It’s been 11 years that we have known each other. We met in University and through these years we’ve seen each other at our best and worst. We enjoyed getting to know each other as friends and grew our love slowly. Little did I know that those years of working together on school projects and studying would turn into us being married many years later. Being the overachiever that I am, school encompassed a great deal of my life. It was easy for me to take charge of a project and run with it, but working with others to ensure that my vision stayed alive was a little harder. I am glad that a lot of the things I had to do were project based as that forced me to learn how to work with others in a more practical way. This allowed us the chance to really disagree on things and learn to work together. It really helped us discover our own individual strong suit which is such a blessing now. Never in a million years would I have expected that those skills we developed many years ago would help us as we currently work together.
I often get told how lucky I am to have such a great relationship with my husband. But almost no one asks us how much work it took to get us to where we are today. We were prepped by almost everyone we knew who said that the first year of marriage is the hardest. Now don’t get me wrong, each couple has their own journey and go through different seasons. For us, our first year was a long extended honeymoon!
I should preface this by saying we actually were just reaping the reward of all the work we had done beforehand. We did a lot of homework and hard work before we got engaged so that we didn’t have to ask all the big questions later on. I had borrowed CDs that we could listen to while driving and did a lot of research on topics and things we should be discussing (yes I know I sound like a nerd). Although it was a little uncomfortable at the time, it gave us an opportunity to really explore and deliberate on topics that could become a huge deal later. Some of the things we discussed:
Our legacy and what we want to be known for - We are both really driven individuals and something that has always been important to us is helping people. We knew early on that this was something we wanted to include as part of our lifestyle, a way that we could use our influence and really make a difference in the world.
Children - for those who know us it is no secret that Vim and I both want a big family. Adoption has always been a part of our story and we look forward to having as many children as the Lord allows. We briefly had also discussed how we would want to raise our children. We discussed things that our parents did that we would like to continue and new traditions that we would want to start with our family.
How we want to argue - I had once heard someone speak on fighting in relationships and they had mentioned we spend all this time discussing how to love each other but rarely do we talk about how we argue. Quite honestly, it has helped us now when we get in arguments to remember how we want to be arguing. In our house we have heated discussions but never arguments.
Finances – we had real conversations about where we were at (at the time) and how we want to be spending and saving our money. This was easier to talk about as we did not live together before we got married nor did we have joint bank accounts. Our plans on how to practically walk this out was more clear once we were married as we knew what each one was spending on and could make plans for it accordingly.
Communication – I think anyone who has been married told us that this was especially important. I think sometimes it’s easy to assume things but we’ve learned over the years of being friends and dating that we cannot assume what the other is thinking.
Budgeting – In our culture, budgets were never really a thing nor were they discussed. My parents are great at saving and always provided for us, however; they were never taught how to budget. I am an avid “Saver” if you will and wanted to make sure we had a budget we worked with and planned for it early on. This helped a lot with wedding planning and we certainly use it now that we are married.
When we’re not working, you can find us outdoors hiking, relaxing at home or spending time with family. It's almost been a year since we've moved back to Vancouver and it's been great being able to spend time with our family and friends here at home.
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What were some things that helped you out? Was there any advice that stuck through the years for you? I would love to hear your thoughts!