This is part one of a mini interview series the team at PREPARE/ENRICH conducted during the month of May to celebrate anniversaries with couples like you.
As we approach the month of June, wedding season is upon us. With weddings come anniversaries – many, many anniversaries. Relationships are our priority here at P/E and we wanted to highlight the lives of some of our couples as they reach milestones in their relationships. We have found that couples at all stages in their relationships have unique stories and great advice that we believe every couple could benefit from indulging in. Take a few minutes out of your day to share in the laughs, well-rounded advice, and insights from our P/E family.
Introducing our first couple, Anna and Eric
1. How long have you been married?:
Eric/Anna: One year on June 18th.
2. What was it about each other that merited a second date?
Eric: Her sense of humor and sarcasm.
Anna: I was still skeptical after date one, but I would have to say it was his sense of humor…and he had good style!
3. What was your premarital counseling experience?
Eric: We worked with a retired pastor from our church house group who was pretty easy to talk to.
Anna: Went through P/E with a pastor from our church, and went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.
4. What role has commitment played in your marriage?
Eric: If you don’t commit then you don’t grow.
Anna: It’s been the basis for pushing through some dark days together when there hasn’t been a whole lot of hope.
5. How do you keep the “spark” alive?
Eric: By focusing on the other person when we’re spending time together.
Anna: We intentionally push ourselves to do something active like go hiking, or cook a meal together when we’d rather kick back after work and watch TV. We keep a jar on the table full of random questions and have learned a lot about each other through those conversations.
6. What is the best part about marriage?
Eric: Being able to come home and hang out after a long day at work.
Anna: Coming home to someone I feel totally comfortable around, and sharing a laugh over some really dumb stuff. Being connected to someone who has the best interest of “us” in mind, not just one or the other.
7. How have you navigated personality differences?
Eric: Being honest about how we feel.
Anna: Practicing how to listen, instead of just waiting for him to finish talking so I can get the last word in.
8. What is your advice for handling conflict?
Eric: Actually listen to what the other person has to say, instead of dismissing it.
Anna: When the tension starts to rise, walk away and come back to it at a later time. Allow yourself to rationally think through your thoughts so you can leave out the hurtful things you want to say in the heat of the moment.
10. If you could go back in time and tell your engaged-self something about marriage, what would it be?
Eric: Be more aware of what needs to be cleaned around the house.
Anna: Even when you’re mad at them, tell them you love them.