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.
The good news is that 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 by clicking on that subscribe button 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- click subscribe, and every month I’ll illuminate you with marriage motivation and good ideas (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 the very first step toward your happy marriage.
* 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. 2018 is THE YEAR OF THE SELF. All year we’ll be talking about how to improve ourselves so we can improve our marriage. Read all about what we’ll be doing and why its important here.
Here’s the schedule:
April: Clear sense of who you are and what you want
June: Self-confronting with love
August: Controlling your reactivity and self-soothing
October: Tolerating discomfort for growth
December: Forging integrity
This year, let’s make some REAL lasting changes in our relationships. Not just apply Band-Aids, but get to the heart of the issues and improve what we can improve.
And this kind of work will be the answer not only to your relationship problems, but will make you a happier, healthier person as well regardless of your relationship status.
We’re Rich and Celeste. We’ve been married for nine 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: