What We’ve Learned in Marriage – 11 Year Check In

What we’ve learned in marriage was a blog post hubby and I shared at the 7 year mark of our marriage. As we celebrate 11 years this year, we decided to comeback to share additional nuggets of lessons we’ve learned. So, shall we?

Comfortable Can Be Good

Alicia: I’m of the the opinion that sometimes there’s a pressure on married couples to be doing something great and fantastic. While I love a good adventure once in awhile; what I love more is the sense of comfort that I experience in my marriage.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate the nuances of just doing regular stuff. Prayer with coffee, debates over wine, impromptu love making sessions in the afternoon, cuddling before sleep sprinkled with laughter, and discussions of fears and dreams. There’s a level of comfort I never imagined would be mine to have in this lifetime, and I’m so grateful for it.

Jared: I love the comfort that i feel in our relationship. Its something we have cultivated for years and continue to find ways to improve on. I am able to enjoy the consistency of us while still doing my best to create the spontaneity that keeps a marriage healthy. This really helps me because it establishes a level of trust that I require as a huge introvert. The closer we grow over time, the more intimate our relationship can become because I feel safe.

Its funny to me to see what we have evolved into over time because i dont think either of us could imagine this is who we would be 15 years in the future. It’s a pleasant and welcomed surprise.

 

In Sickness and In Health Has No Time Frame

Alicia: I’ll be the first to admit that when I said those vows; I imagined a much later time in life. When I thought sickness, I imagined being elderly. I also never imagined it’d be me. Yet, shortly after we celebrated our 7 years of marriage; my health took a turn.

These last 4 years have been challenging in ways I simply was not prepared for. I am the first to admit that I would not be in a position of coping or healing in the way I’ve been able to without the support of my husband. At times I grow weary because I fully understand how my health has impacted my marriage. However, I am grateful for the opportunity to draw closer to him during such challenging times.

Jared: I believe we really define the notion of in sickness and in health. Although neither of us are the young adults we were when we met we have learned to roll with the punches. There are now limitations and boundaries where they werent before but i appreciate the way we have been able to adapt.

I really respect that my wife has not lost her fight and strength in spite of her physical limitations. Seeing her become a business owner, watching her build an empire(i know she is rolling her eyes at that statement lol) of content, and navigate health challenges is so inspiring. Her pursuit to be her best self has really encouraged me to seek the same for myself. 

Intimacy is Necessary

Alicia: This is a topic where one’s opinion might be vastly different depending on who you ask.However, I can only speak for myself. Intimacy is much more than the actual act of sex; although sex is definitely an exciting component lol. Intimacy is the closeness, the connection shared between us as husband and wife.

Intimacy can be a touch, a kiss, a long stare into each other’s eyes. It’s the connecting of our minds, body and emotion in a moment in time. It is fuel that keeps our relationship fresh and also draws us closer together. I savor the intimate moments between us; I even recall them randomly throughout the day which incites an eagerness for the next intimate moment I get to share with him.

The biggest struggle with intimacy for me has been my health. Unfortunately, before I fully understood what my body was going through; it put a damper on my ability to feel like I was worthy of intimacy. It took some time to work through that; but only with the patience and tenderness of my husband was I able to find my way back to that.

Jared: This is probably where I have the most room for growth in our marriage. I  continue to learn from my wife’s example here time after time. I think we can both agree that while I have improved over time I am definitely a work in progress. I enjoy the challenge of it though.

I enjoy solving problems and learning from my mistakes. Learning to pick up on the unspoken cues and inbetween the lines hints keeps me on my toes. I am grateful for my wife’s patience when it comes to the things that I am completely oblivious to at times. I also respect her for taking the time to tell me when I am not handling my business. Honesty in this area is so key because suffering in silence would just create resentment.

I feel I have learned to not only appreciate the needs of my wife but also understand what I require in terms of intimacy better as well.  In my younger days the desire for sex was all consuming. As I age I desire so much more than that. Talking with my wife,  having her rub my back gently until I fall asleep, or curling up to her as she rubs my head has become no less satisfying. This appreciation is in no way reflective of a lack of desire or satisfaction with her physically. In fact I think it only has enhanced my attraction to her. To see her beyond the superficial is refreshing. It makes the times we can’t be physically intimate so much less of a challenge. It also makes those moments of physical intimacy so much sweeter.

Having Children Changes Things

Alicia: When we began our relationship, I already had a child. Through the course of our relationship we had two more. With each child birth, something in me changed which inevitably changed us. These changes had ranges and weren’t necessarily a bad or good thing. They simply just changed.

The important thing was understanding that though things had changed in one way or another; it didn’t have to be detrimental to us. We’ve had to learn new ways to communicate, juggle careers and each others personal responsibility to ourselves and the children.

Jared: Our kids have been one of the biggest challenges of marriage. Having them spaced apart has really tested the ability to evolve and adapt. I love them all. They have each changed me as we have grown up together. Their evolution, forces my own but also our own as a couple. With each new personality that we introduce or each new character trait they develop we learn that we need a balance between us both to navigate parenthood successfully.

We have developed into a dynamic duo in the most literal sense to be there for our children. Sometimes that means we have less time or energy for one another. Somtimes one of us has to pick up the others slack. At the end of the day the balance we create only strengthens us both as a couple and a family. 

The Wrap Up

Alicia: I am grateful for all of the lessons we’ve learned; but the greatest lesson of all has been keeping Jehovah God front in center in our relationship. While spirituality means different things for different people; for us it includes the important fact that “a threefold cord cannot quickly be torn apart.” Keeping in prayer, and focusing on the privilege that marriage is keeps me motivated to strive towards being the best partner I can be to him.

Jared: I appreciate the work in progress that we are and always will be. I think being able to have respect for that gives us hope for a successful marriage no matter how many years we have in. We have been tried, tested and true. Whether it be life, love, health or children we know who we are, what we have and what we have to lose. We couldn’t have made it this far without Jehovah’s love and grace and I thank him for that.  

Talk to you in another five years team. Deuces!

Until Next Time,