Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Our Marriage After 8.5 Years

Gary and I have been married for 8.5 years now.  I would have to say we are currently at the toughest part of our marriage so far.  Up until this point it was not hard to be married.  Now, it's taking some more work.  Gary can be annoying and apparently I have my own issues. Ha. I know I'm opinionated and say what's on my mind :) My sisters would say I was bossy.  I know I am.  Isn't that normal for the oldest child?! :) I have a REALLY hard time not saying what's on my mind and I don't want to stop and think things through. 

Now I do have to give Gary credit.  When we were dating, he didn't pretend to be someone he wasn't.  He had the exact same annoying habits that drove me bonkers.  I've been annoyed with the same things since day 1.  Do I need to change? Maybe a bit, but he can work on it too.  

I think the main thing is that he is the safe person to take my frustrations out on.  I haven't slept properly for 1.5 years, the kids can sometimes fight all day long, who do I take it out on? Him.  I have kids hanging off of me all day long, do I really want Gary hugging me?  Not so much.  

So, now we have to put in some serious work.  You know, try to communicate better so that things don't escalate.  Make each other more of a priority.   My friend recommended this `Radical Marriage' series put on by Village Church so we are watching one per week together.  I am starting to read `The Power of a Praying Wife'.   I wish it was easier to have a good marriage but maybe we appreciate it more when we actually have to work on it.  

Some people are slightly mortified that I share private things on my blog and that I'm so open.  But you know what?  I want people to know that they are not alone.   I love hearing words of advice from others.  I love getting an email from someone saying that they are going through the same thing.  If we are too scared to be ourselves, then how do we learn from each other?  How do we really know the people in our lives?  Obviously I don't share the things that Gary and I argue about or the problems I may have with others, some things are meant to be kept private.  However, the fact that we are struggling a bit and really need to work on our marriage is not private.  

Wishing you all a lovely week.  
We went for a family jog last night (Kai biked, Nya and Koen in the jogging stroller).  It was kind of dorky but very much needed.

Love, Louise

PS Any marital advice is gladly appreciated :)  Words of advice, books, podcasts, whatever, I'm in!


  1. Gary is totally fine with me sharing on the blog or I wouldn't:) I could write way more but for now, this is appropriate! Gary reads my blog daily and I appreciate that. I love you too, you are an awesome friend.

  2. Anonymous11:17 PM

    my advice:
    writing notes to each other. and i mean writing with a pen on a paper. that way you can still say all the nice things to each other you might be too tired for at the end of the day...and we tell each other the little thigs you might forget otherwise {and start arguing about}....
    for some it might seem random or even "what? does that help???" and it really does. it changed a lot in our marriage {we had a non-sleeping-baby for 4 years and 4 years of little to no sleep is hard on a marriage!}, because we actually focused on the little things again...very refreshing!

    i hope you're having a great day!

  3. HA! I totally was going to say the same thing as Ali :)
    my advice...well, for us it's all about clear communication. Always leave and return with a kiss and an 'i love you.'
    BUT, each couple has to discover what works best for them! :)

  4. Spencer and I have been reading, Real Marriage by Mark & Grace Driscoll this summer... We're still not done yet but that's what happens when September comes around! Marriage is great in the summer months when there isn't much going on and life slows down but once youth kicks off again it's hard to find the health to keep things working like they were so easily in the summer. I saw on Mars Hill Church's website that there's online sermons based on the book so if you'd rather listen than read that might be a better option!
    Thank you for being as open and honest as you can be about life. It definitely made me realize that because I too have kids hanging off of me during the day that that's possibly a reason why I'm not a touchy-feely kind of person and the kids just emphasize that for me.
    Thank you for your blog :)

  5. That's my church! Enjoy!! Thanks for your honesty :)

  6. I love your honesty... I wish there was more openness between people about the tougher times. Imagine how much more normal everyone would feel. This is going to probably sound weird, but Dr. Phil once said that his marriage was so great because everynight him and his wife shared things they appreciated about each other. Steve and I started this (he sometimes needs some coaxing) and we just say one thing we appreciate about the other (try to make it as specific as possible). Often it surprises me what he says. Something small, but an easy way to connect at the end of the day.

  7. Terri! I like that one. Gary and I did that once...he told me he appreciated my organizational skills! I loved it because it made me feel less crazy because sometimes I feel a bit toooooo organized. Will have to remember to do it more.

  8. Love it. It baffles me how much we are alike sometimes Louise. And I'm so glad you are enjoying that series. We are too!

    PS - wanna come over for coffee sometime soon!?

  9. Anonymous9:45 PM

    Don't have any marital advice for you but I have to say how absolutely gorgeous you look in these pics:)

  10. Leslie-I am a note writer so I should do it more!
    Kelsey-I should check out the online sermons, I like to listen while editing!
    Carolyn-yes!! Let's figure out a time.
    Kelly-we tried the kiss and `I love you' thing and it lasted like 2 weeks of our marriage. WE're terrible at it. It probably wouldn't hurt to do it more!
    Anonymous-thank you! They were from 2011 I think...just before we got pregnant with Nya :)

  11. The oldest child is absolutely allowed to be bossy and share their opinion all the time - isn't that part of the job description?! ;)

    Also just read the comment where you said that Gary reads your blog daily and I LOVE that. I have mentioned my blog to Edwin but he hasn't shown much interest in it...which I am definitely okay with for now!! Sometimes it freaks me out that he will judge things, even though I know that's not likely true...

    Sadly I have no marital advice to give...one day ;)

    Enjoy reading your honesty!!!

  12. Lou, not quite sure what to say, but thanks for sharing, and echo others' thoughts where we appreciate that your blog isn't only a highlights roll (although seriously, are your kids all so darn cute always?!).

    On the marriage front, I don't know. Sometimes I think just acknowledging that its tough, not YOU, but IT (life, sleeplessness, modifying jobs, having your wings clipped with kids can be frustrating, even though you have no energy to fly, and love them etc. etc.). So just kind of acknowledging the uphill part that it outside the scope of YOU and GARY personally.

    Hugs t