Good afternoon friends !

Marriage teaches us many lessons. Well today is a VERY SPECIAL DAY !!! It’s our 15 Year Wedding Anniversary !!!!!!!!!! We are super excited and so elated that God has blessed us to make it this far in our marriage !!!!  God is good and marriage ROCKS !!!

So today I have a special treat for you ! 

15 valuable marriage lessons

Mr. Does a Bunch is here with us today ! 

You guys know that I really like him and anytime that I can have him take apart is special. So for this HOMEMaker Monday,  we wanted to compile a list of 15 valuable lessons that we together have learned in our 15 years of marriage. 

Now we are NOT experts, nor are we the perfect couple in anyway !! I just had to put that little disclaimer out there, but these are lessons we’ve learned over the years and we’re still learning. So here goes! 

  • Men and women have 2 very different thought patterns 

The saying that men are from mars and women are from venus, has some truth to it. Men and women have 2 totally different view points when it comes to a lot of things. For instance, a lot of women view sex as a chore, however men do not view it that way. We will chat more about that… Keep reading ha !! 

  •    Marriage is continual work

Many people have different view points concerning marriage. I’ve heard some say… Marriage is hard, marriage is boring etc. No… marriage is continual work and it’s definitely what you make it. Just like anything in life, if you continuously work at something, you will not only be good at it, but you will thoroughly enjoy it. If you make it hard or boring, then that is precisely what it will be. It’s all in how you work and view it. So if you have a negative outlook on marriage. My suggestion is that you change your perspective and take another look, to see just how beautiful your relationship can actually be with just a little work !

  • Marriage can be fun 

Again, it’s what you make it. Imagine you having a best friend that you get to have a sleepover with every night ! That’s sometimes how I view it ( I have a very vivid imagination LOL ) !! 

  • Keep your business between the two of you. 

The in-laws are great and so is your family, but if we get upset with each other and go share with other people vice versa, it’s a whole lot easier for us to forgive one another than it is for our families and loved ones to forgive them. Especially if they’ve hurt us !! Your family and friends may mean well and may be able to offer you some sound advice sometimes, but running to them every time you have an issue, is an issue. Pray about it and take your issues to God. He’s the cord that holds you 2 together anyway !! Also it’s just best to keep your friends out of your marriage as well, ESPECIALLY if they are not married !!! Yes we said that !!

  • Respecting each other is a must

In our 15 years of marriage, we have experienced a lot of things. The one thing that I think is important especially when you are going through a hard time is to always respect one another. One thing men and women, both have in common is that we both equate love with respect, they tie in together. Ladies one of the worst things we can do is to make our men feel disrespected. Not a good move. It is a major blow to their entire self esteem. Seriously. I know that Aretha Franklin said ” R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me”, but I’m kind of a huge fan of the bible. I remember a scripture in the book of Ephesians that says ” Husbands love your wives as you do yourself and wives see to it that you respect your husband” ! Kind of puts a different spin on stuff when you get The Bible involved !! 

  • Sex is a major key and not just for him

This is a biggie !! Like I said before, sometimes wives view sex as a chore. Husbands? TOTALLY DO NOT !! To husbands sex equals love. You don’t have to like it and you may not agree and that’s fine, however it’s true lol !! To our husbands, it’s how we express our love to them. Think about it, If we knew that our husbands had a laundry list of things to do, but we asked him just to come and spend a few minutes with us and he did it or if he just came in and started helping you with your list without you asking ? How would that make you feel ? Loved? Like he put you before everything else? Yes that is exactly the point ! Yes they can see that we have a ton of things going on, however they want to express their love to us in their way. And if you are my husband… Sex is a cure-all. It can make you feel better if you’re sick, it can give you energy if you’re tired or it can put you to sleep LOL !! Seriously though, again its all about your perspective. So as my friend loves to say… clock in !! We work all three shifts lol !!

  • Your spouse’s needs should come BEFORE your children’s. 

Don’t stop reading lol !! I’m sure there a lot of moms who would disagree with me on this and that’s fine. When I say your spouse’s needs comes before your kids, I’m NOT saying to totally neglect or disregard them… totally not. Your spouse doesn’t want you disregarding your children either. I am speaking of putting their “needs” before his or what you may “feel” they need! Example… if your husband is asking for your time and you say the kids need this or I have got to do this for the kids before… I don’t want the kids to feel… Trust me they don’t feel any type of way AND they a lot smarter than we give them credit for and they adapt quickly. Plus, he was there before the kids anyway lol !! Don’t sacrifice time with you husband because you “feel” the kids need you more. They need you, but at that moment, he needs you more. Plus, it does them good to see their married parents spending time alone together. It really does !  

  • Marriage IS NOT 50/50

I don’t know who came up with that mess, but it’s definitely not !! Maybe they were saying that it takes a joint effort from both parties, but 50/50… no ! A contract is 50/50 !! Marriage is sometimes 60/40 or even 80/20 ! However, each person does their best to fulfill their part of the responsibilities to make the entire household run as smoothly as possible . Some days I don’t have 50% percent to give and vice versa, but because we’re committed to each other and we’re in this things together I take up the slack and he does the same for me. 

  • Date nights are essential to a thriving marriage. 

Date nights are like a recalibration of the relationship. You need alone time away from the kids to discuss happenings of the week, to see really how one another is doing and to keep the fires lit between the two of you. If you’re not dating your spouse weekly, we strongly suggest that you get to planning a date night and that you have date nights on the regular. Once a week you should be dating your spouse. You don’t always have to spend money or go out either. There are tons of free things you can do for date nights. 

  • You don’t always have to say everything

Boy did I have to learn this… repeatedly !! You don’t always have to say everything or in my case “let him know” !! That’s my phrase I use lol !! Something’s especially if they’re going to be hurtful, are better left unsaid or unsaid at that time. The Mr. wants to talk about things right then when they happen… She ( meaning me ) needs a minute to pray and get my thoughts together and process through what really just happened. Then we can comeback and have a round table discussion about it. So watch the things you say ! 

  • Handle the small stuff so it doesn’t become big stuff

It’s not the big things that trip us up… it’s the small stuff. We sometimes make the small stuff bigin our heads ! Such as Nicole would have tendency to leave the cap off the toothpaste. I really don’t like that. She didn’t really pay attention to it. However, I would be the one who was chewing on “gum” because that’s what the top of the toothpaste looked like ! So we talked about it a lot, I told her she didn’t listen to me. She told me it wasn’t that serious. See how that small thing sprouted into all that ? Eventually she started buying toothpaste with the snap caps. Changed everything. You may laugh, but it’s little things like this that can pile up into big things and cause issues. Learn to talk about everything! 

  • Money matters! 

Another biggie ! One of the top reasons couples get divorced. If you know that your husband is better at money than you, ( that’s how it is here ) allow him to handle that. Especially if you are like myself and you are a shopaholic! It’s another things that seems so small but can spiral into such a big mess and cause serious issues down the road. 

  • Communication is everything

I don’t think I need to elaborate on this… I’ll just say talk respectfully about everything!! If something bothers you.. talk about it… make it a point to just have conversations. And be attentive when you’re having conversations. Make good eye contact etc. just be sure to communicate effectively! 

  • It’s not always about you

Do I need to elaborate ?!? I think this needs an entire post lol !!! 

  • A win for your spouse is a win for you ! 

You’re a team and you’re ONE ! So that means if she wins, I win too! We’re not in competition with each other and I cheer her on just like I would myself. As a matter of fact, I am her biggest cheerleader! 

So there you have it! 

15 things that we have learned over the course of our marriage and you know what? We’re still learning everyday !! I’m sure that any of you ladies could agree with me and you have some of these same lessons that you’ve learned. For us alot of them came by trial and error.  

I will say this again, 

We are not perfect ! Nor are we experts! 

We just know what works for us and what we’ve learned. What we are is helpers of one another. God loves when His kids can share with each other how to make it in a day, when the world places very little value in marriages. 

We could go on forever about this, but we’ll just leave it right here !! 

What are some valuable things that you have learned over the years in your marriages? I love to hear from you !

Until next time

JP & Nicole