Photo by: Bri Cibene Photography
Hi! I’m so excited you’re here and so thrilled to finally put out my first post. This blog has been a long time coming, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my amazing husband, Kendrick.
In the United States, researchers estimate that 50 percent of all first marriages will end in permanent separation or divorce. After witnessing some of the people closest to us go through really tough marriage/relationship struggles this past year, I felt convicted to write about what Kendrick and I are doing to keep our marriage strong.
Media outlets and television shows often portray marriages as a stressful thing and as a joke; an apathetic husband and overbearing wife; but it can be the best thing in the world. We’re always bombarded with negativity in the media, and it’s easy to settle into a relationship that is mediocre because we feel pressured to meet social norms.
Kendrick and I have been married for under 2 years, so I’m certainly not an expert nor do I have years of wisdom behind me. But, I’ve compiled 10 things that Kendrick and I have done/continue to do to keep our marriage healthy. Maybe you already implement some of these things too…or do something different! I’d love to hear what you do in the comments section below 🙂
- Learn your spouse’s Love Language. I read a great book, “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” by Gary Chapman shortly after we got married. At first I thought it was silly, but as I read, I realized that it is true that all of us receive and feel love in different ways. I feel love by physical touch, whereas Kendrick feels love through acts of service (for example, me cooking him food). I highly encourage you to read this book, it may either verify what you know about your spouse, or enlighten you with something new.
- Refrain from airing dirty laundry. This is a biggie… If I have an issue with Kendrick, I talk to him directly. I don’t find it healthy to exploit his faults to my family and friends.
- Admire each other. Yup, you read that right. Kendrick and I spend at least 1 minute just looking at each other before bed. If you think about it, we probably spend more time a day looking at our phones than our spouse…so go ahead, and bat those eyes tonight 😉
- Learn when your spouse is having an off day. I’m pretty good at reading Kendrick, and know when he’s having an off-day. I don’t pry or interrogate. We often like to amplify our happiness on social media, and people forget that we’re human- we have sad days and bad days- it’s okay to have those emotions and OK to let your spouse work through them.
- Be honest about your spouse’s weaknesses…there’s a second part here- and offer suggestions to how they can combat bad habits. Kendrick is always honest with me, even if he knows it will hurt me. Your spouse should be your number one fan, and in being that, they want to see you succeed and be the best person you can be. If they are pointing something out with good intentions, don’t get defensive or shut down. They have your best interests at heart.
- Schedule a weekly date night.
- Read a book together. One of the best decisions we made last year was getting rid of cable (TV is poison to the brain anyway). We started reading more, which translated to learning more, which translated to sharing more together.
- Budget together. Before we got married, we did what many couples do; which is to create a spreadsheet, and add up all the outstanding debts (like student loans). It’s never fun, but after we saw all the numbers, we both had a wake-up call and realized that in order to tackle our debt, we had to get on the same page.
- Exercise together. I want to live as many healthy days as God gives me with Kendrick by my side…exercise and eating healthy are two ways to ensure that happens 🙂
- Give back together. After hearing a sermon by John Ortberg at our church on the power of giving, we drastically changed our perspective. How often did we give more than what we felt comfortable? It was after that realization that we decided to actively give and trust that we would see that generous spirit come back to us.
For those who have been following Kendrick Fitness for a while, you may recognize the term, “K-Tips”. I’m not sure when exactly these “K-Tips” began, but basically they are fitness and nutrition tips that Kendrick posts online.
For his brother’s wedding, (the one where we met) Kendrick incorporated in his speech, “The K-Tips of a Happy Marriage“.
Here they are below…
K-Tip: Let love be your remedy. The world can be an unforgiving and stressful place often times…so make your home and the time you both spend together a haven, a peaceful place where you can listen to your hearts and savor the comfortable closeness you share.
I’d like to challenge you, to try 3 of these healthy tips for the month of February.
I love this quote from the movie, The Wedding Date with Debra Messing.
“Every woman has the exact love life she wants.”
So…let’s make our love life the best yet!