Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Workin' It Wednesday-Keeping Our Marriage Strong

 Happy WEDNESDAY, Friends!

It's time to WORK IT!  The second Wednesday of every month Shay and I are WORKIN' IT.  We're sharing how we work different areas of being a mom, keeping our homes running smoothly, planning for trips, etc.  We'd love for you to join the link up!  These are the topics for the upcoming months...


Today, we're sharing how we WORK ON OUR MARRIAGES.

Many of you have heard this story before so I'll give you the condensed version today.  :)

Tab and I met in college-my sophomore year.  I was actually dating/hanging out with one of his friends.  His friend introduced us.  I ended the night inviting them both to church with me that week because it happened to be "College Sunday" and what better to do than show up with two football players on "College Sunday".  Right?

Fast forward two years...we crossed paths again and the rest is history.  We got married about 13 months after getting together.  We moved from college to Dallas, Texas, for Tab's new-big-boy-job.

We've been living in the 'burbs of Dallas and raising a family ever since.

And every single second has been blissful.

Hahahaha!  Just wanted to see if you were still reading.

I do things that DRIVE HIM CRAZY.  I'm one of those people who doesn't feel the need to put the cap back on the toothpaste because we're just going to use it again in a couple hours.  It drives him crazy.

And he does things on the daily...like leave his shoes RIGHT by the back door...that put me over the edge.  But, we choose to look past each other's flaws to SEE THE BEST in each other.

I'm not going to say we have the marriage thing all figured out, but here are few ways we work at keeping our marriage strong...

*Tab and I are big fans of date nights.  Our schedules don't really allow us to have a certain night each week or month that's always date night.  With work schedules, kids' activities, and everything in between we just make sure we fit in date nights here and there when we can.  We need time away from the distractions to spend time together.  That can be as simple as hanging out after the kids are in bed.  

*We've learned each other's love language and just how DIFFERENT we are.  For the longest time, we struggled in this department.  I mean how does someone who feels loved through physical touch instantly think, "I should buy my wife a just-because gift".  Right?  NEVER GONNA HAPPEN on it's own.  We have to make an effort to show the other love in the way they receive it the best.

 *I'm hoping my grandma skips this one...but SEX, I'm gonna talk about it.  I remember being a young mama with two tiny babies at home, knee deep in diapers and laundry.  The only thing I wanted to do when the kids were in bed was sleep.  I was exhausted.  I always had someone hanging on me every moment of every day.  This was a struggle.  Young moms, I'm talking to you.  :)  I had a mentor at the time remind me how important intimacy is in a marriage.  I'll never forget her saying that I just needed to deal with it.  The way we were discussing it was I expecting her to say..."oh, Tab should just understand. You're so tired".  Haha!  How thankful I am for honest friends.  She sure didn't say that.  She told me I needed to get over being tired and make time for my man at night.  (Read between the lines here, girls..."MAKE TIME FOR MY MAN").  She went on to tell me I needed to figure out a way to add a housekeeper to the budget or be okay with a messy house, but no matter what I chose it was way more important to have a healthy marriage in the bedroom rather than a super squeaky clean house.  You know what I'm saying?  If I was going to give my younger self a piece of marriage advice, THIS would be it!

*Talk about it.  Tab and I chat about everything.  He'd be the first to tell you he probably thinks I share too much.  When he gets home, I want to share every second of my day.  Haha!  With that said, if we have a problem, issue, or disagreement...we talk about it.  Usually after some discussion, we come to a quick agreement.

 *We try our best (doesn't always work) to be selfless.  As a newbie wife, I was selfish.  And as a newbie husband, he was selfish too.  It was just a big adjustment thinking about someone else's needs before your own-when you'd always been on your own.  Time definitely makes this one easier...now we're thinking about four other people before ourselves but as newlyweds it can be tricky.


*Tab and I both come from broken homes so this one is high up on our priority list.  We realize marriage is a lot of work.  We also realize Satan would love nothing more than to destroy every Christian marriage, so we work hard, pray hard, and study hard to do the best we can to keep it strong.  Just over Christmas, Max Lucado had a daily devotional about how parents would never willfully break their child's arm or leg.  Right?  But going through a divorce causes more pain for a child than if you'd just broken a bone.  Please know I'm not talking about every divorce situation.  I have near and dear friends who made the best decisions for themselves and their children by choosing to leave their marriage.  I'm talking about those circumstances when you haven't done everything and given it your all before quitting.  Until you've done everything you can do, don't give up on your marriage.  I want to add that Tab and I were both blessed with amazing step-parents who have filled amazing roles for us. We wouldn't be the people we are today without them {And a HUGE shoutout to my rockstar mom.  She made single mom life look so easy!  How did she do that?}, but divorce is hard and I just encourage you to make it a very last resort.

 *We have fun!  I don't take the fact that I get to do life with my best friend lightly.  No matter what we're doing we're enjoying ourselves.  

*We put God in the center.  Tab and I do our best to keep our relationship with God the number one priority.  Do you guys remember that triangle graphic from church youth group?  When we're closer to God, then Tab and I are closer to each other as well.

 We definitely don't have all the answers.  We are a work in progress.  We're just doing the best we can everyday to make our marriage strong.  

I did a little blog series on marriage a while back...


What about you??  Do you and your spouse do something to keep your marriage strong?  Please share!  

One last thing...last call on signing up to get a pen pal.  You can read more about it here.  I've had a few straggler e-mails come in this week and thought I'd give everyone a second chance to get their name in.

Thanks for stopping by today!  XO

25 comments:

Mix and Match Mama said...

Yes, yes, yes to all of these Erika! I'm so glad we included this topic in our link up this year!! And you're exactly right, we have to make time for our men. Whether we're tired or not ;) .

Sarah Shaneyfelt said...

I love all of these! We have only been married 2.5 years but I realized quickly in marriage that I was pretty selfish and I didn't think I was before we got married! It definitely takes work but it makes it so much easier when both people work on the marriage, and I agree that you have to keep God in the center.
Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

Mandi Moore said...

Yes!! I love how you mentioned love languages, that was one of mine too! I know how important that one is! I also loved "making time for your man"... I didn't add that one but it's definitely a priority! Love y'alls sweet kiddos they are precious!

Narci Dreffs said...

Great tips, girl! Thank you for the link up!

Angela Ellingson said...

Such great marriage advice! I especially loved that you added to have fun! My hubby and I need more fun. Such an awesome link up. Thanks for hosting!

Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said...

What a great post! None of us have it all figured out, but it's nice to read what others are doing!!!!

Megan @ Letting In The Light Blog said...

Great post on such an important topic! And I love all of the throw back pics.

http://www.lettinginthelightblog.com

Lizzie Simantz said...

I had so much fun with this topic! I love all your advice for keeping your marriage strong. You're right, marriage is work and always will be! We also always try and have fun, it's so important!

Annie Malone said...

Love this gal! A perfect topic for this month and something we don't all usually discuss. I always love hearing from those that have been married longer than me to get their insight and feedback from their experience! I recently re-read the Five Love Languages and think it is so important to learn your own and partners as well as understanding them all. The phase of life with young kids can definitely make it tougher to "connect", but you are right, you have to just make it happen and make time. I say this all the time :). Thanks for hosting!

Sarah said...

Great post, especially about Love Languages! Talk about a curveball learning you and your significant other have exactly the opposite first and last love language ;)

Joe and Britt Hensley said...

Great advice!!! It's absolutely important to 'date your spouse!!'

kelly said...

Those pictures of you guys and your little blondies are so so cute!!
Great thoughts!

Stephanie Reynolds said...

Off topic... But will you and shay be doing a vacation outfit/ bathing suit post soon??? Everyone's heading out for spring break and I'd love to see where the cute dresses and swimsuits are!! I hope it's in your plans really soon so we have time to order! 😘

My Boy Mom Blog said...

My favorite part..."its more important to have a healthy marriage than a squeaky clean house." Funny & true!

Whitney Pegram said...

Yes for making time for our men!! Great tips, girl! Thank you for the link up!

Lisa said...

Great post Erika! I usually try to join in on y'alls link ups but just couldn't find my voice for this one. I'm so bad at figuring out what makes something work...marriage, life, cars...LOL. I'm blessed to have an awesome marriage and for us it's always felt pretty easy. Sure we've had our moments and disagreements but I'd say 98% of the time we go together like peanut butter and jelly. I'm a lucky girl. You have an adorable family😊

Shana said...

Great advice!

Megan said...

Love languages yes!!! Sooo important and life changing. Love all this truth girl.

Stephanie Harshbarger said...

This post made me so sad. Do you mean by "just deal with it" that you should oblige a man's request no matter of your own feelings? Is this what you'll teach your daughter about relationships, that a man's desire for physical intimacy always trumps her emotions and feelings at the time? And to your sons, that their physical wants are to always be met by their partners on demand? I feel this is a very damaging message to be sending out to your readers. And I feel sincerely, honestly sorry for you if you've been "mentored" into believing this mentality is ok or healthy for any relationship. It is not. Ever. :(

Erika Slaughter said...

I meant that often times mothers to young kiddos are extremely exhausted and it's important for us to make sure we're saving a bit of that time and energy on the most important relationship we have here on earth. Let the laundry sit another day. Your relationship with your husband is more important. The woman who mentored me is a fabulous Christian woman. She wasn't saying my feelings didn't matter at al. That's not how she or I meant for that to come off. She was saying that it's easy for us to put other things ahead of that relationship. I think most people understood what I was saying but thanks for having me clarify. Just in case. :)

Brenda @ Chatting Over Chocolate said...

I absolutely loved this post! I have to say that -- get a housekeeper or be okay with a messy house but make time for intimacy is right on! It is so important. Thanks for being brave enough to write about it, even if your Grandma maaay be reading. ;) I loved your transparency, advice, and your striving to honor God in your marriage! Thanks so much for sharing and for hosting! I was tickled pink to write about marriage and link up with you ladies today! xo - Brenda // ChattingOverChocolate.com

dresselfamily.blogspot.com said...

More people should talk about sex.. lol
Ok..here's my .2 cents. I think it has to go both ways, if you have that little bit extra at the end of a day that you choose to be intimate then awesome, that's great. However, if your husband can see you've had a rough day and are mentally and physically exhausted he should say ' babe, I've run you a bath, I will put the kids to bed now go watch Netflix' and expect nothing in return.. nothing. It has to go both ways. I really liked your post. It's good to talk about these things ☺

Erika Slaughter said...

Absolutely!! Thanks so much for adding this. I appreciate it. :)

Allison said...

I loved your comments about intimacy! I had a mentor compare it to saving money. If you said- I'll save what's left over at the end of the month, you'd never save a dime! Same for sex! If all you're giving is whatever's leftover at the end of the day, it's probably going to be rotten. You need to be intentional! Of course you shouldn't just "oblige a mans request." Intimacy is a tremendous gift for both men & women. I personally think men AND women don't have a great understanding of what women NEED to make it enjoyable for them! There's a fabulous therapist named Laurie Watson that talks about differences btwn men & women sexually and how to bridge the gap and have an amazing relationship you both crave in that area. The Instagram acct is called foreplayradiosextherapy. They have 50+ podcasts that are tasteful, informative & inspiring! Just a resource if anyone's interested. Awesome post!!

Bethany Parvin said...

Love the triangle graphic