Sacramento Marriage Retreat
This past weekend, we spent in Sacramento with about 30 other couples from our church at a marriage retreat in Sacramento. We originally had something else in our calendar planned for the weekend but when it freed, this was the first thing filled it with!
Stephen and I are no marriage experts. However, we are in an industry where marriage and commitment are put on display! Stephen and I believe whole heartily in marriage, we believe in fighting for each other even on the days that are really hard. If we’re going to live this out for our future children and pass along a legacy of love, then we need to be committed to better our own relationship! Often times, running our business means our own dinner conversations and date ideas revolve around that. It’s hard to turn work off. This is because we are so passionate about what we do and excited to see new ways that TréCreative can grow and bless others. But often times more than we’d like to admit, our own marriage gets put on the back burner! This weekend has been a good break for us to hit pause on everything, to examine and realize how we can continue to grow.
Stephen and I did pre-marital counseling before getting married and continue to desire to have our peers and older mentors speak into our lives. We know counseling like this is sadly not the case for everyone! Marriage retreats and even marriage counseling to some can sometimes have a negative connotation. To some, it may seem like you're weak or that because you’re seeking out a counselor it's because you have something wrong with you. This is completely opposite of the truth. Stephen and I have seen the benefits of professional counseling and wise counsel from others. It’s not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength and motivation to grow stronger. We all take baggage into marriage with us, it’s about learning to adapt and come together through these things. Take the good and ditch the bad and make your new "normal" together!
Here are three things we learned from this marriage weekend!
- Learn about yourself - Knowing your triggers and how you receive love will help you communicate better with your spouse. Click here to see some great online tests you can take you help you learn more about yourself or spouse!
- Embrace each other's strengths instead of focusing on their weakness - This was huge for me! I always talk about how different Stephen and I are (which is true). Instead, we should focus on the different strengths that we each carry and learn from one another! Often times the negative things you may think about your partner were positive things that you once fell in love with. Reframing your attitude towards these things can change everything. Here's an example. Stephen is spontaneous and easy going. These are some attractive qualities about him. But after being together longer, those are also some of the areas that can drive me crazy. I like to have a plan and have a hard time just going with the flow at times. It’s an area I’m growing in, but it doesn’t always come natural. When I’m frustrated with Stephen, I need to remember those qualities are some of the ones I was originally attracted to in Stephen because I was lacking in that area.
- Work on your marriage snowball - We’ve applied the "debt snowball" concept to pay off our debt and school loans when we first got married. This principle is from Dave Ramsey who we love! Basically how it works is you tackle the smallest debt first. Once that's paid off, you take that small amount you would have been paying and apply it to the second smallest. This keeps repeating and growing until you've tackled all your debt! We became debt free because of this principle, and this can also be applied to your marriage. Instead of focusing on your biggest issue, start small and make little changes first. These little victories add up and then you can tackle larger and larger issues as time goes on. It’s like one of my favorite photographers, Katelyn James, says "micro changes produces macro results". Start with a small issue, tackle that, find understanding and move forward onto the next!