This is Aaron and me about 6 weeks after we were married. A church friend uncovered this photo last year, and when I saw it my first thought was, “Holy cow….we were sooooo young.” And we were! In this picture I am 19 and Aaron is 20. We were beginning our junior years at SAGU, and we had NO idea what we were doing! We had fantastic preparation for marriage- probably better than anyone I knew at the time. I worked for a professional Marriage and Family Therapist, so she gave us free engagement counseling. Aaron’s parents were pastors, and Aaron’s dad stuck to his rule of not performing our marriage ceremony until we had completed counseling with him and my mother-in-law. We had lots of wonderful mentors in our lives who invested and poured into us as a young couple.
But when you’re two strong-willed people in the middle of an argument, those lessons on using positive “I” statements and communicating calmly just fly out the window. We had our share of loud arguments and disagreements those first months and years of marriage. We had so much to learn! Still, there were certain standards we’d set in place prior to our marriage that ensured we weren’t allowing the tension between us to ruin the bond we had.
Here we are….15 years later, and I can’t imagine how differently our marriage would look were it not for the investments by so many caring, thoughtful people. Because of the incredible mentors we had, Aaron and I feel a burden for families and married couples- young and old- who are struggling to make it work. So, although we’re no “experts” by any means, I thought we could take a few weeks to walk through some of the lessons we’ve learned over 15 years of marriage. If you are in a place where it takes every ounce of your effort to continue to love your spouse, or you feel you have the healthiest marriage you’ve ever had, these lessons are for you. We all need each other. We aren’t meant to do this thing alone. If you need advice or a listening ear, please let me know, and check back over the next week or two. Maybe something will jump out at you. 🙂