Okay, my turn to take a crack at the married couple questionnaire. I'm certain I'll look back on this in 10, 20, 75 years and think, "Oh, I was so naive." Or maybe not. I'm sure I'll think something. :) Either way, here goes.
1. What made you realize that you could spend the rest of your lives together? Were you scared at all?
I had a dream of my husband before I met Josh. The dream came right after I renounced all dating, declaring to the Lord that I would like to be a single missionary forever because dating stinks, and so do guys. :) That night I had a dream, and saw my husband's hair and silhouette...and I fell in love. We met a few months later. We knew about a week into dating that we had found 'the one.' I wasn't scared for the first time in my life. I was something more like, over-the-moon.
2. How did you know your spouse was the right one for you?
Because I told him every, (and I mean every), ugly detail about my past and he looked at me afterwards and said, "I love you." It only confirmed what I already knew in my heart...that he was the one I loved for my whole life.
3. Is there anything you would do differently after almost 10 years of marriage?
Relax sooner. Let go of insecurities faster. Determine to use my words more wisely. Show my love and appreciation for my husband more freely. Other than that I wouldn't change a thing...especially not these munchkins of ours!
4. What is your advice to someone who is trying to keep the faith that Mr. Right is really out there?
I like the answer a friend of mine had, so I'll steal it... Remember that God is faithful to provide all of your needs.
5. What was the best piece of marriage advice you ever received?
These came from my husband, directed to me. He's always said, divorce isn't an option. (Thank God! I've never wanted to divorce him, but I might've divorced me already if I were him.)
And he once told me, "I just need you to get on my team." That changed me. I realized that I wasn't playing as a team. It was a benchmark moment in my life.
We've also learned the importance of fighting fair. We aren't allowed to use the words, 'always' and 'never' when we fight. (Ie. You 'always' do that.) It's not fair and it doesn't give the other person any credit for growth.
Also, keep the main thing the main thing. (Thanks Rick Joyner.)
And my advice... Take time to learn about the differences between the male and female brain. We are different creatures. We think and operate so differently. Learning about this was a huge light bulb moment in my life.
6. What are the most important attributes of a good spouse?
For me it's the deep down security of knowing that he loves me with all his heart, and that he prefers me and likes me. And also the basics, that he's a Christian and loves the Lord with all his heart. I also find great security in knowing that he can fix or build anything. That he would kill anything that tried to harm us. And that he's an inventive genius. I also like the way he sings and plays music. He's gifted to the max. I'm proud to be his wife.
7. What is your best Valentine’s Day memory?
I don't know. They're all mixed in with all the fun moments of our marriage. I liked getting my treadmill that one year on V Day. I also liked getting a shotgun another year on V Day.
8. You got married young – how did you both manage to grow as individuals yet not grow apart as a couple?
We had to hold on to our marriage while we learned to become one. We were 23 (me) and 21 (him) when we got married. Now we realize that our individuality is beautiful and wonderful, (we've learned to really savor the uniqueness we see in each other), but like the 85 year couple said, we are stronger together.
9. What is your fondest memory of your 10-year marriage?
Our kids for sure. And also the songs Josh has written for me and the house he built for us.
10. Does communicating get easier with time? How do you keep your patience?
Yes! You learn to NOT become so easily offended. Laughing during disagreements is much more the norm these days. Learning about the differences between the male and female brain has helped me greatly with patience. For example, if Josh is listening to some complicated jazz ensemble on the radio I know that he is lost somewhere in his mind, inventing some new contraption, and therefore talking to him won't be nearly as effective as it would be if I wait to talk to him until later. :)
11. How did you cope when you had to be physically separated for long periods of time?
I hate it. But, I complain a lot less than I used to because I really try to focus on the significance of why we're apart, and also that we made the decision together that the trip was necessary. But, I prefer being together.
12. At the end of bad relationship day, what is the most important thing to remind yourselves?
I chose him. He chooses me. Divorce isn't an option. This too shall pass. Most of all, I love him!
13. Is fighting important?
Definitely. Bottled up emotions only result in untimely, ugly explosions. Talking, disagreeing, airing grievances, etc. is so key. Women are better at this...we talk way more...men like to stuff feelings more. It's a process to meet in the middle. Have a fight. Fight fair. And make up. It's healthy. But no fighting in front of the kids. We've done this...much to our embarrassment.
14. What’s the one thing you have in common that transcends everything else?
At the end of the day, everything else can leave, but as long as we have each other and our kids, we'll be okay. And the Lord is the head of our home.
I love hearing answers to these questions. If you're so inclined, take the quiz yourself and message it to me. Like I said before...I love free wisdom! :)