If you were to ask me if I prioritize my marriage, my answer would be, “Duh! Of course! I love my husband more than I love cereal (read: a lot), I bore his children, I run a freaking marriage blog!”
But then when you take a look at my to-do list . . . my kids, my productivity, my house, my blog, and my friends all tend to rank higher than my husband, who generally comes in somewhere around the double digits of my to-do list, which is a very lonely, neglected and all together sad place to be.
The problem with marriage is that it is important, but never urgent. There are no deadlines, no immediate consequences for letting your connection slip. So we forget our marriages take work and attention in order to thrive.
We forget to give it plenty of water and sunshine and to pick out the weeds. And take it from me, if you forget to water your plants, they tend to wither. And eventually, they die. (cue sad violin music)
The good news is plants can generally be revived. In fact, personally I think society has all together WAY too high of expectations of what our plants should look like. They should be vibrant green! And fun! And perky! And happy! All the time! And if they are not, there is something wrong!
If your marriage plant isn’t a vibrant green, if it is a little withered and sad, I don’t think there is anything wrong with your plant.
Marriage is the perfect laboratory for human growth (marriage laboratory? hey! that’s the name of your blog!).
We grow. We change. We mess up. Its all part of the process. There are bound to be some growing pains. The important thing is that we keep trying. Maybe we water it at different times of the day, maybe we change it’s location. Maybe we go see a therapist to ask for watering and weeding help.
The point is that we need to EXPERIMENT to figure out just how to nurture our own plant to make it thrive.
Because every plant is different (we’re still talking about marriage here guys).
If your plant isn’t as green as your neighbor’s or as healthy as you’d like, don’t beat yourself up. Just start experimenting a little. Switch things up. Try a little of this, a little of that.
And set deadlines. Make it urgent.
That’s where I can help.
Here at marriage laboratory, we’re all about experiments for busy couples. We hold a marriage experiment every other month.
Reader, if you find yourself wanting to improve your marriage, but don’t know quite what that would look like or where to start, pull up a chair and make yourself at home (or rather, make your email address at home in that little box down there 😉 ).
If you want better communication and better connection with your partner and are not opposed to experimenting a little to figure it out, you’re at the right place.
I certainly don’t have all the answers, and I’m not a better wife than you, but I am trying. I’m committed to experimenting to figure out what works best for us. If you want in on hearing about these experiments- both what they are and how they went- put your little email address in this box here, and I’ll let you know what my marriage wins and failures are twice a month: (don’t worry, I don’t bite, or worse, try to sell you something).
Let’s get that plant a little bit happier.
Want to know a little more about what my marriage philosophies are?
* Start here with my marriage manifesto.
* Then mosy on over to my #1 marriage tip: the weekly check in.
* And you can round yourself off by reading how to bring out the best in your spouse (spoiler – its not by nagging! I know, I was surprised too).
What to Expect From this Blog:
Since we’re all about experimenting, we’ve come up with five month-long experiments we’d like to try out this year. Each one is from one of the five love languages in Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages book- words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, gifts and acts of service. We’ll tell ya what the experiment is for the month, invite you to join in too of course and then report back how it went.
Here’s the schedule:
February 2017: Words of Affirmation: daily texts/emails to spouse
April 2017: Quality Time: 10 minute daily connect
July 2017: Gifts: A little gift every Friday!
September 2017: Physical Touch. Sex every other day.
November 2017: Service: Do every favor asked of you (and ask what you can do to serve them every week).
Throughout the challenge month, I’ll bring you weekly blog posts on the experimental topic as well as a little research behind it. Then the month after the challenge, I’ll re-cap it for you to let you know how it went! We’re hoping to get into video this year, so the plan is to do a re-cap video.
The weekly posts are generally posted on Thursdays. I also write a Spiritual Sunday post once a month that comes out the second Sunday of the month.
We’re Rich and Celeste. We live in Iowa. We’ve been married for eight years and have three beautiful children.
Originally this blog was intended to be written as couple, but has now been mostly taken over by the more female side of the couple-ship. But I assure you, the male side of the ship is still full of marital wisdom and wit and will be sure to steer us all to marital bliss as soon as he finishes his dissertation. Right captain??
We love costumes, cold cereal, making a huge deal of trivial matters, Tina Fey, blobfish, lip syncs, ego-boosts, Netflix and whoever invented chewing gum.
- She’s a SAHM. By which we mean a stubborn, always hungry Mormon.
- Also, she stays at home with her kids.
- She has a Masters degree in Sociology (emphasizing in criminology, lest you think her degree somehow qualifies her to advise people on their marriages- it doesn’t)
- She LOVES parentheses (so much!)
Things You Should Know About Rich:
Rich is a jack of all trades except for the trade of writing snappy biographical blurbs. He is finishing a PhD in Immunology and subsequently has kind of a serious crush on things like parasites, vaccines and science in general. He is becoming a connoisseur of that pinnacle of humor: puns and dad jokes.
Things You Should Know About Our Kids: