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Make all the difference in your marriage

keep your relationship fun, stay in love, and great books to read!
Lots of fascinating things have come out of using Pinterest. the most recent find is a new blog, i've still only read the first post i stumbled upon, but it's a great marriage encouragement! It was a list of 10 things that make all the difference, i wanted to see if Brandon and i were on the right track, and so far we're doing okay. Good news huh! The post describes what has helped their marriage stay fresh, stay friends, stay in love, they also suggested to use some of these tips for your own , and make some for your relationship! so if you're part of a couple, or engaged, or already married, i'm encouraging you to sit down and go through some of these tips, and see what you'll be able to do together to grow strong and stay in love. I'm going to also suggest to write a few of your own. 
click here to see this couple's suggestions that make all of the difference in a marriage. my favorites from the post..
1-  Weekly Questions- The Loerke's said they have been asking each other the same five questions every sunday night.. check out these questions here.
 
2- Small Metal Box- after reading a story that encouraged them, they decided to put a dollar in a special metal box after every time they made love, and they would save up for a trip to Hawaii. Also they advised not to constantly count the money in the box, and that it was about quality not quantity. 
 
3- I skipped a few of their tips BUT you can check them all out, and i suggest you do! my next favorite was playing together. I changed this slightly to adventures. this is really what we call any dates, or vacations. If you know me, you'll know i love some Angels and Airwaves, my all-time favorite song "The Adventure" also has special meaning since it was our fist dance song. This is all to say, we decided our life together, our time together are all adventures. And these are so important! Simple things like going out to eat, hiking, or like the post suggested building forts or going on walks, which i loved. They explained how it's a way to connect emotionally and physically.. really i just am so thrilled to apply some of these tips to my marriage!
4- Praying together- this is another suggestion by the post, and Brandon and i did such a great job of this before we were married, and even right away after we were married, but we have gotten caught up and don't always spend time in prayer, but i agree that it's a great way to stay spiritually connected. 

5- Celebrate each other- You don't need to make a huge deal of holidays you're not crazy about, spending tons of money, BUT you should make a big deal out of anniversaries, birthdays and small accomplishments. It shows you're each other's biggest fans. 
6- don't do marriage alone. i have a fun (short) story that helped me realize this. We were having a minor disagreement that another couple were also having, we all sat down together and had our first couples fight. we did fight fair though! Everyone took their time talking, explaining concerns, and still arguing out of love to help the other side (guys vs girls) understand where they were coming from. It might sound crazy, but when Brandon and i left, i was really thankful to have friends that we were comfortable enough to not just have fun, but disagree too. 

7- Study each other- THIS is a strong point of mine. Brandon and i have our talking time once we're laying in bed, no electronics, and talking about the day. i come up with the most random questions, and although he sometimes thinks i'm crazy for asking these, we end up learning new things about one another! The article talked about how people change, and there's always something new to learn, so interview one another. 

8- Dude time/girl time- Time apart. the article said it best. She said it blesses her and her husband Tim when he can take trips with his buddies, since they meet certain needs that she can't and the opposite is true as well. 

SO technically i skipped 2 of their tips, BUT i thought i'd spin off it a little. Also it'll lead you to want to read the ones i skipped!  Thought i'd suggest some books to read together too! (or apart and talk about it later like we did while living in different states!) 
quick little blurb about these books- first if you've read other posts, you've read about Captivating, if not click HERE for more information.  Wild at Heart is the version for Men, i've read part of it, and Brandon read it too! i really suggest this! John and Stasi Eldredge also wrote Love and War, which i've only started to read, but i've heard some great reviews, same with Love and Respect, both of these couples' books have a notebook to fill out everything too! The Five Love Languages is one i read while in high school, and it's great to read to figure out for yourself, and your significant other so you can communicate the way that you feel and show love! 
Before You Say I Do, i wouldn't say is the best book we've read together, but it was a good book that got us talking, and thinking about things before we got married. Sometimes praying can be a difficult thing to start, i makes you so vulnrable, and a book like this will help both of you become more comfortable with it! the last book, a two-parter, the most important day of a woman's (man's) life. i haven't even bought this one yet! but one of the photographers i follow Zach and Jody suggest it. to see their page click here. (LOVE them, heard them speak at WPPI and they are a photography couple. CUTE) 
Do you have any great books you and your spouse have read that has encouraged your relationship? I'd love to find some more great reads! Also, would love to hear about any tips YOU suggest to keep the marriage going strong.