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On The 12th Year Of Marriage… We’ve Learned A Few Things

We celebrated 12 years of marriage yesterday and jotted down a few things we’ve learned along the way. We hope they are beneficial to you, and maybe you’ll even learn from some of our mistakes.

1999/2000

We learned quickly that what we loved most about each other was also what irritated us most about each other.

And that fights over laundry result in learning how to patch sheet rock!

2001

We learned that marriage wasn’t what we thought it was going to be — I thought it was going to be tougher — Chris thought it was going to be easier.

We also learned in having our first child that, unlike baby dolls, real babies will roll off the bed if left unattended.

2002

In marriage, we can’t fill each others voids; only God can do that.

2003

Our eyes were opened to the truth of who we are as sinners and children of God — in the hands of a God who is full of grace and mercy.

We also learned in having our second child that it is never a good idea to keep Desitin in the same drawer as toothpaste.

2004

We learned that we didn’t know each other near as well as we thought we did.

2005

We learned communication is not just trading information but sharing the depths of your heart including insecurities, past hurts, struggles and facades.

Used to, when Chris put Ranch Dressing on my salad,I would say, “I don’t want Ranch on my salad,” but, he would hear, “You’re an IDIOT!” Now, when I say, “I don’t want Ranch on my salad,” he hears, “I don’t want Ranch on my salad.” See how that works?

2006

God knows our needs. In the midst of losing a job with a contract on a house, having a new baby and losing a church due to a split, we learned much of God’s faithfulness and provision and timeliness.

We also learned that it might be possible for Suzanne to love a man more than Chris when Cooper was born (ok, maybe not more, just different).

2007

Looking back over the first several years of marriage, we realized we had been trying to ignore intimacy by buying homes, cars, dogs, having children, etc. We learned our identity is in Christ, changing our outlook on one another and our possessions.

We bought 3 houses, 3 cars, 3 dogs and had 3 kids before we were able to see what we were doing. We’re not sorry about the kids, by the way.

2008

Trust isn’t fully developed the day you get married; it develops more and more over time as you witness your partner growing in godliness.

Something we’ve learned is that maybe we didn’t love some things as much as we said we did (baseball? shopping?). Maybe we just said those things to persuade a marriage commitment. Oh, surely not!

2009

God is faithful to bring to fruition what he places in our hearts collaboratively in marriage. i.e. ministry.

2010

Marriage and family are more important than money, and sometimes we have to take risks for priorities.

2011

God’s grace is all-encompassing, and nothing can snatch us from his hand.

In so many ways, we have learned that God calls the broken to heal the broken, and nothing in our lives is wasted. He will use the good and bad of our marriage for something better – Himself.

These are just some of our highlights.

What are some things you have you learned?

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Becky #

    Thank you for your honesty & humor 🙂 There is a lot of wisdom here.

    December 13, 2011
    • Thanks, Becky. I wish we had started writing things earlier that we were learning. Maybe that’s more advice for newlyweds?

      December 13, 2011
  2. So thankful for your wisdom and transparency. Love and miss you guys!

    December 18, 2011
    • Thanks, Kyndi. Love and miss you guys, too! Your blog is so much fun. The pictures are great, and I love seeing all that you have going on!

      December 18, 2011
  3. Just reading back through some of you blog today and I wondered if you could elaborate on years 2004 and 2005? Going from realizing that you don’t know each other as well as you thought you did to communication is not just trading information but sharing the depths of your heart. How did you get from point A to point B? With the crazy season of my life right now, I can’t seem to get it that I will see those points merge as well. I’m anxious for that day.

    February 26, 2012
    • Very good question, Kristi. Thanks for asking. One of the things we have learned is that communication is not just sharing facts about ourselves or the events in our lives but the depths of ourselves — our insecurities, facades, feelings, emotions, sins, etc. We have to be willing to be vulnerable enough to share what makes us tick by letting people get underneath our issues, like why we can say one thing but they hear another. We spent a lot of time after the affair talking a lot every day and asking probing questions. And, we spent the next year or two doing that. Does this help? Please feel free to ask anything else.

      February 26, 2012
  4. Yes, it does help. We have been trying hard to find a better way to communicate (one where I feel I can ask the questions I’d like to know and where he doesn’t feel nagged and attacked). We came up with something by suggestion of others that we literally schedule a time to talk, then we let each other know the questions or things we’d like to discuss ahead of time. Then we both have time to really think through our responses and have much deeper discussions. Well, discussion…this process has only happened once since we decided to give this method a try. But that discussion seemed much more meaningful than the previous ones.

    February 28, 2012
    • Kristi, That sounds like a good place to start. Chris and I have done similar “homework” before. I hope and will pray you continue to make progress with it.

      February 28, 2012

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