Tuesday, April 16, 2013

the reality of a 'happy' marriage.

this is for anyone who has the potential to be married one day, or who is already married.
it's also for me because it is something i have been thinking about a lot lately. 
and whether or not it will benefit any of you, i need to address this topic for my own sanity :)

i think we have all frequently heard something along the lines of:
 "marriage is so happy! it's just the best"
especially if you live in utah, the land of self proclaimed "happy" newlyweds.
this is also quite a relevant proclamation in blog-land, as I'm sure some of you have noticed.
well let me tell you something.

happiness cannot be a constant. 
not even in marriage.

when you are engaged, the things you hear most from your fellow newlywed married friends are:
"you will just love it!" and "it's so much better!"
yes that is true. but the sugar coating is lathered on thick in those types of comments.

marriage can be bliss.{and oh when it is you want to shout from the rooftops (and you usually do!)}
but bliss cannot come without selflessness and hard work. 
the latter part is what people fail to shout from the rooftops.

there will be times of utter frustration. times when you feel like you have completely failed. times when you wonder why it can't be perfect for you like it supposedly is for so many other people.  
but then you say I'm sorry. you say i forgive you. you say i love you. and you mean it with everything you have
when you do that, those hard times fade into the distance and are replaced with the most exultant and wonderful feelings of happiness and love. this incredible feeling fills you up like you never knew it could. 
because you stuck together, you worked together, and you made it through.
you saw each other's weaknesses, and you kept on loving fiercely.
it really is such a beautiful thing.
those filled-to-the-brim-with-love moments are what enable you to say you have a happy marriage. 
because most of the time, you really are happy. and its a special kind of happy, one that overwhelms your whole soul in really a good way.
and you know that those good times are so worth the hard and frustrating times that will inevitably come in between.

you can't expect your marriage to be perfectly happy.
but you sure can expect to be happier than you've ever been...
as long as you are willing to put your heart and soul into it.

so that being said, here are some things i've learned in my relatively short time being married.
{yes, i realize I'm probably a novice still.} 

we are so different.

he drives faster than i'd prefer. i drow slower than he'd prefer.
he wants to buy a gun, id rather invest in some nice things for our baby...or a piano.
he wants to go to the dollar movie, i'd rather sit together and talk for hours. 
we are different. we have different opinions. and sometimes they clash.
but that doesn't mean we are failures at marriage, or that there is something wrong with either of us.
it means we have opportunities to stretch, sacrifice, cooperate, and figure it out. together.
eventually it will make you stronger as a couple.

dont compare
often you only see the highlight reel of other people's marriages. of course all wives are gonna instagram a picture of the flowers her husband got her (ya know, the ones your husband didn't get you?). but i can bet my bottom dollar she aint gonna instagram her mascara stained pillow case that followed a particularly frustrating night with her husband. nobody wants to share that. but just because it isn't shared doesn't mean it doesn't happen. there is a big difference between the highlight reel and the behind-the-scenes. 
recognize the strengths in your husband. recognize that he does things better than anyone else does. do NOT focus on what he lacks, or what he forgot to do, or what he didn't notice. only look for the good.

love languages are different.
find out what your spouse's love language is, and pamper them with that kind of love.
also realize they may not know what yours is. TELL THEM. tell them what makes you feel most loved because there is a good chance they will put forth a greater effort in that area. don't expect them to just know.

don't be offended
98% of the time, your spouse is not going to just deliberately say or do something with the sole purpose of hurting your feelings. so next time you are tempted to let your heart shatter into a million pieces, think about your love's intentions and realize they probably did not mean it the way you are taking it. 

say it!
you can never say 'i love you' or 'i appreciate you' too many times! you also can never hug each other enough! its therapeutic in a marriage.

to describe my marriage in the most transparent way possible, i would say this:
our marriage is not perfect. but most of the time we are so happy, and gosh darn it we love each other. despite my many weaknesses, jeff loves me more than anyone else in the world. (which really seems too good to be true) and i love him more than anyone else in the world. that love increases daily, and it really is the best feeling in the world. but we have had to work for that love. and we recognize we will probably have to work for it everyday for the rest of our lives. however, we are both eager and willing to do so, because we know it's worth it.


  1. I love this so much. No one told us how hard marriage would be. Instead, everything was sugar coated and honestly, J and I really really struggled our first year. Over the last 3 and a half years we have learned that they key to a great marriage (for us anyway) is good communication and performing small acts of service for one another. Marriage is hard, but oh, it is so rewarding and so wonderful to have your best friend be by your side through this crazy thing called life.

    1. I KNOW! i wish more people would've told me that its ok to not have a perfect marriage before i got married or when i was newly married. I'm glad you can relate too. and yeah i think those things you and your husband do are super important....serving and communicating are crucial.

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  2. I love this. I love your honesty. And I think it's absolutely crazy some people talk of their marriage being perfect. It is work. I LOVE the advice you gave. You're amazing!

    1. thanks amanda..you are really good at addressing these sorts of things on your blog too. I'm glad you agree!

  3. Beautiful post Kerri! You and Jeff are lucky to have each other. You're absolutely right, it is hard. It is supposed to be hard. It is stretching us and giving us the chance to develop the God-like attributes we need to have in order to be exalted together for eternity. But you're right that (especially in Utah) it is not talked about. People assume that something's wrong with you or your spouse if you have difficulty, and then they're wondering what went wrong when they do run into trouble after getting married. But everybody deals with it. Everybody. Thanks for your insights--I love your pictures too :). You guys are so awesome and I wish we lived closer! Hope you're feeling well!

    1. thanks lindsay! i agree with everything you said..and i really with you lived closer too!

  4. Well said. Yes it is bliss and marriage is beautiful because you work through things. But it can be disheartening and hard at times. It is hard, hard work to keep your marriage thriving but the tips you gave are spot on. Sometimes it's harder to keep things real but in a world that tends to lower the importance of marriage and the true value of it, it is great to find those who are willing to fight for everything marriage stands for. Thank you for your words!!

  5. Gosh, I truly appreciate this post. I'm not even married yet, but I do hope to marry my sweet soldier someday soon. We've been doing the long-distance thing most of our relationship (he's stationed in Arizona, while I live and work in New Hampshire for the time being), and we've definitely struggled. We have different love languages. I need quality time. He needs words of affirmation and physical touch (within reason - we, too, are LDS).

    We're navigating things slowly but surely, and this was such an honest breath of fresh air, so thank you. You should know that I just read your entire blog in one sitting. I hope that doesn't sound too creepy :)

    1. my husband and i had to do long distance too, it was hard- but it brought us closer in the end. it's good to have practice trials before you are even married because then it won't be as big of a slap in the face when the trials come in marriage. also- your love language and your man's love language are the same as my husband and i. exactly! haha. thanks for reading my blog, I'm flattered- and good luck with the long distance! :) this too shall pass!

  6. Thanks for the post - it came from your heart, and I appreciate it. I think you said some things that I really needed to hear today, and you said them very eloquently. :-)

  7. I didn't go into my marriage thinking it would be easy (married at 18 never is), but it was definitely more difficult than I imagined. This was a really well written post! Good reminders to keep at it.

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  9. This is such a beautiful post and it's refreshing. You only ever hear about other couples good times. You sometimes forget other people go through the same things you do. My husband and I have been married about a year and a half and that year and a half has been filled with almost an equal amount of tears as laughs, but you have to have the bad to really appreciate the good.

    Jillian - http://epic-thread.blogspot.com

  10. You're a wise girl for someone only married six months.

  11. I really love this post. It is so, so perfect. Thank you!



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