Lisa from Lisa loves John: Marriage guest series!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I am honored to have Lisa from Lisa loves John guest posting today about her marriage! Lisa's blog was one of the first that I started following and I adore her cute personality, living vicariously through all her traveling adventures, her DIY's, and all her yummy recipes. I wish she didn't live across the country so we could be real-life friends! I am positive we would be instant friends due to our love for our pups, the outdoors, and food! I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did!

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Hi there! I’m Lisa, and I blog over at Lisa loves John where I share about my life redeemed by Grace, adventures with my hubby, favorite recipes, and simple DIYs
Stop by and say hello, I’d love to get to know you!! 
 John and I will be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary in about 3 months (which is crazy to think about considering I feel like our wedding was just yesterday)!  It’s fun to look back at our first year of marriage and see all of the ways that we have grown as a couple.  John and I are both highly motivated people, and with that can come the occasional fireworks when we don’t see eye-to-eye, but we have worked on slowing down, thinking things through, and responding in love. 
Here are 5 tips that have helped us grow closer as a couple.



1.  Intentions before feelings

It is important to communicate to your spouse about things that are bothering you, but if you’re anything like me, this can come out in a terrible amount of un-thought-through word vomit (someone please tell me that I’m not alone?). 

Instead of immediately blurting out what is bothering you, perhaps begin your conversation by detailing your intentions (before detailing your feelings).  For example, “my intention of this is…”.  Framing the conversation this way will help you figure out why what you are communicating matters to you… and who knows, maybe once you think it through, you will determine that it really doesn’t matter to you after all!


2.  The third “person”

I can be a fairly stubborn (I prefer determined…) person, and although that attribute is helpful in many areas of life, relationships aren’t always one of them.  One thing that has helped me keep perspective when John and I are working through something is thinking of the third “person.”  

Instead of thinking of what is best for me (or thinking of what is best for John), we try to think about what is best for our marriage.  It really helps reframe the discussion in terms that aren’t you vs. me… since it is ultimately about our marriage.



3.  Daily relationship maintenance

Since John and I both work (and frequently long hours), we often come home from work exhausted from the day, and the truth is that we don’t have much energy left to give to each other.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes it is just easier to come home and do something mindless (watch a show, read blogs, etc.).  

To prevent this from getting the best of us, John and I instituted daily “relationship maintenance” for at least 20 minutes every night.  It’s a time that we spend together completely engaged (no Instagram or television), and catch up on what’s going on.  Setting a daily time (even though it’s short) has really helped us to recharge with one another.



4.  Listen (and that’s it)

I’m a solutions kinda girl.  If someone comes to me with a problem, my instinct is to listen, come up with a plan, solve the issue, and then move on.  But sometimes, my husband isn’t coming to me for my (albeit uber fabulous) advice. He’s just looking to talk and be listened to.  

Although my instinct is to “solve”, I’ve learned that it is incredibly important for our emotional intimacy to not try to solve John’s problems… and instead, just listen and empathize.  And stop there.


5.  Pray together

Without a doubt, this has been the best thing for John and me and our marriage.  Praying together out loud can be uncomfortable at first, but it is a great way to grow in your marriage while keeping Christ at the center.  When I hear John’s heart before the Lord, it really softens the feelings that I am having, and helps reframe my priorities.  

John and I also read "Jesus Calling" together in the mornings… the devotionals are super short (maybe 1 minute to read), and that one minute together is a great way to start our day aligned.

These are just a few things that have helped John and I over the past few years; obviously all personalities and marriages are different, but these are the things that have helped us grow closer together. 

11 comments :

  1. I am loving Lisa's tips. I'm getting married in August and am trying to take in all that I can. I especially love the praying outloud together -- even if it's awkward at first. Also, all of Lisa's pictures are SO darn cute.

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  2. I love these tips, Lisa! Great job! You and John are adorable!

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  3. I love these tips, Lisa! Great job! You and John are adorable!

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  4. You guys seriously take the best pictures together-- I love all of these points-- 3 is such a good and important idea!

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  5. These are great tips!! And such beautiful photos!!

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  6. Love all of these tips and the photos are so stinkin adorable!!

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  7. Love this, and these pictures are all so beautiful! I love the relationship maintenance. We're the same, we work all day then we spend several evenings at the gym. Every single night though, we cook dinner, eat at the table and clean up the kitchen together. It's only about an hour, but it's OUR uninterrupted time to reflect over our day and catch up. I love that.

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  8. What a great guest post...Lisa is so cute and seems super sweet, too! I love her tips, especially the "third person" and relationship maintenance ones.

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  9. I love #2 & 5!! I have never thought about the "third person" in that way before. I love it! Definitely going to put that one into action. My husband and I have grown so much just by praying together & putting God first in all we do. Love Lisa & her blog!

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  10. Thanks so much for letting me guest post, Owen!! I wish we lived closer to have couple and puppy dates... Perhaps a little cross-country vacation is in order?!

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  11. Such amazing tips! I love #2! You are seriously amazing. xo

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