18 Years Strong & Still Learning To Live Together

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Exciting News!

My husband started a new position with a new company. After working outside of the home for the last nine years he is now working from home again. Some may not know that my husband and I run multiple businesses together. We worked from home for years before he had to seek full time employment outside of the home office due to the economic woes a few years back. This change is exciting but not without its challenges.

It’s feeling a bit tight up in here!

As I mentioned in a past blog post, Surviving On Less and Living With More , we are living in a much smaller space now. We are now all working, home schooling, and living in a twelve hundred square foot, three room (not including bathrooms) space. Two adults, one pre-pubescent, home schooled, twelve year old, and a ten year old furry princess all in one small space. We are all definitely getting to know each other better.

We are pretty excited for the changes and possibilities this new position opens up for us. My husband was not looking for a new position and he happened to be in the right chatroom at the right time. A three week whirlwind of emotions, lots of prayer, and four interviews later and we are working next to each other again, [insert smilie emoji here]. The new position is remote and comes loaded with many benefits including a pay increase. This means we can work and live anywhere in the country with an internet connection! We are feeling very blessed.

All these changes are taking place at the same time that we are getting ready to celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary.

Picture of Tim and Naomi
Wow, time flies when you are having fun!

I am still in shock and awe that it has been eighteen years since we started our big life journey together. I have a lot of young friends that ask what our secret is; all I can say is there is no secret, really…no secret at all! The only way to last this long together is through communication, grace, forgiveness, and lots and lots of prayer. These are the same principles our own parents and grandparents lived by. Here is a brief covering of these principles and what they look like in our life together:

Learning how to communicate effectively with each other was huge

One thing for me was to learn how my husband communicates. He is, by nature a processor and I am a bit more, let’s say,  spontaneous… He needs time to think and reflect on things and I want to see results, five minutes ago. This can lead to one of two things with us, an argument or grace. I learned early on that grace is the better route to take in our marriage. If I don’t present my husband with a question or an option and walk away and let him think on it a bit, I will most certainly not get the answer I would like to get. This is very hard for me as I am the type to talk it out, come to a conclusion, and carry it out directly following a decision. The different personalities lead to a lovely balance if we can find the grace to keep it from leading to a storm.

Forgiveness is a big one too

I had to learn to forgive him and myself daily. The practice of not going to bed angry is so very important. Most people have heard this but it is good to be reminded of the importance of this habit. I hate waking up angry with my husband. I don’t sleep well when I go to bed angry and it sets the whole pace for the next day. Ugly…

Ephesians 4:26-Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger(ESV)

Along with this, I don’t want to fail to mention the importance of being humble while seeking forgiveness from your spouse. I still struggle with this as I like to be “right” all the time. In spite of this, I want to remind everyone of the importance of those three magical words; I am sorry or please forgive me. I struggle with this often. It is so hard to admit that I was wrong and verbalize an apology. This will probably continue to be hard no matter how old or wise I get.

Praying for and with my husband is the most important thing I can do daily for my marriage

It changes and affects everything. My husband and I could not be more imperfect and frequently in need of a divine third party to intercede for us. I find when I am not putting God before my husband we have a harder time living together. At times I let my anxiety and feelings rule and it leads to a complete breakdown of communication. It is best if I walk away, give myself time to slow my thoughts and feelings, breath, and pray to turn things back around.

John 5:7-If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (ESV)

PS. let me throw this one in here too:

We like to put down the electronics and get out on a date once in a while.  It is so important to stay connected and be reminded of the excitement of our courting days. We need this time away from all distraction with our spouse, a time to focus on each other. This is even more important if there are still kiddos or teens in the home. It helps keep the communication open. I believe if we do this regularly it can help with the empty nest transition. I don’t want to get to the point when all my children are moved out and I think, “Who is this person I married?”.

Marriage to me is such a beautiful journey of two peoples lives.

It is full of purpose, hope, love, and servitude. The merging of two journeys into one. In the process we grow up and grow together. We are in a constant state of newness and familiarity, continually learning things about each other, and finding peace and comfort in the things we know. Each day is a new day and I feel blessed that I get to wake up next to my husband to start each new day. After all these years together I am still learning daily how to truly live this life with him and I love it.

These are some of the principals that we apply to our marriage. What are some that you have applied to yours?

Naomi Bunch

Wife, mother of sons (full-time superhero), believer, midlife blogger, and entrepreneur.

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