Thursday, September 13, 2012

How to Keep Your Marriage Adventurous

One of the main reasons that I started this blog is because I wanted to encourage others to be embraced by the journey they are on. Yet when I wrote my first post about 10 months ago, I didn't anticipate embarking on such a big adventure myself. Isn't that how life works: in speaking encouragement to others, you speak truth to yourself.

My current big adventure is starting my own company, which I wrote about a couple weeks ago. I promise I will fill you in more in a later post, but for now let's talk about marriage.

I recently read a post by Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy discussing how to encourage the man in your life by igniting his adventurous spirit. It reminded me that one of the main reasons that I had the courage to give starting my own student coaching company a shot is because of the support of my husband. Without his encouragement and him giving me the freedom to start this adventure, it probably wouldn't have happened. Though it meant making some changes, like forgoing my salary (at least while I get up and running!) and figuring out a new schedule together, he was 100% supportive.

Since I'm so grateful for this opportunity, I wanted to find a way to fit a small adventure into John's day. Writing notes to each other is something we really value in our marriage, so before he got home from work yesterday, I wrote messages on 6 sticky notes and hid them around the house. One was above the doorknob, so when he came home with all the groceries he picked up for us, he'd know how much I appreciated him. The others were scattered in random spots for him to discover.

Although this is only a small example of an adventure, I started thinking about ways to incorporate adventure into our marriage even in the midst of schedules, traveling, weekly commitments, etc.

  1. It's important to first know what hopes and dreams your spouse has. At our 8-month marriage retreat, this is one of the questions that John and I answered individually and as a couple. Knowing what your spouse hopes for gives you the power to speak encouragement into that dream and recognize opportunities for it to grow.
  2. Schedule time for adventure. Blogger and leadership expert Michael Hyatt often says that if it doesn't get scheduled, it doesn't get done. Is there something you and your spouse have wanted to do or see? Find a time for both of you to write it in your calendar. Recently John and I went rock climbing for a date night - it's something that I especially had been wanting to do together. So we planned our Friday night so I could make a quick, early dinner for us when John got home from work and we could head out for our date. Even if you think scheduling is a hassle, it's so worth it once you're on the adventure!
  3. Give each other freedom to pursue individual adventures. There's definitely a lot of value in "adventuring" together, but realistically your dreams are not always going to be the same as your spouse's. Just as it's important to spend quality time together in marriage (especially for me, since this is my primary love language!), it's also important to support each other in individual pursuits. An example of this is John giving me the freedom to start my own company, or cheering me on at my latest 5K race. This summer John played in a softball league, and instead of viewing their game nights as taking away from our nights together, it was an opportunity for me to bond with the other wives and cheer on the team. Your support of your spouse's interests will mean a lot to them!
These are just a few ways for keeping your marriage adventurous. How do you incorporate adventure into your day?

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