Guys, I am SO pumped to introduce Carleigh officially to all of you not only as my
assistant life-saver and Lead Media Manager for The Cake Media/The Cake Shop, but she is also now a weekly contributor to The Cake by Hannah. Her heart is pure gold, she is a 6 on the Enneagram, and is such a pivotal piece to everything BTS for The Cake. You’re going to LOVE HER. *insert applause here*
Hey y’all!! Carleigh here. I’m 25, have been married to my husband, Jay, for 3 years, and I’ve worked for Hannah for almost a year and am loving every. single. second. of it. I can’t live without cheese, Coke, and Gilmore Girls. And, I wouldn’t be where I am today without my husband, family and friends, and the grace of the Lord.
My husband Jay and I just celebrated our 3 year anniversary at the end of May! We went to Finest (where Hannah went back in October!) to celebrate, and needless to say it was perfect. We sat on the beach, drank pina coladas, got a little too sunburned, and got more time together than we have had in a long time. We’ve learned a lot the last 3 years, and I want to encourage all you newlyweds or soon-to-be marrieds with 3 things that really will change the course of your first years. I hope it helps you navigate this unknown territory you’re entering into.
- Fight for time together.
You see this one a lot, and for a good reason, but it can be difficult to actually do. I mean, you most likely see your spouse at some point every day right? Isn’t that enough?
Nope. It really isn’t. Even if quality time isn’t your #1 love language (although it is mine ha!), it’s something that is essential to a healthy marriage. There is a HUGE difference between time and quality time. Trust me, this is a conversation that is had often in my house. You probably get time every day, but how often is it the kind that leaves you feeling connected, refreshed, and encouraged? Life is busy, like really busy, so if we don’t fight for that kind of time that allows us to connect as spouses then we simply aren’t going to get it. Figure out what that looks like for you. Is it carving out an hour after your evening winds down to talk, check-in, and just be together? Is it a weekly or monthly date night out (or in)? Is it a vacation or a weekend trip just the two of you? Whatever it is, make time for it as often as you can.
2. Support each other’s passions.
This one has been a huge lesson for me even in just the past year. Pretty much since I’ve been married, I’ve struggled to find my passion in life. Then, when I found it, I struggled with how to pursue it. There were a lot of ups and downs, and a LOT of emotions. But not for one second did I ever feel like Jay wasn’t there for me or didn’t support me. I’m pretty sure he didn’t really understand when I told him that my dream was to work for a blogger, especially when I always followed it with “ … but I don’t know how that will ever happen”, but that never kept him from encouraging me to pursue it.
Just the other day Amber Fillerup posted a poll on her stories asking who else was a “Fortnite wife” and I laughed out loud. If you don’t know, Fortnite is a video game that is wildly popular right now. My husband loves to play it, along with other video games. It’s his dream to be a streamer and a Youtuber, and he loves following other streamers and Youtubers like I love following bloggers. The problem is, I hate video games y’all. I just think they’re a waste of time. I’ve never appreciated that Jay spends time playing them, and I always chose to see it as something that was taking away from our time together, and not as something that he truly loved to do. That viewpoint has caused a lot of arguments in our marriage. Even through all the support I received, I didn’t support him in return. And it was a point of tension in our marriage because of that.
Finally, one day I decided to let go of my selfish viewpoint and just support him. It’s something he loves to do, something that allows him to be creative, and something that allows him to connect with his friends and make new ones. There’s nothing wrong with it even if I don’t understand it. Since the day I decided to just support his passion, I can honestly say we’ve grown a lot closer. We haven’t argued about it since, and it doesn’t even bother me anymore (most of the time… I’m still human haha). But, when it does I don’t voice it in the way I did before. It was a simple choice, like love so often calls us to do. I had to make a choice to let go of my selfishness and put him before myself. I’m not proud of how long it took me to be a supportive wife in that way, but thank goodness for grace right? The point of this long story is that it’s important to support your spouse’s passions, because that’s part of supporting and loving them overall. The love that comes from feeling supported can go a long way and do wonders for your marriage.
3. Learn about yourself as much as your spouse.
When I say this, I’m specifically talking about your tendencies, habits, the way you approach conflict, etc. One of the most helpful tools that I’ve found to identify these tendencies in yourself, and then use that knowledge to understand how you communicate with your spouse, is a quiz called “How We Love”. It focuses on how different aspects of our upbringing affect our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors when interacting with and showing love to others and gives you your love style based on your answers. It also has these charts that show how different styles interact in a marriage and how it affects conflict. Sounds kinda like just another personality test, but y’all it was LIFE CHANGING for my marriage. My counselor showed it to Jay and I, and after going through it Jay literally said to her, “Do you have a camera in our house or something???” It was SO accurate. It takes maybe 10 minutes, and going through our results and how our personality types interact with each other gave us so much insight into each other and ourselves. Moving forward, when we have any sort of conflict or misunderstanding we can resolve it so much quicker because we understand how the other person is feeling and why they’re reacting the way they are, and we can understand the same for ourselves. Putting time and effort into understanding these types of things about yourself and your spouse can help you get to a level of knowing and feeling known that I think so many couples miss out on, because they don’t want to put in the work. But it is so worth it.
If you choose to take the test, hover over “The Love Styles” at the top of the website and click on “Core Patterns”- This is where it shows how different love styles work together.