Dear 28 year old Lani,
You didn’t marry the man of your dreams. He is the one you’ve prayed for and he’ll surprise at some times. The vows you make today will be tested every day and you will learn the meaning of integrity through your commitment to each other. You had 5 years to learn about him but it’ll be like anew as your husband, so be fair and forgiving. Don’t overthink nor be self-conscious. He will love you selflessly and always be the first to apologize because he can’t stand seeing you disappointed. He cherishes you that much.
You will be reminded to appreciate every moment together and not to take each other for granted. So don’t. Even at moments of disagreements and when you think you’re right. Every year will go by quick, even faster with a child. You will raise the most precious boy together who will fill your life with joy and drama. Yet, you will always find time to keep that fire burning because after all that you do, you’re still alive. He will worry about you, cry with you, get frustrated, grieve, want you, be challenged in his habits and pray for you more than ever. And you will do the same with all of your soul. You will love each other through it because it is all worth it. It will not be easy but nothing neither of you can’t handle without God and community of friends who truly love you.
Enjoy this day. Though it might seem as part of your bigger life “plans”, you are making the right choice with this man. You will love each other more with each passing day. Trust and believe that you will need it. Hold him up. Hold it down. Don’t know what the years to come will bring but he will be all the man you need. Love it all.
Still very much in love,
34 year old Lani
Yen and Yang! Salt and Pepper! Beyoncé and Jay-Z!
In order to be a power couple, it’s critical that you find a partner with complementary strengths. We often feel either are partners should be happy you married them. Like they need you more than you need them. Even worse, that you can carry the marriage all by yourself with enough determination and perseverance.
Those thoughts are myths. Your complementary strengths can be the most dynamic part of your marriage, but you must make sure you do these three things.
Truly understand their strengths – It’s not enough to know that your partner is different, you must rely on those differences to move your marriage forward.
Acknowledge their strengths – By putting your partner in a position where they use their strengths helps maximize their ability and helps them have their needs satisfied.
Leverage their strengths – resist the temptation to resent your partners strengths especially during times of conflict. They must be accepted and used as much as possible.
In the end, you and your partner have weaknesses and blind spots that can create challenges to having a great marriage. If your partner’s strengths can show you the light or help avoid or remove the obstacles it makes the marriage journey that much sweeter.
What are your partner’s strengths?
If you are having trouble identifying or acknowledging your partner’s strengths, I would love to hear from you. Give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 30-minute consultation.
Studies show that those who maintained their love for each other scheduled time to be together almost every day have better communication, solidifies commitment and it offers an exciting way to de-stress. While their daily time together varied, the time they end each week was almost always over fifteen hours. What do you think?
I would love to hear your thoughts? How much couple time is needed with your spouse in order to add value to your relationship?
If you would like to share a great story, please do so at email@example.com
Dear 24-year-old Ann,
You are getting married. There are so many things you wanted to do. But did you?
You should have eaten out more. At fancy restaurants, with waiters, and candles. And silverware. Instead of Panera and the drive-thru Subway.
But you shouldn’t have stopped at chow. You should have gone ballooning, ridden on sailboats, speedboats, and maybe taken a helicopter or two.
You and your husband should have jumped out of an airplane while the baggage you carried still fit on your backs. You should have driven to the mountains more to hike or ski, or stood dangerously close to the rocky crags and worried about only yourselves.
You should have forgotten work and clients and jumped on airplanes. To Costa Rica! To Australia! Egypt and China! Of course you wouldn’t have been able to afford it, not with the one-bedroom apartment that you lived in. But you shouldn’t have worried so much. You should have charged it. At least one trip, because it would be many years before you had the energy and the freedom to do it again.
But if you weren’t going to travel, there were local things that you should have done. You should have gone to museums, opera houses, and even salsa dancing. You should have purchased white furniture and carpet to match.
But instead, you focus on being a mom. The feedings, the diaper changes, the lack of sleep and those everyday things that screamed parenthood.
Instead of museums there will be PTA meetings.
Instead of nights at highly Zagat rated restaurants, there will be playdates at Chuck E. Cheese.
Instead of movie nights out with your husband, there will be Netflix nights asleep on the couch.
There will be a point midway through your life where you will ask questions. “Am I even myself?” “Have I loaned out my life just for others to use until I take it back?”
You won’t want to take that long. You will decide that even though your kids need you, you want to live NOW! For you! For your husband! For your daughters! They need the whole Ann.
So take your six-year-old and two-year-old to see a play. You will get the side-eye from strangers, but so what?
In the car, listen to Katy Perry or Hamilton, instead of endless hours of Radio Disney. Why? Because you are a grown-up and that’s what grown-ups do!
In the years to come, you will do more than just hope. You will live. And while you are living, what a blessing it will be to have the people you love along for the ride.