Whether you’re married or dating, no relationship is perfect. I want to start this post by saying that because I know social media can make my marriage or somebody else’s look like it’s always rainbows and butterflies, but it’s not. Marriage (or whatever stage of a relationship you’re in) is amazing, tough, fulfilling, lots of hard work and a mix of every emotion you can think of. Dan and I dated for 5 years before we got engaged, we went through a lot of hardship during that time but came out stronger and loved each other even more. We’ve now been married for a little over a year. I know, I know, we haven’t been married that long to give a lot of advice, so we’re not going to act like we know it all because trust me we don’t. But we’ve been through a lot in the past six years and we’ve learned a lot about each other, relationships in general and not giving up. So just remember these are things that have worked for us! We don’t have this down perfectly but we love answering your questions, so here we go!
Oh and ps- all these questions we’re asked by my Instagram gals and guys!
How long before you two moved in together?
We actually didn’t move in together until we got married! I know, I know this isn’t the norm for this day and age, but it just kind of worked out that way and ended up being great!
How do you deal with communication?
Kristi here, I used to absolutely despise conflict, which led to me never communicating. I’d avoid fights at all cost. Great, I know. It took me years to work on this problem. Lots of tears, lots of anxiety and lots of growth were involved in me being able to communicate on a more healthy level. I thought a fight or disagreement would end in either Dan leaving (I’m super dramatic) or me bawling (still super dramatic) or who the heck knows. Come to find out, Dan never left because of a fight. Dan helped me learn a healthy way of communicating and it has been a life saver in our marriage. When something is bothering me, I say it. It may not go well initially, but it always brings us closer together after we work it out. Dudes are not mind readers even though I used to think they were lol, so us gals have to tell them what bothers us, what makes us happy, what we want out of our life and what expectations we have for them that we’re not saying. Communication is key for any healthy relationship! And I’m not kidding. It’s a tough thing to master, but it’s so worth it.
Dan here, communication is for communist wimps. Be a man, bottle up all of your emotions and never tell anyone anything, talking shows weakness. Instead I suggest a midlife crisis at 45, buy a Corvette and ditch that wife and kids. Who needs that crap anyways? Kristi here again, lol.
How do you work out conflict?
See the communication answer, communication is key, baby! Also, remembering you’re on the same team and not against each other!
How to make a relationship work when your S/O is going through a life change/is changing?
Change is tough and we all change as we grow up, experience life and get older. Now there’s a big difference between a life change, and the heart of that person changing.
If your S/O is going through a life change, and not responding to you or your relationship like they used to it’s really easy to be selfish and want to fix your S/O or fix their problem for them (Kristi and I have tried to fix people and it just doesn’t work). If you’re doing this because you aren’t feeling loved or getting enough attention, you are in the wrong. Everyone at some point has to suffer through issues and changes in their life, and some of them may be super stressful and hard to comprehend (job loss, loss of a loved one, family drama, addiction etc.). Although it may seem like they need your help or they’re not paying enough attention to your relationship, you need to be patient with them and support them as best you can while giving them the space that they need to figure their crap out (I know, I know, this is super tough). Rest assured, one day it will be you who needs some space or some time to figure out something that you’re going through, and you’ll want the same respect and support when it’s your turn. Not saying that it’s going to be easy to find that proper balance, but communicate your side and let them communicate theirs, and it’ll make it easier to get through. Kristi and I have had to learn this many times over and it’s tough, definitely not trying to make it seem easy and straightforward. But this is what has worked for us and it’s all about communication and being super honest and vulnerable.
Now if it’s a heart change, that’s a tough one. Everyone’s story is different and everyone’s vices are different. If your S/O is going through a heart change, first, pray your little heart out for them. Second, communicate how you feel about their change of heart. I don’t want to give any specific advice about this exact topic because it can mean so many different things. Each situation and relationship is so unique. Only you and God know the right thing to do about someone’s heart changing, so listen for Him to guide you.
Tips for staying in the word together
We don’t necessarily sit down and read our bibles together (even though we should) but we try to read the same Christian self help books together and talk about what we read. Or we’ll read a daily devotional. When we were in the van I always read Jesus Calling out loud.
How do you stay positive as a couple?
Dan and I try to be positive most of the time, but hey were human and can be totally negative. Knowing that God has a plan for us and our relationship is huge! We also try to better ourselves every day, whether that’s reading a book, going for a walk in nature, talking about life with each other (we do this aaaalllllllll the time) or just hugging it out if we’re in a funky mood. The hugging especially helps me (Kristi) lol. Life will throw curveballs all the time, but Dan and I are on the same team and no matter what hardship comes up, we know we can get through it.
Dan here, a smack on the tush goes a long way. And I don’t mean her tush, I mean mine. Give me a good smackaroonie and I feel like I can move mountains.
How do you work together to keep Christ at the center of our relationship?
We know God put us together for a reason and we know we’ll only find His calling for our lives if we stay focused on Him. Is this easy? Umm not really. Sometimes I don’t know what the heck He has planned for us, but I do know it’s going to be great! It’s so easy to get caught up in the world or a specific problem that’s happening in that exact moment, we do it all the time. But then we’ll sit down, refocus on what we want and what’s truly important and we’ll go from there. Sometimes we have to refocus our thoughts back to God every day. It’s tough sometimes, but it’s always worth it.
Is Dan my long lost dad?
Yes Ryan, he is. Dan is so proud of you 😉
I hope you enjoyed this post, this was different than my other posts. I couldn’t answer every question but I tried to answer most! Dan and I aren’t marriage professionals so these are totally things that have worked for us. Every relationship is different and you may have found something different that has worked for you and that’s great!
Oh and thank you babe for writing this with me!!
Love you guys! Thank you for reading!!