Two weeks ago we actually got to sneak away for a week and visit my parents house up in Michigan. If you are new here, welcome! A fun fact about me is that I was born and raised on the southwest side of Michigan where my parents and 3 older sisters still live while I am now located in Central Illinois. To be away from them is one of the hardest things I have to do, but that’s what makes my time up there that much more special.
Today, I want to talk about a matter of the heart because 1. it’s been a long time since I’ve really done a blog post like this and 2. I think a lot of us struggle with this and can all benefit from different perspectives every once in a while. Today, I want to talk about my marriage. And more specifically, how my husband and I have learned to communicate with one another, support one another, and use our roles as a partnership instead of set list of gender specific roles we are “in charge of” on a daily basis.
For starters, I’ll begin with saying our relationship has always been incredibly different (in the best way). We have always had a really unique way of connecting and so when it came to marriage that unique quality carried over into how we established our roles in the home.
How we communicate:
Guy and I had a rough start to our marriage, we got pregnant 3 months before our wedding, we’re in college, D1 athletes, and emotionally unstable (but you can read more about that in this posts HERE). So when it came to the way we communicated with one another I’ll just say we were overly enthused about how we projected our thoughts and feelings….rather I’ll say I was overly enthused, while he was just straight up terrified.
Throughout those first really hard years we worked hard to establish boundaries and do our best to speak out of love, not anger. Which for me has been an enormously hard task. We’ve gone to counseling and taken a multitude of personality tests to better understand each others hearts and style of communicating. So today, we can stand before each other and in the midst of emotions and anger, and know what the other person needs to communicate most optimally. For instance, when I’ve gone off the cuff and can’t control my anger, Guy knows I need to just walk away and give myself a time-out before discussing things any further. And vice-versa, if Guy is struggling with something, I know that he usually needs a good day or so to process things so he can better verbalize what he’s feeling.
See for us, feelings come super natural to me while they almost seem like a foreign concept to Guy. And when it comes to logic and reasoning, Guy has that down pat, where as I struggle immensely to grasp that concept. But no matter what, we never “sweep matters under the rug.” We may not talk about them fully right then and there, and it may take us a couple days to come back around to a certain issue, but we never let it lie. We take the time out of our crazy lives to talk things through, without anger, without frustration, and without the heightened hysterics.
How we support each other:
This has been one of the greatest lessons my husband has taught me throughout our marriage (amongst a lot of things). He is my greatest cheerleader and supporter; never second guessing in my dreams or desires and constantly giving me the reassurance I need to see things through. For us, supporting each other in what we feel called to do, has been about as important to us as having a good sex life. If we didn’t have it, our marriage simply wouldn’t work properly.
A few years back, when my husband started his real estate career, the Lord convicted me of my lack of support for my husband in this chosen career path. You see, we were supposed to go into the Air Force after college but all that changed when the Lord opened a HUGE door to pursue another career path; one that kept us close to family and allowed us to raise our children next to relatives. However, as excited as I was about this opportunity, I didn’t see this real estate career as something my husband had the ability to excel in. I know that may sound harsh, but if you know my husband you know that he is an incredibly quite person, not overly extroverted, and the least “salesman” like person you’ll ever meet. So when the Lord told me, I needed to put down my angst towards my husbands career path and pick up my cheerleading pom-poms I was a little bit ashamed. Here I was with disbelief in my heart about the cabablities of my husband, when all my husband had ever done was believe in mine. He never doubted my dreams, or condemned me for dreaming too big. If anything, his investment into my dreams allowed me to dream even bigger and achieve anymore.
So early on, support became a HUGE vehicle for our relationship to remain healthy and stable and to this day, we maintain an attitude of shared responsibilities and duties in the home and work place. Which brings me to my point…
How we maintain a partnership within the home
This is one area that I really pride our marriage in because I think societally we have very subtle, yet very specific roles within the home and to whom they should be assigned to. And while I firmly believe that God made us male and female with very specific characteristics in mind, I do believe that we’ve gone to great lengths to stereotype an extensive amount of roles to a specific gender.
For Guy and I, while I do take on the role of “caregiver, homemaker, and stay-at-home-mom” and he takes on the role of “provider, bread-winner, and craftsman” our roles really extend so much further than those assigned to us. And we make it our mission to never allow those roles to define how we work together in the home.
And I think that’s why we make such a great business partnership. We constantly fill in the gap for each other. There’s never a task that Guy won’t fulfill because it’s my and only my responsibility. If I cook, he cleans up. If I put 2 kids down one night and he puts 1 kid down, we both know that he’ll put 2 kids down and I’ll put 1 down the next night. If we’re working on a project, he knows that I will pull my weight in helping him get it done; whether that means I do all the painting while he does all the cutting and measuring, or I simply clean up behind him as he goes. We never allow “gender roles” to define how we run our home.
While we don’t do things even close to perfect, nor do we have it all figured out (not even close!), we work hard to put our best foot forward every day. To continue working on growing our relationship with the Lord first, our marriage second, and our relationship with our kids third. It’s like we are on a never ending growth curve but one that seems to get more and more beautiful and freeing with time.
God bless you guys, and as always, thank you for stopping by my little corner of the internet. Be sure to check out my weekly podcasts below! xoxo, Tessa
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