Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A year and a half

Someday maybe I'll stop counting half-years in our marriage, but it's still new enough that I think I can get away with it.

A few months ago, our wonderful pastor invited Frank and me to join the One in Christ team, giving talks at monthly seminars for engaged couples. I wasn't sure what to think when he first asked us. We'd barely been married a year ourselves. What business did we have giving advice to engaged couples?

Since then, I've come to think that he asked us so that our own marriage could be strengthened, because presenting at the One in Christ seminars is one of the best things that's happened to our relationship. When we stand in front of a room full of engaged couples and talk to them about the importance of date nights and monthly "state of the union" talks and fighting fair and how marriage is supposed to be "faithful, fruitful, and forever," it's impossible not to put our money where our mouths are and follow through on those things ourselves.

Or at least try to follow through. We have both come to realize that we have all sorts of flaws and weaknesses that we didn't know about before we got married. Marriage is a mirror held up to your truest self, isn't it? We have so many things we are trying to work on, so many ways we need to improve. I'm proud of how far we have come in the past year. We are much better at responding to each other gently, at assuming positive intent, and at remembering that 98% of fights happen because we are tired or hungry.

I still have so far to go at keeping things clean, tidy and organized. Frank is still working to be more patient. But both of us are better than we were a year and a half ago. And we love each other more than we did when we got married. Maybe that's the most important thing?

I didn't get a chance to do an introspective marriage post for our one-year anniversary because I was three weeks postpartum, so I guess I am doing it now. More than anything this past year and a half, I'm proud of how hard we have worked to be better partners for each other. Going forward, what I want most is to keep that commitment to our work—the constant, careful work of building a strong marriage. Here's to many more years-and-a-half.

And speaking of the One in Christ talks, what is the best piece of marriage advice you've ever heard or received? We would love to hear your ideas, and hopefully incorporate them into our next talk. Thank you in advance!

p.s. The Old Navy giveaway is still open in case you want to enter!


  1. Is That Fr. Scalia?!! Great post. :) I love that the love only grows and you find yourselves more in love than ever. The best.

    1. Yes!! Good eye. :) He so kindly came all the way out to Chicago to marry us after doing our marriage prep. He is the best!

  2. Tess, looking back, what kind of advice would you give to a single girl hoping to marry? About what kind of spouse to choose, etc.

    1. Laura, thanks for asking!! I would say the #1 most important thing to look for in a spouse is kindness. That can make or break a relationship. A truly kind spouse will be a good person to live with everyday as well as to share the ups and downs of life with over the years.

      I would also keep in mind that whatever little things are annoying about a boyfriend or fiance will be magnified a thousand times after marriage since you are around each other all the time, so make very sure that his most annoying traits are ones that you can tolerate.

      Overall, just be really choosy and discerning. Pay close attention to ANY red flags that come up and take them seriously. I've seen nice girls rush into marriages with guys who weren't right for them because they just wanted to be married, and then end up with annulments or unhappy marriages a few years later. Better to be single for a long time than to be with someone who makes you unhappy. When that right man finally does come along, he will be worth the wait!!

  3. I just noticed Fr. Scalia! Your dress is so gorgeous that it's hard to see anything else in the photo :)
    How wonderful that he made the trip. He comes to our parish every few weeks for confessions or Sunday Mass, which is such a treat.