3 Things in 3 Years of Marriage | From His Perspective

Written with love, by Karley Kiker

It was so important to me that in my book, Hitched in a Hurrythe wedding was never referred to as "the bride's day." True, Taylor wasn't quite as involved in the detail selection process (see: table linens and floral arrangements), but that shouldn't have relegated him to the role of co-star in the movie titled Karley's Big Day.

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 Marriage Advice - Marriage Blog

Our wedding day was also the first day of our life together as teammates, and thinking about that fact helped me keep my eyes on the prize throughout the planning process: a marriage built to last rather than an event that's over in 24 hours. I included a chapter written by Taylor in my book, and his perspective is every bit as important to me today. That’s why I'm turning today's column over to him! I love and value his point of view and I think you'll find it eye-opening, too. So without further ado, here are three things my husband has to say about our first three(ish) years of marriage! 

 

Q: What have you learned in the last three years?

"I have learned in marriage to be less selfish and to take my wife into consideration when planning activities. I can't just make decisions based on myself and what I want. (I mean I can, but it wouldn't be a good thing.) I've also grown in my ability to be vulnerable and I'm learning to use words to describe how I feel. Early in our marriage my instinct was to shut down if I got frustrated, but that didn't lead to things getting fixed."

 

Q: What do you enjoy about marriage?

"One of the best things about marriage is that I have a lover and a best friend always with me. I have someone around constantly who knows me—good, bad, and ugly—and still loves me anyway. My wife is strong in areas where I'm weak, and vice versa."

 

Q: What would you tell a single guy considering proposing marriage?

"It's kind of funny but I would say don't rush into it, and at the same time, if you know she's the one then don't wait. Do not just get married because you've been in a relationship for a long time. Marriage demands self-sacrifice and compromise. It will be tough for a lot of guys because you go from doing whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want, with as much accountability as you want, to (if you want a good marriage) making 99% of decisions together."

Navigating Your First Holiday Season As A Married Couple

Written with love, by Karley Kiker

Whether you live near the mountains and have been bundled up in cozy sweaters for months, or (like us) you're a pair of beach bums ordering Peppermint Mochas despite the fact that it's still 80 degrees outside, I think you'll agree—the magic of the holiday season is officially in the air!

Navigating Your First Holiday Season As A Married Couple

Turkeys and hams are running low at the supermarkets and every department store is stuffed with Christmas decor, two signs that it's time to finalize your plans for the holidays. If the thought of doing so is making you feel a little bit less than "merry and bright," know that you're not alone. Nothing brings family together like the holidays, and yet at the same time, no other season can prove quite so difficult to navigate as a newlywed couple.

For instance, perhaps his dad has been talking about a family reunion timed around Thanksgiving, but the two of you have dreamed of seeing the Macy's Day Parade in New York City. Or, your mom wants you to come to Texas for Christmas, but his parents would love to take you both on a Colorado ski trip. How's a newlywed couple to meet everyone's expectations without hurting any feelings...or ending up in a situation they aren't happy with?

 

1. Communicate.

With both sides of your family, often and as early in the process as possible. Identify the expectations, hopes, and dreams of your parents, siblings, and extended family, and then sit down for a planning session with your spouse. Is it reasonable for you to see both sides of the family for all of the major holidays coming up, or is it more realistic to divide and conquer by spending Thanksgiving with your parents, and Christmas with his? Realize that no matter how much time you spend planning your schedule, feelings of disappointment may be unavoidable in some instances. Again, I believe the best way to conquer this obstacle is through clear and honest communication that points to the heart behind your decision. For example: "We wish we could see both sides of the family at Christmas, but Bob only has a few days off work and we're worried that our time with everyone will end up feeling too rushed. We'd love to join you for Thanksgiving so that we can have as much quality time together as possible!" 

 

2. Tackle this season without making promises about the next.

Some couples choose to rotate which side of the family they spend each holiday with. For example, if you're going to see his parents for Christmas this year, next year it would be your parents’ turn. While this system might end up working for the two of you, it's wise to leave yourself some wiggle room by focusing on enjoying this holiday season rather than laying plans for the next five years. Things can always change—hello babies, Caribbean Christmases, and cross-country moves—so do your best to stay focused on the moment at hand.

 

3. Work as a team.

Family dynamics. Every family has them—both the good kind AND the bad. Maybe your mom won't stop hinting that she can't wait to be a grandmother at this time next year, or maybe his dad clearly wasn't a fan of the side dish you brought to the Thanksgiving table...and said so. A week of close proximity to the people who know you (and all your buttons) best can start to wear on even the most tight-knit family, so make sure that you're communicating with your spouse through it all. Operating as a team and taking a moment to privately express your feelings will help diffuse any frustrations that arise, and prevent you from turning against each other during a time that should be focused on love and connectivity.

Date Your Spouse | 5 Inexpensive Date Ideas

Written with love, by Karley Kiker

Date Your Spouse | 5 Inexpensive Date Ideas

There is something about getting fixed up (AKA putting on mascara for the first time in a week) to go out with my husband that makes me so, so happy. Don’t get me wrong – I love our day-to-day together. There’s no one else I’d rather do laundry, register library cards, and go grocery shopping with. But as exciting as it is to co-exist with your best friend, there’s just something about intentionally setting aside time to really be together. To get dressed up. To hold hands. To ask each other questions that go beyond “What sounds good for dinner?” and “When’s the last time you cleaned the toilet?”

With that said, Taylor and I are always on the lookout for fun (and preferably inexpensive) date ideas. In case you’re on the hunt as well, here are a few fun date ideas to get you started!
 

1. The Great Outdoors // Hike + Picnic

Hikes have quickly become one of our favorite day dates. There’s something about being outside that makes it so much easier to turn off your phone and focus on really connecting with your spouse. Bonus: hikes, biking, and nature walks are FREE activities. Yes, please. Pack a picnic lunch to save on cash and create a fun and unique dining experience for the two of you.
 

2. Cultural Craving // Art Museum + Coffee

Every time we travel to a new city I put galleries, artisanal workshops, and art museums at the top of my must-visit list. Many museums are free to visit, and galleries and workshops almost always are! Top off your day of aesthetic appreciation with a good old-fashioned coffee date at a boutique shop you’ve never tried before. No Starbucks allowed (just this once).
 

3. Bon Appetit // Cooking Class

Did you know that many larger grocery chains, such as Whole Foods, offer cooking classes? Yes, you’re going to pay for this experience – but probably not as much as you might expect! PLUS you’ll get to enjoy the fruits of your labor after you’ve finished cooking, and take home a few new recipes as well.
 

4. Happy Holidays // Seasonal Events

Hooray for the holidays! With the approach of Thanksgiving and Christmas comes a calendar full of seasonal events. Check out your city’s website to see what’s happening around town in the coming weeks, pick out your favorite activities, and make plans accordingly.
 

5. Homebodies // Dinner + Movie

Pizza, wine, a movie, and (if I’m lucky) white cheddar popcorn are the ingredients of our go-to stay at home date night. When we’re feeling fancy we go shopping for specialty ingredients together and kick our dinner menu up a notch. Either way, it’s always fun to make dinner prep a team effort…and enjoy a movie together when it’s time to dig in!

Now it’s your turn! Any easy, inexpensive date night ideas you would recommend?