Last Monday Bryton and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. While I was in the car today I started thinking about all the things I’ve learnt from Bryton since we’ve been married. You know all those times you hear couples say about each other “you make me want to be a better person… blah blah blah”? I never took that seriously haha. But actually, there are so many things I’ve learnt from marriage that have made me a better person and I want to share a few of those with you.
1. SHOW UP
When I was in YSA I was getting to the stage where I was so sick of going to things ie. dances, firesides, activities. Bryton told me in his last interview with his mission president before he returned home, the one piece of advice he gave Bryton was “always show up”. And Bryton listened to that. When we were dating and I didn’t feel like going to a dance or a regional conference or a fireside he’d say “we should show up”. So we would and I’d always have a great time. Even now when we have events to attend and I don’t feel like going and try coming up with excuses, he always says that I should go. So I always do and every single time I feel so much better for it! I feel like I’ve always been a committed person, if I say I’m gonna be somewhere I always try my best to follow through. But I’m becoming more aware of how important it is to actually do that, to show up. It’s so important not only to “show up” to an event, but to “show up” in your marriage. I’ve learnt to make more of an effort to be interested in Bryton’s interests, to be “in the moment” when I’m with him and not just sit next to him and be on my phone.
2. PRIORITISE HAPPINESS
I remember at the beginning of our marriage when Bryton would always tell me that my happiness is important to him. So he would always do things that make me happy because that was important to him. It was more important than anything (that and the gospel 😉 ). If I was upset HE was upset. And there were many times where he’d upset me and it was almost like he was in tears because he’d affected my happiness. That made me feel like I mattered to him, that I was a significant part of his happiness. I also realised that I wasn’t reciprocating the same to him. Because he was doing things to make me happy I too was so focused on my own happiness. How selfish.
I know that his languages of love are touch and acts of service. So I would find opportunities to do something nice for him or I’d make more of an effort to hold his hand or briefly (because I have weak fingers) give him a massage. When I saw how happy these things made him it changed the dynamic of our marriage.
Haha. Sooooo you could say my patience wore thin this past year. Honestly, I would say our third year has been our most challenging so far. The hormone imbalance, the changes in my body from having a baby, the lack of sleep, cabin fever, and lack of social interaction (for a serial extrovert) resulted in some sour words to come out of my mouth in an unkind tone. There were so many times where Bryton told me “you don’t need to speak to me like that” and I’d burst into tears because I felt so bad. I think I really really started speaking my mind and didn’t hold back when I was frustrated and everything came out in a bad way because I was too tired to beat around the bush and find nicer ways to say things.
But Bryton has taught me that I can speak my mind in a kinder way. Not everything has to be dealt with aggressively. In fact, it’s more effective when you tell someone they’re wrong in a nice way 😉 hahaha.
Before we had Aston we were going on dates all the time. We made every Wednesday night date night because by Friday we were always too tired and date night would turn into lame movie night. After we had Aston our weekly dates went to two monthly dates or whenever we could fit it in. Dates take a LOT of planning usually. We need to get a babysitter for our proposed date night and then figure out what we’re actually doing. That’s always a challenge. But now a lot of the time we will go out for dinner as a family or when Aston goes to bed we’ll watch a movie and have ice cream – the things we used to do all the time pre-baby but now it’s a luxury haha and we only have ONE kid!
It’s so important for us to have time just for us to remind each other that our marriage is number one.
5. JUST CHILL
The house doesn’t always need to be clean, the laundry doesn’t always need to be done. You can leave those plates for one night or just vaccuum tomorrow. Bryton has definitely taught me that sometimes there are more important things than cleaning or doing a bit of work or being on your phone. Just take a chill pill. Relax. Read Aston a book. Watch her play. Sometimes it’s okay to just doing nothing because that “nothing” time doesn’t come around often. When I’m stressed or angry or frustrated at Bryton for not wiping the bench or something silly like that he always says in a really chilled voice “okay. It’s fine. I’ll do it.” Like, why do I need to get angry about these things? What a waste of time and energy.
I’m so grateful for a loving husband who makes me want to be a better person. He teaches me things everyday. Tonight I came home and had a part of my anniversary gift waiting for me. The inside of the card said
“No matter how long we’re together,
I’ll always find new reasons to love you.”
And that’s EXACTLY how I feel about him.
Happy anniversary, my love!