so different in many ways--yet together we make such a perfect pair.

We both can honestly agree that we are better because of the other.

We balance each other out, truly. Our friends and family would nod their heads in agreement.

I don't say all this to be on my soapbox about marriage. We are so very far from perfect (what is perfect anyway?) But, I do believe that what God has given us in our marriage is so special, and so important that it deserves to be nurtured and cared for. Every marriage should be that way, it's just often time we lose that focus.

If it's as simple as grabbing ice water for your husband before bed before he thinks of it on his own, or getting your pregnant wife some honey nut cheerios before plopping down to watch American Idol with her...then do it. Those little things take only a few seconds of your time, but can make a heart smile and feel loved for a long time.


Happy blustery (at least here) Friday!

37 comments:

  1. What a sweet post. VERY true too!

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  2. This is a beautiful post and tribute to your marriage! You nailed it right on the head that it's the little things each and everyday that make a marriage strong. Sure the grand gestures once in awhile are nice too, but you have to make sure you're keeping up on the daily.

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  3. Beautifully said!! And very true!!

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  4. Mentioning your love tank makes me think you've read "The 5 Love Languages" perhaps you mentioned that before. I really enjoyed that book when I read it and did try to get my boyfriend to read it as well.

    While he hasn't yet, I've tried to explain the concept of the book since he and I definitely have different ways to fill out tank.

    It's great that you have such a solid foundation and truly found "the one" for you! :)

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  5. Absolutely beautiful, Katie!!! Makes me look forward to someday sharing a life with my best friend… whoever that maybe. So much to look forward to!

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  6. what a great post! I agree that laughter is a great anecdote in marriage :)

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  7. we read that book a year ago too! it totally changed the way i thought about marriage, and thinking about it biblically in that way has totally changed our actual marriage.

    and yes, it's not the actual thing, but the thought and extra effort that count as far as feeling loved. :)

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  8. we read that book a year ago too! it totally changed the way i thought about marriage, and thinking about it biblically in that way has totally changed our actual marriage.

    and yes, it's not the actual thing, but the thought and extra effort that count as far as feeling loved. :)

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  9. this is so precious!! one thing i've found since i started blogging is that there are so many women and so many wives that i admire...and you, and your marriage, is definitely one of them!!

    and good natured teasing is def one of the best parts of being married!!

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  10. Very true and so beautiful! I hope when I get married I have a marriage like yours!

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  11. AWWW this is such a sweet sweet post. I swear our better half makes life better. So happy he makes you so happy. Sound like he is going to be one awesome dad!

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  12. ::nodding head in agreement::

    you guys do seriously balance each other out, like ridiculously so. i can't imagine you being with anyone else and i'm so glad you have declan! i'm so blessed to have him as a brother. such a great guy.

    love you sissy! thank you for your example! :)

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  13. My boyfriend's love language is "words of affirmation" as well. I struggle EVERY DAY with it. Like you said, he knows I support him in everything he does, but he still needs to hear it and that is so. hard. for. me. I'm learning though. Glad to know it doesn't come easy to you either. Any tips you have I'd appreciate! Great post.

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  14. Great great post!!!

    The love and respect principal is SO true! And I think that is where alot of marriages go wrong.

    Men DO need respect and women DO need love. But so often we think respect should be earned and love should be unconditional. If we gave our husband unconditional respect like we expect him to give us unconditional love things work out so much better! Since I've learned that, my marriage has been 100% better.

    You've got alot of wisdom girl, thanks for sharing your heart on marriage.

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  15. J and I are opposites too, and I love how we balance each other :)

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  16. Wonderfully said! I agree wholeheartedly with everything. My husband and I seem to be very similar to you guys (even though we've never met you IRL). We've been together 7 years, married 3 in October and I love him more and more every single day. Thank you for such a beautiful, inspiring post and for reminding us all to show appreciation to our loved ones.

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  17. Very lovely post dear - I hope you share it with your wonderful hubs :)

    Happy Friday
    xx

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  18. Wow that's amazing what you and your husband have. One day I hope to have that kind of marriage!

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  19. I love this post. Sounds like I need to get that book.

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  20. Hey Katie,
    I have a blog award for you over at my place! I recently discovered your blog and LOVE reading your posts :D

    Go check it out: http://jamibalmet.blogspot.com/2010/02/new-award-friday-follow.html

    -Jami

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  21. L.O.V.E.D. this post! It's so great to hear couples that have been together for so many years to still have "that feeling" (you know what I mean?) for eachother. It makes me excited for my one day marriage...whenever it may be :)

    I actually adore all of your posts, they always make me giggle. :)

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  22. Hi Katie! When my husband and I were meeting with the pastor prior to our wedding, he talked to us about the love & respect principle. Out of all the advice we'd heard from people, etc. and from him, this was the one thing that really stuck with us and I think of it almost every day.

    When I feel myself ready to complain to him or cut him down (not in this horrible way, but in a "you didn't do XYZ that I needed. blah blah blah" I try and stop myself and remember the respect thing. And I KNOW that I want the love on the other end :)

    Great post! You seem like one lucky woman :)

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  23. I really enjoyed this post. You and your husband are adorable! Love languages help so much! Hubby and I are in the middle of love dare. I am adding that book to my to read list.

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  24. I keep thinking that B and I need to read the Love Languages book. We have such different languages and we need to figure that out. It's harder after you have a baby!

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  25. This is a very sweet post. I have never heard of the love and respect principle before, is there a book about it? My hubby and I poke fun of each other, but maybe just maybe I need to do a better job at affirming as well (I am not a natural affirmer, is that a word?). Thanks for sharing a peek into your marriage. I am happy that you have your one true love.

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  26. Wow...what a heartfelt post! This was so great...thanks for sharing!

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  27. I love this post! I think I really need to work on some of these things with my boyfriend-I know in my head that no one is perfect, but I still find myself getting upset with him over things when I should just give him the opportunity to be human and make mistakes like the rest of us...it's a work in progress, but your post inspired me to be better!

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  28. Such a sweet and well-written post!
    Honestly, I thought I was ok with being single until I read this post. In a good way, this has completely changed the way I think about marriage. My parents have a wonderful marriages, but I always thought they were part of the handful exceptions... After reading this, OMG, I want to be married to someone who understands me. To someone I wouldn't mind sharing my life with and every moment of it too! I never looked at it the way you describe it--a good marriage does not make you work for it! Thanks Katie for posting this! Wonderful post!

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  29. What a lovely post!

    Our three year anniversary is in August too.

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  30. This is such a beautiful post and i absolutely agree ..its not about a perfect relationship ..its being perfect for each other ..
    God bless you two :)
    * Hugs *

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  31. I am not married yet, but I like to read married people's insight on marriage and their personal stories.
    And as I was reading a glimpse of your love story, I realized that there are marriages who have a love that lasts even after the highly rated honeymoon. I guess true friendship with your spouse it is possible after all.
    hope the rest of your marriage-love-story is the greatest of all.

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  32. Aw, I am so happy that your marriage is so well. There are way too many marriages that are failing. I have seen it first hand. (My parents.) It is absolutely the worst thing. This makes me happy. (:

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  33. I agree about falling in love more and more. That's how I feel about my boyfriend :)

    http://hopechella.blogspot.com/

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  34. So perfect. I couldn't have written it better myself because you're a great writer and it sounds a lot like Jesse & I! We do the weird childish things, talk in our own language and make fun of each other all the time. It is so much more fun that being uptight! :-)

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  35. We read the same book! It made our marriage even better! My husband is truly my biggest blessing. This post made me miss him even more:) I heart you and your marriage!

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