Six Important Lessons for a Rock-Solid Relationship

Six Important Lessons for a Rock-Solid Relationship

It’s official: wedding season is in full swing! Last weekend, I spent Saturday at a bridal shower and Sunday at a wedding. Weddings are very emotional for me because I can’t help but think back to David’s and my wedding and reflect on our relationship. I cry at every wedding I attend. I can’t help it!

David and I got married in the fall of 2015, so we are still technically newlyweds. Did you know that couples are considered newlyweds for up to FOUR YEARS after they’re married? That seems a little long to me, but then again David and I have been together since 2009. We recently celebrated our 8-year dating anniversary back in April!

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Our relationship has changed a lot over the years. We met the summer after I graduated high school but didn’t start dating until two years later. We went through a lot of “firsts” together. Today, our relationship is stronger than ever. I love wedding season because it gives me a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come.

Speaking of David, he is writing with me today!

This is us! Photo cred to Kendra Dolson at Little Blue Bird Photography.

David: Hello!

Amanda: I wish you all could see the silliness that is already happening over here in our living room! Maybe we should have done this in a video format.

David: No thanks. It’s a little soon for a video of me.

Amanda: David and I have gotten a lot of comments over the years about how we are a “model couple,” but it hasn’t always been that way. Our relationship has taken a lot (I mean A LOT) of hard work to get us to the point we are at. Today David and I are going to talk about the six most important lessons we have learned to have a rock-solid relationship.

1. Communicate

Amanda: A relationship lessons list would be incomplete without prioritizing communication. Communicating did not always come easy for us. It was simple for me to assume that David should know how I felt at all times. David used to try to handle things on his own without needing to communicate with me. Then we’d find ourselves at an impasse. It took many conversations through the years to learn how to communicate effectively. I needed more validation. David needed help in learning how to express his thoughts and feelings effectively. When you’re willing to set aside your pride and use communication issues as a learning experience, you will argue less frequently and grow closer.Why waste time hoping your partner will figure it out on his or her own?

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2. Support Each Other

David: Both of us have needed support from one another over the course of our relationship. Often times, thankfully, I have needed Amanda most when she was the most stable and vice versa, but sometimes we have both been struggling together. During all of these trials, I’ve found the best thing to do for each other is to constantly give and support whenever possible. Surely no one is perfect, and I know I’ve missed a beat (or two) over the course of our relationship where I could have supported Amanda more. But it’s a fact that every day, I make a point to be there for her as much as I can.

3. Grow Together, Not Apart

Amanda: After eight years together, it’s expected that we’re going to grow and change. To expect anything otherwise would be unrealistic! For example, when I went to pursue my Master’s degree nine hours from home, David chose to move with me from Michigan to New York. He uprooted his life to grow with me rather than to allow us to grow apart. There will be many times in the course of a relationship where opportunities for growth present themselves. In this case, attitude is everything. As we both grow individually, we choose to grow as a couple. We continue to learn about each other and find new shared interests!

4. Compromise

David: Amanda and I sometimes have very different opinions on matters which gives us an opportunity to make compromises. Learning to compromise is a very essential part of a healthy relationship and we make compromises nearly every day. Whether it be deciding what we do over the weekend, or how we choose to spend money, there are always circumstances that call for a little give or take. Amanda and I have found a balance after much trial and error in learning where we can give a little because we know it will make each others day easier, or even just a little more jolly.

5. Make Decisions Together

Amanda: Speaking of compromising, making decisions together is an essential part of a strong relationship. When we got married, David was very involved in all the decision-making, even though as a bride I sometimes wanted to run the show! We run smaller decisions by each other too. Saying “would you mind if I went out with so-and-so after work?” is not uncommon in our household. This isn’t a matter or permission as much as it’s about respecting one another. Choosing to involve your partner in making decisions is courteous at a minimum, and life-altering at the most. Therefore, it is both thoughtful and wise to make decisions together.

6. Prioritize “Us” Time

David: In my daily hustle and bustle, I can get caught up in work, making plans with family and friends, and trying to keep a tidy home. But there’s one thing Amanda and I always are sure to do: make “us” time. Since we started living together, we have grown to set aside evenings or full days on the weekend to just do us. It’s something I look forward to, especially if it has been a few days since we have simply enjoyed each other’s company. Really though, how do you expect to really know your partner if you don’t talk, play, and laugh with them?! Date nights, video game evenings, and weekend kayaking adventures are what keep us connected. Our relationship would be nothing without all the good times!

What important lessons have you learned in your relationship? Where do you struggle? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

Six Important Lessons for a Rock-Solid Relationship

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  • Jen Enoch

    I’d love to see a video of this interview, I think it would be fun! I love what you say about growing together not apart. I think this can happen easily as time goes by and especially when you have kids. When you get free time you are likely to spend it doing things that you want to catch up on, but it’s so important to catch up with each other. Compromises is always a good idea in marriage, and it doesn’t go in just one way, Ha! We have to be willing to give in sometimes. Thanks for this sharing what you’ve learned.

    • Having kids is something that I worry about. I think that’s part of the reason we are so focused on building a solid foundation!

  • Jordyn Upchurch

    These are all awesome tips for a great marriage! I got married to my sweet husband in the summer of 2015 and it’s crazy to me that people still consider us newlyweds, but they do! Communication is something we struggle with, but we work on it every single day. We’re both very strong-willed and hard-headed so that and compromise take some practice, but hopefully we have forever to work on it 😉

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

    • Oh yes communication can be very tricky. It’s good that you’re working on it! That’s fun that we got married so close together!

  • Alissa Carpenter

    Loved this post!!! My hubby and I have been together for 17 years and it’s so important that we still have “us” time!

  • I love this so much! These are definitely all key to an awesome relationship! My boyfriend and I have a wonderful relationship and we practice all of these. Also, the picture of you guys at the top is adorable!

  • How fun. You both have a great outlook on reality. My hub and I will be celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary this year. We have been together for 30 years.

  • Love that you guys wrote this together! I love the section on growing together and not apart. We are always changing as humans, so we have to find a way to grow and change together.

    • For sure! I think a lot of people expect (or hope) that their spouse will be the same 10, 20, 30 years from now and that’s just not the case.

  • All such important things! I was wondering how long people were considered newlyweds. We no longer qualify as we’re approaching our 6th year of marriage in September haha.

  • Tracey Crockett

    I so love these tips. They are all equally important. I’d also add worship together. You all are an inspiration!

  • This is so relevant to me right now as I will be getting married next month! My fiancé and I have worked really hard to get to where we are and we are so proud of that but we know that we will always need to work on it. For us it is about doing life together and putting God first.

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  • Talisa – That New Girl

    Totally agree that compromising and communicating are key to a strong and healthy relationship. Sometimes communicating is such a challenge for some men though…but so important.

  • Kelly

    Communication and compromise are the two most important ingredients in my marriage. Love this you highlighted them here. You and your hubby seem so fun! I would love to see a video post in the future 🙂

  • Robin

    It really is such an important lesson to realize that if you want something from your partner, it’s your responsibility to communicate that–not theirs to figure it out (especially when you’re still getting to know each other). Thank you for this awesome post!

    • For sure! It seriously makes things so much easier when you’re able to set aside your pride and just say what you mean. You’re welcome lady! Thanks for your thoughtful post!

  • Emily Morrow

    Aaaaaw, I loved reading this! Such an awesome idea incorporating your husband’s perspective. This definitely reminded me of some things I needed to hear in regards to my own relationship. Thanks!

    • You’re welcome! And yeah, I thought it would be fun to have him help me write this one because I’ve found that guys’ voices aren’t heard as much in the blogging world. 🙂

  • Amber Brooks

    First off, it’s like I can feel the love of you two have for one another simply by reading. All of the things that you have mentioned are true and important to making it work. It’s, also, important for both parties to be conscious of all of these things. Amazing! Thanks guys!

  • You’re welcome! Glad you found it helpful!

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