Six years of marriage has flown by ya’ll. Add four kids to that mix and you’ve got a whole lotta chaos happening at any given time. Derrek and I met a little over seven years ago and have been inseparable since. Let me make it very clear though, it has not been easy but I know that every single thing we have been through has made us stronger than ever.
Because we have multiple children who are all small in age, I get asked so many questions about my marriage. It’s not perfect so let’s just go ahead and put that out there. We are happy and love each other and are very committed to working on things that we need to work on in order to grow together and not apart.
I have always wanted a partner who fully understands what our marriage would be and how it should be. Just because I am a woman doesn’t mean that I take care of everything (kids, home, etc…) we share all responsibilities because this is something we both committed to when we said our vows. Derrek and I have always talked about how things would be in our marriage and that we would both work together. I really don’t understand how people get married and all responsibilities fall on one person. It’s a partnership. Remember that. Don’t get me wrong… we’ve had our fair share of arguments because I forgot to pay a bill or he didn’t put his clothes in the dirty hamper but guess what guys, no one is perfect so all that we can do is work on it and move forward.
At least once a week, Derrek and I go out on a date and we don’t talk about kids. Yeap, the topic of kids is banned from the conversation. Our lives are spent focusing on the kids… this time doesn’t need to be about them. We talk about them all day every day, this time is about us reconnecting. If you can’t think of things to talk about, go to Pinterest and look up “conversation starters.” They have really cute topic ideas. A date could be wherever… sometimes we go to dinner, the gym, movies, a play or concert, and sometimes it’s just drinks and listening to a band play down town. Whatever it is, GO ON A DATE. Get that sitter and go!
At night when the kids go to sleep, that’s Derrek and I’s time to spend together. We hang out from 8:30 til we go to bed and have our us time at home. Sometimes we do a bible study, play cards, talk about our goals or binge on Netflix or Bravo. Whatever we decide to do, we are hyper focused on each other and put our phones away. I just let my phone die around this time and I pick it up the next morning. Whatever is on my phone can wait, my husband cannot. It makes me feel so loved when we spend this time together and I know he feels the same way. After a long day doting on the kids, it’s nice to have that focus shift on each other.
I want to take the rest of this post to answer your most asked questions. There are so many moving parts to any marriage, I think that it’s important to remember that every situation is different so tweak things as you want them to be and don’t try to mirror someone else’s relationship.
Q: HOW DO YOU MAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER? I SWEAR I FEEL LIKE WE ARE TWO SHIPS PASSING IN THE NIGHT AND WE ONLY HAVE ONE BABY.
A: We do just that. We make the time. My entire life is scheduled… even the parts that aren’t scheduled haha. Life is so busy, we find the pockets of time that we do have like early mornings, night after the kids go to bed and then once a weekend go out for a few hours without kids around. Planning is key, I always hated the thought of having to plan stuff but now I realize I HAVE TO for it to happen.
Q: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR RELATIONSHIP ALIVE?
A: Aside from focused time. I butter his biscuit. Have you ever heard this Southern saying? hahahaha I just made myself laugh. What it means is to compliment him. I randomly go up to him and wrap my arms around him and steal a kiss or two, pinch his butt when he walks by or tell him he looks really hot in whatever he is wearing today. I always text him through out the day… not a ton but just enough to let him know that I am thinking about him. And this is the most important… I don’t whine and complain about every little thing. Life will never be perfect so I have to stop putting all of these expectations on everything.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE ON COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR PARTNER?
A: Just do it. Don’t creep into a little hole and never talk to your partner. That’s not going to end up well. I am very vocal about things when I feel like something is a little off. It really bothers me and I’ve learned that being direct is the only way to fix it. It doesn’t mean that being direct will at the snap of your fingers fix it but it will bring the issue to light and let ya’ll discuss it. I also try to keep my emotions really calm… I have a hot headed temper that I am learning to control. We have had intense arguments during our marriage but as of lately, those just get less and less frequent. By the way, an argument every now and then is normal and is healthy.
Q: WHAT ARE THINGS YOUR HUSBAND DOES OR QUALITIES HE HAS THAT MAKES HIM A GOOD PARTNER?
A: well… this could go on all night, haha. Derrek is just a really great dude. I mean really, I couldn’t have lucked up any better. He just gets it. He knows what is important to me and tries to make sure those things are always done… he listens to me when I vent or wanna talk business. He understands that our kids are OUR kids and shares responsibilities with me. He takes them to school, I pick them up… etc. He always encourages me to do things that make me happy. He is just a really great Dad as well!
Q: HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE YOUR MAN TO DO HIS FAIR SHARE?
A: We have had numerous… like ALLLLOOTTTT of fights about random stuff that has happened when I don’t feel like he is doing his part or vice versa. Learn from your arguments and mistakes. Voice what you think should go down or things you need help with… but voice in a respectful manner don’t bark at him. If there is ever things that I want done that I’ve asked a few times for him to do and he hasn’t… I make a list. and he knows what THE LIST means, ha. It’s OUR house, OUR kids, OUR life. Do what you can in that and then ask him to help you manage the rest.
Q: HOW OFTEN DO YOU DATE ENIGHT? AS A MILITARY SPOUSE WHO WORKS OUTSIDE OF THE HOME, I ONLY RECENTLY DISCOVERED DATE NIGHT AS A THING PEOPLE DO.
A: At least once a week. Before we moved to Florence, it was like never hahahaha. I mean for 5 years we never went out on dates…. maybe once a month or two. Less than 10 times. Now we see what that amount of time can do for our connection and have made it a priority. Life is crazy y’all… make sure to hit the reset button with your partner. You both will appreciate the break to just be. I feel like I am always running around doing something at any given time so a few hours away with nothing to do is a dream vacation.
These photos were taken by Amber Coker Photography.