My friend Paige and I were discussing marriage and she graciously agreed to write for the marriage symposium. Paige and Kyle have been married just short of five years.
Paige Writes -
What has surprised me the most about marriage is how hard it is to find couple time after the kids come and how easy it is to avoid date night cause it's too much of a pain to mess with the kids' schedule and getting a sitter. We basically sacrifice our relationship for convenience. And it's NOTHING like the movies, movies create unrealistic expectations of marriage.
What have I seen that cripples marriage? Easy, FILTERS! A young couple will do well to learn about filters. For example, alcohol is a touchy subject with me. When I mention to Kyle that I think he's drinking too much, it doesn't really matter how I say it, he hears "alcohol" and everything I say thereafter makes him angry. He has an alcohol filter. We all have filters, they are blocks to communication. If we don't acknowledge them we cannot overcome them.
If I could only say one thing to a young couple I'd tell them after the lust phase i.e. honeymoon phase if over there will come a time where you must choose to love your spouse. Kyle and I have discussed this often. I remember once when he was very upset with me, I don't remember why, but I do remember asking him if he stilled loved me. He said "Yes, but only because I'm choosing to."
Kyle and I often say "I love you," but it's the "I like yous" that mean the most to me :) As silly as it sounds an "I like you" will get a bigger response out of me than an "I love you" when coming from my husband!