Throughout the last couple weeks I’ve been browsing decor for my best friend’s upcoming bridal shower, and I kept stumbling across the Pinterest-y idea for an “advice jar” where attendees jot down advice for the bride-to-be.
It got me thinking about what I would put in that jar, and my answer is easy peasy to come up with. It’s a piece of advice that Jamie and I have discussed 100 times and that I’ve shared with friends and family frequently as the conversation lended itself.
The advice came from the pastor who married us. We only had two short pre-marital counseling sessions with him since we planned our wedding so fast, but something he said really stuck with us. He advised that we do our best to not have specific jobs.
His example was simple but made so much sense. He talked about how if it’s an unwritten rule that I’m the one who always cleans the toilets that Jamie might subconsciously start thinking I’m lazy or get frustrated if I’m not doing my “job” up to his expectation. He said that if Jamie notices the toilets should be cleaned, that Jamie should clean the toilets. Another example: Sure, Jamie may be the one who usually dusts our ceiling fans because of his height, but there is zero reason that I can’t grab our step ladder and get up there to quickly wipe them down if I notice that it needs to be done.
At the time, we agreed that this was good advice, but we had no idea how strongly we both would feel about it for years to come. We talk about it out loud probably once a month reiterating that we both appreciate that we don’t have hard and fast “jobs” around the house. We try to both do something when we see that it needs to be done.
With that being said… yes, he definitely has his things that he does more of and I have mine.
For example, I do almost all of the cooking and laundry. He mows the grass and does the edging. Honestly though, I would have to think really, really hard about what else only one of us does 95%+ of the time. We both do dishes, roll the trash can up and down the driveway, clean floors, change sheets, etc. We joke that I’m a really good (constant) spot cleaner, but he’s really good at deep cleaning. Just one of the million ways we balance each other out that we didn’t know about until we got married. 🙂
I’d be lying through my teeth if I said that we haven’t had our moments where we had to work really hard and really intentionally on our marriage the last 6.5 years. It’s been a doozy at times, but we were talking a couple months ago about how we feel like we’re at this point where it’s just getting better and better. We spent years learning so much about the other (often from half way across the world thanks to three deployments) and how to best help each other and make this little thing called marriage thrive, and we feel like we’re finally in this groove where we’re proud of what we’ve overcome and understand each other’s love language to a tee.
Would this work for you and your spouse? Different strokes for different folks; Though this works for us, I can understand why this would not pan out well in all marriages. I’d find it interesting to hear your feedback!
What’s the most applicable piece of advice you were given about marriage?