{10 things} That Have Made All the Difference

Monday, May 10, 2010

On our anniversary Mr. Loerke and I spent time reflecting on the past 5 years. As a result we came up with a list of 10 Things That Have Made All The Difference in our marriage. Please feel free to make these your own, as well as share any wisdom and insight you may have in the comment section below. After all, we need all the help we can get!

1. Weekly Questions: For the past five years Tim and I have been asking each other the same five questions every Sunday night. These questions have made the biggest difference in how we love and serve one another throughout the week. If you're going to incorporate one of these 10 things into your marriage, we hope it's this one.

2. A Small Metal Box: After reading this story, Tim and I made a pact that each time we made love we would put a dollar in a special metal box and save it for our 50th anniversary trip to Hawaii. This has surprisingly been a great way for us to creatively pursue intimacy with one another over the years. Our only advice would be to not count the money in your box. Focus on quality, not quantity.

3. Traveling Journal: There is a journal we share that's filled with words that would make you blush. We take turns writing in it, always hiding it for the other to find in an unexpected place. It's been found duct taped to our shower, in suitcases when traveling, even in the refrigerator behind the Cool Whip. (Pretty sure Husband was trying to tell me something). Overall, this has been a great way for us to verbally affirm and encourage one another.

4. We (try and) Conflict Well: Conflict is inevitable in relationships, but we believe it exists to make us better, not bitter. We try and keep short accounts with one other by sharing our disappointments and hurt feelings. This isn't always easy but it's necessary in maintaining marital oneness. From experience we know there's nothing more damaging to our relationship than harbored bitterness.

5. We Play Together: Husband and I have chosen to be active together. Whether it's tossing the Frisbee, flying our kite, going on walks, participating in adventure races, reading bedtime stories, or building forts in our living room, playing together has helped us find our inner child. It has also reminded me that being active together can be romantic. After all, deep down I know Husband wants me to be his sidekick when it comes to doing "guy things" with him. Realizing this has been critical in helping us stay connected both physically and emotionally.

6. We Pray Together: One of our favorite ways to end the day is by praying together. We pray for our friends, family, and for wisdom in our marriage. Though our prayers are usually not longer than a couple of minutes they have made a huge difference in helping us stay spiritually connected, as well as make us more aware of each others fears and insecurities.

7. We Celebrate Each Other: Husband and I love to make a big deal out of anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and even smaller personal accomplishments. We are each other's biggest fans, and finding a thoughtful gift or preparing a special meal can make the biggest difference in helping us feel known, loved, and celebrated.

8. We Don't Do Marriage Alone: Our trusted friends have been incredibly helpful in showing us how to work through some of the bigger issues in our marriage. It wasn't always easy to share these struggles because of our pride and embarrassment, but soon we realized that most couples were struggling with the same things we were. We've learned that isolating only hinders us from truly dealing with our hurts, habits, and hang-ups.

9. The Greatest Gift (Self Work): We realized early on in our marriage that the greatest gift we could give each other was to know ourselves. This meant working through our family of origin junk. We all have it, but so few actually sort through it; Celebrate Recovery helped show us how. It was here that we first learned to attack our problems together, instead of attacking each other about our problems.

10. We Study One Another: Someone once told us that no matter how long you've dated your spouse, the day you get married you're essentially committing your life to a total stranger. This was great advice considering how quickly people change. To say I know Tim fully after 5 yrs of marriage would be a lie. There's so much about him that I don't know about simply because I do not ask. That is why we like to interview each other regularly. It's amazing the things you can learn about your spouse when you take the time to ask both fun and creative questions.

10b. Dude Time / Girl Time: Sometimes one of the best things we can do for our marriage is to spend time apart. It blesses me when Tim is able to take a trip with his guys because I know they meet certain needs that I can't. Similarly, Tim understands that spending a weekend with my girls is critical to my overall mental health and well being. Don't get me wrong, you guys know how madly in love I am with Mr. Loerke, but sometimes all a girl needs is an uninterrupted weekend with her besties. Guys are no different.

Ps, We'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you for making it through this post. Pretty sure it was longer than the Magna Carta.

Copyright © Today's Letters 2010-2014
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185 comments:

Carolyn said...

Just so you know, Emily, you have inspired Rick and I with your Tuesday questions. We are starting this new tradition TONIGHT after our mountain bike ride. We're calling it Musing Mondays. :) Thanks for being the catalyst for this simple, but potentially revolutionary act.

Don Dinnerville said...

Jesus, thank you for demonstrating your love for us - your bride - in the way that these two are loving one another.

Tim and Emily - should God ever decide to bless me with someone to share this journey with, I'll look forward to sharing with you how you inspire us.

Have a wonderful day, and thanks for sharing!

cara. said...

this is great.

Stacie said...

Love this Loerke's!! Yall are awesome!! Love you guys and ending with the Tim Tam Slam was especially good!

Jen Samayoa said...

This is the greatest find! Thank you for posting this letters everyday. What a glorious reminder to tell those you love them that you love them...every day. Beautiful.

I love that you two have this beautiful marriage. I am going to start praying for my future spouse right now and that we have 1/2 as fun of a marriage as you two.

Jess said...

Love.This. Thanks, Em!

LB said...

Thank you so so much!

Scott said...

My favorite post of yours so far. Love it... and time to find me a metal box!

Amanda said...

Love it! With my husband's and my first wedding anniversary next week, this is a timely motivator to get better every day at being married. Thanks!

elle + josh said...

i just wandered onto your blog for the first time today & i'm smitten. thanks for sharing these ideas. the tuesday night questions remind me of the questions in "the examen" by st. ignatius. my husband & i periodically ask each other those questions, but i am inspired to be more consistent about it, & incorporate your questions as well. i will definitely share this post with him, especially the metal box part!

mymcmlife said...

Wonderful advice! Thanks for sharing. And I don't think it's fair to do a Tim Tam Slam in front of us unless you're going to share!

Megan Michelle said...

I just discovered your blog today and spent way too much time (or not) reading through it. I just got married in september and your marriage is an inspiration to me. Also I will be making your chocolate chip cookies for my love tonight.

xoxo

Tim & Em Loerke said...

carolyn, i think musing monday's sounds fantastic! how did it go?

neighbor, your comments always leave us feeling encouraged. thank you!

cara & staci, i know you'd be friends if you lived in the same city. cara meet staci, staci meet cara.

jen, just remember to add lots of late night dance parties and magic shell to your future marriage. makes the world of difference.

jose & lb, you both are so faithful to read. your support is better than an underwire bra.

kedersha, we. still. have. a. couple. crush. on. you. guys.

amanda, happy 1st anniversary! (that's kind of a big deal). ps, husband and i start over lots. don't give up. each year gets better and better.

elle, please tell your mister he is one of my favorite musicians OF ALL TIME. (i graduated from taylor). so grateful to have you reading.

mymcmlife, sending you lots of tim tams. they are the greatest, no?

megan, you will get lots of kisses in exchange for your cookies. how did they turn out? they are the BEST.

Megan Michelle said...

They were delicious! Thank you!

zarah said...

this is just so cool :)
God bless you!

amber fischer said...

Just came across your site and I can't stop reading!!

I love this list and it has inspired me. I think I'll share it. ( :

Tim & Em Loerke said...

megan, so glad! husband sometimes makes request for milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet. both are d to the licious!

zarah & amber, grateful to have you reading! xo

Ale Miller said...

Love your blog it has helped me a lot through my marriage. I have only been married a year on Sunday and I am loving it.

Brandy & Jason said...

Brandy & Jason- We wanna know what 3 questions u asked on Tuesday nights ?

Anonymous said...

hi emily!
one of my favorite memories of you at kamp was how you always pursued 'us counselors' with words, challenges, poignant writing, book lists and food for thought. i love this post (found through becky's fb) and am giddy when i think about the summer you and tim met and all the Lord has done these 5 years. i can't wait to try them one by one:) you've always been a blessing to me:)
-martha (robinson) newman

Anonymous said...

hi emily!
one of my favorite memories of you at kamp was the way you used words, clipped stories, gave book lists and used notes of encouragement to pursue us counselors:) i've always loved your 'food for thought' and am so happy i saw becky's link to your blog. love this post. excited to try them all:) i'm giddy thinking about the summer you and tim met remembering then...and seeing now what the Lord has done in these special 5yrs. your wisdom has always been appreciated...lots of love:)
martha (robinson) newman

Timothy Loerke said...

Brandy &amp, check out the "Tuesday Questions" tab at the top. There you will find the secret to our marriage.

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

This is an amazing little corner of the web that just shines.

I'm so glad I found your Light.

All's grace,
Ann
(who wildly loves The Farmer Man, and is looking forward to making your top 10 our top 10 -- *thank you*)

Tim & Em Loerke said...

ale, happy (almost) anniversary! i hope you have a wonderful time celebrating on sunday.

martha robinson newman, can i tell you how much your comment meant? AND i will never forget the summer you stole william wallace's heart. xoxo

ann, six kids and a farmer man? you deserve a raise already. grateful to have you reading*

sethswifeforlife said...

This is an awesome post! LOVE it. (I found your blog through a friend, Kim Berry. She & I have been friends for 25 years. yikes, that's long, but it's awesome. Were you guys some of the friends who she did that awesome Warrior race thing with??)
Blessings to you guys in the wonderful amazing adventure of marriage!

a pair of pettijohns said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
a pair of pettijohns said...

wow, can we say "best way to start the weekend ever?!" :) oh how i loved reading this! i love that you and your sweets desire the BEST in your marriage...and that you accomplish it by having so much fun! so inspiring...SO fun! way to be!

one thing we've learned over our 6 years of marriage is that there's nothing more rewarding than investing in your marriage. you go into it with a spouse and come out with a bff.

and having Christ at the center of it all? there is truly nothing better!

Todays Letters said...

sethswifeforlife, we were! we've hung out a couple of times because of our mutual mutual friend, rachel. btw, highly recommend the warrior dash!

a pair of pettijohns, loved what you said about going into marriage with a spouse and coming out with a bff. so true! grateful to have you reading! xoxo

ada said...

I LOVE THIS! love your blog..sooo happy to have stumbeled upon it!
bye:)

Today's Letters said...

ada, thanks for reading!

christine said...

you two are delightful.

looking forward to finding our own ten things.

Laurie said...

I just found your website and am so encouraged and inspired by it. While I'm not married, I'm grateful that you are offering an example of loving, God-glorifying marriage to others. Too often marriage is belittled and denigrated. Thank you for reminding me that it's beautiful.

Oh and I don't know if he's a friend of yours or not, but Don Dinnerville has to be pretty much the most awesome name ever.

In the Tweeds said...

Hi Emily! Just found your blog and I must say I love this post a lot....and your daily letters are the best. You guys are an inspiration! xoxo Leila (remember me from KC K-Life days?!)

Today's Letters said...

christine, love it that your working on your list!

laurie, what a compliment. thank you*

leila, helloooo long lost friend! so glad you found us. your taste in design is top notch. way to go, little!

courtney said...

you are your husband are such an inspiration! can't wait to recreate and add to this wonderful list for myself!

Amanda said...

Thank you so much for posting! Hopefully I can use some of these ideas in my relationship! The box is brilliant!

Today's Letters said...

court, hope you find it helpful! thanks for your sweet comment.

amanda, we couldn't agree with you more about the box :)

Anonymous said...

you guys give me hope for extinction. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Love your list. I have been married almost 37 years and wish we had incorporated all of those in our lives.

esther. said...

Tim Tam Slam?!?! Haven't heard someone say that since I was living in Australia.

Today's Letters said...

esther, love it that you lived in austrailia. arnott's = huge fan.

cait said...

I feel like I just found a special, hidden treasure. Hubby and I have been married for a little over 2 years and are always searching for ways to boost our communication. Thank you for sharing...what an amazing blessing!

Rebecca said...

this is SO wonderful! and here's a fun thing: a friend of mine pointed me to this blog post. before i even began reading, i freaked out and thought, "could it be?" my sister was best friends with mary loerke in high school, and the loerke family is so dear to mine! just wanted to share.

thank you for these tips! i am most definitely going to pass them on to my married friends, and make them a part of our marriage, as well!

Today's Letters said...

cait, communication is by far our greatest challenge. it can also be our greatest reward!

rebecca, so fun! glad you stumbled on our blog. we love mary y dani.

Naila Moon of the Grey Wolf said...

I found you from the Blogger Bee. I am much newer wed than you are but your tips are terrific for any couple.
I wish you many years of happiness.
I am now your follower.
Peace...Naila Moon

http://yaknowstuff.blogspot.com/

Jill Garcia (Smith) said...

LOVE this post guys, and love to y'all! I'm thinking we will adopt your top 10 for 2011 and call it Savory Sundays! Can't wait to see how the Lord uses this to change and improve our already fulfilling marriage! Thanks for giving us a little picture window in to your marriage!

http://journalingbyjill.blogspot.com

Ashley said...

Thanks for posting this! Those are great tips! I love the tin box idea! Definitely even more important for when kids come and it's harder to "sneak away."

Natalie Christensen said...

Wow... I really like the Tuesday Questions. I'm not married, but I can see the benefit of asking these questions. I might come up with my own questions for myself and start a series of posts for journaling purposes. Thanks so much for sharing!

onerarebird said...

I just stumbled across you blog~ there's definitely a reason you were voted "Best New Blog of the Year"...Congratulations! Thank you for the inspiration, honesty, and fun you are sharing here.

xo~
Jessica

Today's Letters said...

naila, we love the blog guidebook! thanks for stopping by and saying hello.

jill, how are savory sunday's going? we heart you guys!

ashley, we couldn't agree more (and we don't even have littles yet!) ... fully taking advantage of all the free time we have :)

nat, these four simple questions have truly changed our marriage! we feel much more connected and not as clueless on how to show love to each other through the week.

jess, thanks for your sweet comment ... truly. we're humbled by our reader's response to our story. we hope you stick around and get to know us a little better! xoxo

Serene said...

Love this. I am inspired by both of your abilities to humble yourselves for the sake of the other and to keep pursuing each other:)

Lisa, An American Mom said...

First, you're both totally adorable. Second, I am completely inspired by this post. My marriage could use a little fine tuning ( especially after 2 kids! ) and I am going to show this post to my husband. I am totally impressed that you seemingly have such a strong marriage and a grasp on true priorities in life and you're so young. Well done.

Cabby Crafter said...

Congratulations for winning!
I am a new follower of your blog. You are a lovely and blessed couple. This particular article is very encouraging to me and my hubby who are toddlers in being married.
Blessings!

Lady of the House said...

I wish I would have been doing number 2. We have been together almost 13 years. We'd have quite the bundle. Thanks for sharing!

My Beautiful Life said...

This is so sweet. The box is a great idea!

AndreaMicheal said...

Thank you for showing me that love like this is NOT impossible.

Laina said...

I just found your blog through fly through our window. and i am in love with your blog!! and when i saw the picture of you two eating/sucking your tim tam slams i loved it even more! My husband spent a few months in australia and new zealand and when we found these in the states he was soo excited! Look forward to checking out more of your site!

Kari said...

You just inspired me! I can't wait to share this with my husband Justin! We have been married 10 years and you're right, it's not easy and we always could use help and some tips to keep us in tune to one another and enjoying every moment. Mostly to create more Great moments than bad ones.
Thanks!

Melissa Shipman said...

I love some of these ideas! Wow, it is clear how devoted you are to your marriage and each other. I want to repost this on my blog sometime. I will, of course, give credit, and link it back here, if that would be okay?

Today's Letters said...

melissa, of course!

Anonymous said...

Are you willing to share the five questions?

Today's Letters said...

anony, the five questions are hyperlinked in the description above! here's the direct link too: http://www.todaysletters.com/p/tuesday-questions.html

Becoming Luvisi said...

How do we use some of this content? I noticed it is Copyright.

Today's Letters said...

becoming luvisi, shoot me an email! em@todaysletters.com

Britt said...

I'm so excited to steal some of your ideas:) My love and I are apart quite often because of the Army...so getting new ideas to help us make make the most of the times we are together is awesome! Thanks so much! I'll be getting a metal box, and have it waiting when he gets home in a couple months:)

Anonymous said...

Wow, thank you! I've been through Celebrate Recovery before too and LOVE to see healed and strengthened relationships through Christ!!! I loved reading every tip and am so encouraged that you two actively strive to show love to each other!!!

Mrs. H said...

Thank you so much for this post, it was awesome. I really love number 2. I also love the tim tam dunk!

Anonymous said...

It all sounds so cute & I will take away something to add to what has kept me married for the past 14 years. I only have one question: Do you have any kids?
Thanks for the blog...

chiiiiing said...

Nawww geewhizzz, this totally made me warm and fuzzy inside <3 <3 <3

Erin G. said...

Tim Tam Slams are literally the best things in this world. :)

Anonymous said...

I've never ever even seen someone else's blog before... I've always known what a 'blog' is, but have never found someone's on the Internet and read it. Today I found ur big through 'Pinterst' and I really enjoyed reading about the 5 questions u ask ur spouse every week and ur top ten things that have made all the difference. Both my sister's got married last year and I plan on sending them toward ur blog to get ideas for themselves. Thank u for sharing your marriage with us. You two sound so freakin' cute and I hope to find the kind of loving, sharing relationship that ur blog portrayed of yours. -Kimberly

Ashley said...

Love this

Kassie said...

These are really great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Love these ideas. So many couples are suffering and the divorce rate unfortunately is rising above the "50%" it used to be. Utilizing ideas or attending couple devotional seminars is a great way to stay on track.

Meggie O'Brien said...

Thanks so much for the advice & for being so helpful. Although I am not married yet, I will def take this advice and share it with other people. I love it also that you guys pray for each other at night. I think this is the most wonderful idea and I know it definitely keeps Satan from not getting a foothold in your relationship.

Anonymous said...

Stumbled upon this from a friend's blog today. This just might save my marriage. After only 5 yrs, I have been ready to call it quits the past year & basically already have inside-despite lots of Christian counseling (it seems from the start). My Christian husband was deceiving me since the beginning without my knowing. How do I stay? Thank you for sharing an intimate part of your marriage to save others. You have a beautiful relationship, one I dream of.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled across this link on pinterest and it just completely made my day! I am engaged to be married in August and I didn't think I could be more excited than I already am but this post just made that possible! Thank you for sharing and I am looking forward to taking these ideas and incorporating them into my marriage!

Melanie said...

I love these ideas! My hubby and I do something somewhat similar to your Sunday questions. Instead of asking questions however, we think of one word and it can be ANYTHING at all! For instance, I will say "purple" and he has to tell me the first thing that comes to his mind. It could be one thing or often times, it's a memory. And sometimes, that one thing they think of will remind them of something they will want to share with you about how they feel about something in particular. Andy once said "tendon" and it made me think of Lance Armstrong. I have no idea why that connection was made, but it made me thing about how strong he was and it got us talking about biking. And then 2 days later, we went bike riding. It's so fun!

Kimberly said...

This is so awesome! I just found this on Pinterest.. and I am looking for ways to stay close with my husband.. especially now that we get so busy with our baby. THANK YOU for sharing this! :)

theglossarie.com said...

this post is incredible! as a newly(ish)wed who has been with her husband for ten years, these reminders and little tips are so important. i can't wait to implement them all (and soon!).

Aliya said...

Great. Now I want a Tim Tam Slam. Good thing I haven't used my February allotment yet!

Enjoyed all your 10 Things. I definitely want to try the weekly questions! What a perfect "mini date" we could easily do. Maybe even do it over a bottle of sparkling juice or a bowl of ice cream.

Tatiana said...

Thank you for this post. My husband and I celebrated five years of marriage in July 2011 and it's nice to see someone blog so honestly about their "youngish" marriage. I really really appreciated the metal box idea (we have friends getting married this summer that it would be perfect for.) I also liked the questions you ask each other. My husband and I do a similar check in once a month. You've inspired me to do it a little more often.

jessica said...

This is an amazing list! I can't wait for my husband and I to start doing some of these things and making our marriage even stronger!

Kaitlyn said...

Wow! Great post. I'm not married yet but hope to be someday. I'll definitely be putting some (most) of these great ideas into practice. You're an inspiration!

robinettesinturkey said...

This is fantastic. I told my husband about the small metal box idea, thinking that he would jump all over it, and to my surprise he didn't say much about it. I got a little sad about it but the next day I came home to a surprise present. He had gone out and bought a small box that resembles a treasure chest and had gone to the bank to get $1 coins and put some in the box along with a super sweet note about how he loves our marriage and loves doing fun and creative things with me... long story short, he LOVES the box idea! He is now always saying things like "I got a spare dollar in my pocket" or "I'm going to spend a dollar on you tonight!" ... it is so sweet and fun. I used to feel like I was the one initiating intimacy most times but now the tables have turned! It is such a simple thing, but it has really helped him initiate intimacy between the two of us. Thank you for such a special and wonderful idea. I also love the other 9 things on your list as well :)

Imp said...

Randomly saw your post as a pin on Pinterest. I loved the post and it gave me a burst of creativity for my husband and I as we, too, are newly weds (7 months!). I was also ridiculously excited that you live in Dallas and gave homage to the Tim Tam slam. There is no equal. :)

Chelsea said...

What wonderful ideas! Would love to do a link up to this article on my blog if you are interested.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how I came across this post, but as an engaged young woman, it nearly brought me to tears and blessed my soul. Thank you. For your honesty, and light.

LB

Amy said...

I don't know that I've ever been more encouraged by a blog post. My first marriage was abusive and painful and I am still healing from it, but I am in a relationship with a wonderful person now and if/when I marry him I want to use all of your suggestions. Thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

This is the cutest thing ever! My partner and i have been together for 5 years this past Christmas and i just proposed to him on New Years Day... after my birthday and i've never been happier. Reading this confirms that each couple is so different yet creating what works for you is essential. LOVE LOVE LOVE...I wish the two of you MORE love, laughs and happiness!

- E.C.

5spoons said...

I love this list so hard - thanks for sharing!

I'm going out to buy a traveling journal and $1 box asap.

Anonymous said...

LOVE THIS ME & MY BEAU ARE WORKING THRU ALOT RIGHT NOW & THESE CREATIVE IDEAS WILL HELP THANX A BUNCH -REGINA

Amy P said...

Great post! You have some really great ideas and reminders here - it's not just some dull list of 'communicate. don't be mean. etc.' We're three years in and I take all the tips I can get! My favourite marriage book so far is Love & Respect - made a huge difference for me especially.

chrissy said...

Wow.. Pinterest is a great way to get eyes on your old posts eh? Great stuff here... thanks

Kyla said...

This is great, practical advice. Thank you!

Tasara said...

You both are an amazing inspiration. With 3 kids, a 10 yr old and 4 yr old twin, a career in the Navy, and a wife who sometimes feels "trapped" at home, you are an inspiration to keep each other a priority. It's hard to stay in touch with each other and this will help us make it through this really hard time. Thank you!

Très bien said...

I love this post! Such wonderful advice. Thank you for sharing!!
Love on a Budget

Anonymous said...

My husband and i met on a blind date, he aked me to marry him in 4 weeks,we were married after knowing each other for 6 months. We have been married for 31 years-happily. Two things- never talk negative about your spouse to anyone. And always remember what you loved about your spouse in the beginning-it might be what bothers you later. If you try to change him or her you might not like what you change them into.

Kim Howes said...

What a refreshing and inspiring post. After 19 years of marriage, I'm realizing we still have a lot to learn about each other. It really is so important to interview each other and share all your feelings -- the good, the bad and the ugly. Loved your Tuesday questions and will definitely be incorporating them into our routine. The metal box is a great idea too that I will be replicating. Thanks. I'm sure I will be back often to visit.

Anonymous said...

LOVE this!! Thank you sooooo much. You guys are an inspiration & I will be trying things like these 10 things. My husband and I just celebrated 6 years married June 2 nd and this past year id say has been the hardest but we recently made a few changes and we are willingly to do whatever it takes to keep each other happy and know we are loved. :). Thank you thank you!!! God bless

ღ Jans Life According To Milo ღ said...

Just found a link to this pinned on Pinterest. You all really have some great ideas. Love the traveling journal, celebrating each other's birthdays, anniversaries and accomplishments and also the idea of just having fun building forts. Those are such great, fun, bonding moments that most of us don't keep up with. Love the Hawaii idea as well. That will be such a great trip for you all, much more meaningful than other people's trips. May you all have continued success in all you do. : ).. Thanks for sharing this with us!

Kristin said...

This is amazing. I found this on Pinterest and was blown away. You wouldn't think how little things go the farthest, especially in relationships. I'm not married, but I feel this is a great list to incorporate early on in a relationship you want to last. Thanks for sharing. Truly inspiring.

Laura Furr said...

I will be forever changed after reading this blog post. Thank you so very much for inspiring me and reminding me that God is so very faithful and will bless my relationship when I put the dependence on Him. I am sending this to my boyfriend in the hopes of it enriching our relationship as well. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Just found you on twitter and I LOVE YOU BOTH!

Anonymous said...

This melted my heart a little! I saw this post on Pinterest and really enjoyed reading it. I'm not married (yet!), but I feel I can relate to all the points. They are all great things to establish early in a relationship and I can't wait to share them with the person I love. Thanks for sharing, I loved it!

albert said...

Love the blog! Gonna have to try EVERY single one as soon as I get home

Autumn Rose said...

Beautiful list! Great advice for any married couple!

Sheila Thomas Hill said...

Such an incredibly wonderful, encouraging site! And Christ is in the middle! AWESOME! Gotta share this with my sweetie . . . l, sth

Anonymous said...

Sweet Em, you are wise beyond your years! Thank you for inspiring all of us ~ I've been married for 26 years and still am challenged by your words. May Abba bless you with a happy life both here and at Home forever :) ~MerryLynn~

Today's Letters said...

merrylynn, why so sweet! sheesh. 26 years in amazing. you should be writing a top10 list for me to read! much love to you and yours. xoxo, em

Shannon said...

I came across your blog today via Pinterest. I am 6 weeks fresh from finding out about my husband's 4 month affair with a younger woman. The pain and anger are still very real for me. I know that the problems my husband and I had were the complete LACK of your items 1-10b. Over the last 6 weeks, we have been going to a marriage counselor and I must say that the last week and a half have been SO much better as we've incorporated a lot of this advice back into our marriage. We have a LONG road to healing. We have been married for 9 years and have 2 kiddos - neither of us want to give that up. I hope to incorporate your "10 things" into our lives as we move forward. Thanks for posting this so long ago- the information here is timeless.

Anonymous said...

I just found you today via Pinterest as I'm still gathering ideas and planning our forthcoming March wedding. These tips are fantastic!!! We have already been doing some things (resolving conflicts as they occur, working through family things, just playing together, writing notes, praying together, etc.) and I am so excited about incorporating the others when we're married! I will definitely share this with him! Thank you and God bless!!

Today's Letters said...

shannon, i'm so encouraged by your bravery and strength. you've encouraged me today. thank you*

anony, congrats on your engagement! love that you've already been doing several of the things we suggested!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. My husband and I have been married for nine months now and I can honestly say he is my very best friend and the one that God designed sepecifically for me, and I for him. Thank you so very, very much for sharing this. I needed it very badly for various reasons as of late. I plan on taking your advice immediately. Thank you again! (:

Lara Wilson said...

Hi Emily,
My bf is actually who showed me your blog and I instantly fell in love with your story. I love how you and your hubs take such an active role in growing in your love together. I wonder if you have any suggestions for a long distance relationship? We've tried a few of your tips (interviewing one another, asking those quest's each week) but its not the same over the phone. I've sort of been at a loss lately for my relationship and unfortunately am not sure who to ask advice from, maybe you will have some great ideas! Anyhow, love all your stuff, keep up the great posts.
-Lara

Elise said...

Hi Emily :) I SO enjoyed reading this post. Obviously, I'm a little behind in the times (my friend just sent me the link) but it was so what I needed to read today. The hubster and me are about to celebrate our one year anniversary- yay! Thanks for sharing, and for really just being translucent for your readers! Have a blessed day!

Elise

Anonymous said...

Emily,
This so helped my own marriage. We now go on a date every Friday night and we sit down and talk for Monday Funday. (: We have so many dollar bills in the metal box. Only 45 more years til I get to count those suckers! Thank you so much for this, I cannot begin to explain the change its made for my relationship not only with my husband but with my besties as well!
Kaylee Baker

Anonymous said...

Emily
So inspiring... I have been married twice in my lifetime and hoping one day I will find someone to spend my golden years together. My daughter has made s statement to me that she doesn't want me me to die alone and neither do I... so if and when I find that someone special I too will try to incorporate these things. God bless you!!!

Mary said...

This is incredible!! I'm planning to show this to my hubby tonight. We are 3 1/2 yrs into marriage and looking for something to spice things up! I seriously loved every one of your suggestions. So creative!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this list!! You have me in tears because just the thought of doing these things is beautiful. I just got married three months ago to the love of my life and I am going to show him this list tonight. This is a forever love! I can't wait to get started on this list!

J Fincher said...

OK (insert fist pump)... just read your blog from pinterest... not all, but a lot of it! It is my husband and I's 3rd year of marriage and we are trekking along in this thing called life. I was immediately encouraged by your love for each other, but more for your love of the Lord. It shines brightly here. Thanks for your willingness to share. May Christ continue to reign in your marriage! Love, A girl from the peach state! ps. The list is close to ours, but I can't wait to add a few of yours!!! pss. Do a dance in the jammers for me and add a fist pump!

Aesthetic Fauna said...

I really, really, really love this post. Thanks for sharing- 99% of married couples in the world have something to garner from you. xxx, j

sherry dickherber said...

Reading your list was a result of a "pin" on pinterest...what a blessing! My husband and I will celebrate our 29th anniversary on October 15th. We have always made our marriage and relationship THE priority in in our lives, your list has shown me; there truly are others that value marriage and make it a priority, my husband and I have had the right idea, good info and advice for newlyweds and us old timers! May God continue to bless and prosper you and your marriage. Thanks for sharing...wish we would have had a metal box all this time!!!

sherry dickherber said...

Reading your list was a result of a "pin" on pinterest...what a blessing! My husband and I will celebrate our 29th anniversary on October 15th. We have always made our marriage and relationship THE priority in in our lives, your list has shown me; there truly are others that value marriage and make it a priority, my husband and I have had the right idea, good info and advice for newlyweds and us old timers! May God continue to bless and prosper you and your marriage. Thanks for sharing...wish we would have had a metal box all this time!!!

sherry dickherber said...

Reading your list was a result of a "pin" on pinterest...what a blessing! My husband and I will celebrate our 29th anniversary on October 15th. We have always made our marriage and relationship THE priority in in our lives, your list has shown me; there truly are others that value marriage and make it a priority, my husband and I have had the right idea, good info and advice for newlyweds and us old timers! May God continue to bless and prosper you and your marriage. Thanks for sharing...wish we would have had a metal box all this time!!!

sherry dickherber said...

Reading your list was a result of a "pin" on pinterest...what a blessing! My husband and I will celebrate our 29th anniversary on October 15th. We have always made our marriage and relationship THE priority in in our lives, your list has shown me; there truly are others that value marriage and make it a priority, my husband and I have had the right idea, good info and advice for newlyweds and us old timers! May God continue to bless and prosper you and your marriage. Thanks for sharing...wish we would have had a metal box all this time!!!

sherry dickherber said...

Reading your list was a result of a "pin" on pinterest...what a blessing! My husband and I will celebrate our 29th anniversary on October 15th. We have always made our marriage and relationship THE priority in in our lives, your list has shown me; there truly are others that value marriage and make it a priority, my husband and I have had the right idea, good info and advice for newlyweds and us old timers! May God continue to bless and prosper you and your marriage. Thanks for sharing...wish we would have had a metal box all this time!!!

freckles02 said...

These are wonderful ideas to keep a marriage running strong, successful and full of love. Thank you so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Read your posting on Pinterest and am so inspired by you and husbands commitment to one another. Your questions will hopefully be mine and husbands also. Thank you for sharing a part of your life and marriage that many would never dare do. May God continue to bless you and husband!

My Thots said...

After 24 years of marriage, it's nice to know I can still learn something. We're starting the $1 fund for our 50th anniversary fund. New incentive is always good, as health and life busyness can get in the way.
Thanks for sharing.

Arryn said...

I stumbled upon your blog via that "time-sucker" known as Pinterest.
I am not a blogger. And I've never really been a blog reader. You, have changed that. I find you to be uplifting, with your positive out look, and "we can do this" attitude. and lets not forget your wit.
I recently married the man that i can talk to about anything and everything. I never expected to marry my best friend. So happens the man i wanted to marry became my best friend. I feel that i may somewhat understand how you felt with your 'first 2 years' and I appreciate and look forward to more helpful hints, tips and tricks to keep each other not just knowing, but feeling, loved.
much thanks
arryn

Today's Letters said...

arryn, i'm so grateful you took the time to read our 10 things list as well post a comment! (big steps for a non-blog reader :) know that we appreciate your kind words and honesty! keep selflessly pursuing your dude well. xoxo, em

Jessica @ Decor Adventures said...

Hi TL. I'm so glad I found this today. Tomorrow is our 2 year anniversary and I love all of your ideas, we'll have to start some of our own!

Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful, creative moments :-)

Anonymous said...

I love this and incorporate several of these things in our marriage that we too believe have made all the difference! I would love to know what are the 5 questions you ask each other every week!

Today's Letters said...

anony, our 5 questions are hyperlinked above or you can check them out here! http://www.todaysletters.com/p/tuesday-questions.html

Ashley said...

This post makes me want to be your friend. Haha. You guys are great inspiration. Only been married for 2.5 years, but I"m looking forward to our life together. Thanks for sharing yours.

Anonymous said...

http://katieelisefenwick.blogspot.com/2012/02/ten-things.html

Ugh. That girl copied and pasted your post word-for-word. Granted, she did link to you at the beginning, but that's really, really bad etiquette so I thought I'd let you know in case you wanted to ask her to take the full text down and replace it with an excerpt. (She's getting Pinterest traffic off it, too - that's how I found it.)

I don't even know you and this is my first time on your blog so I shouldn't care, but many of my own blog posts have been cut and pasted onto other blogs, and then someone takes it from there, and eventually my name isn't even attached to it anymore. Blarg.

Anonymous said...

You guys are sweet! Reminds me of life before kids.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I just had our 10 year wedding anniversary. We have been together a total of 12 1/2 years. It has been a struggle for most of our years together. The devil likes to attack our marriage. He is attacking horribly right now. I am trying to find anything and everything to help save us...our family...our boys. Thank you for this post. I hope my husband will be inspired by it as well. It's almost our last hope. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

Love this! I want to try some of these.

Anonymous said...

i love your ideas. I read this list to my boyfriend and he was very enlightened. we needed to see this. timing is everything.
thank you

Nicolekk8 said...

Been married 10 yrs, going on 11. I've read a lot of articles online about marriage, and this is by far one of the best (found via pinterest!)
Speaking from experience, some of our success was directly related to getting a few of these down pat (4, 5, 7, 8, 10b), and currently working more on 9 and 10.
But you've also inspired me to put a few more tricks in my bag with 1 and 2! How fun!! :)
Thanks for posting this!

Christine said...

Please, what are the 5 questions ?

Today's Letters said...

christine, they are hyperlinked above or you can check them out here! http://www.todaysletters.com/p/tuesday-questions.html

Anonymous said...

Just came across this blog and I think its wonderful! My husband and I are definately going to start the traveling journal .. today! We also feel that studying each other is important. The way I have chosen to study my husband is by keeping a notebook by my bed and almost every night I make notes about my husband. What he liked about dinner (he's picky), what he was really interested in while we were shopping etc... Its a great way for me to keep track of my husband, remember what he says he really wants, what he doesn't like and when I act upon my notes, it shoes him i was attentive. love this!

ginger said...

i am not married but we are on the path. i just wanted to thank you for writing this and inspiring me to be a better person and better partner. you don't just "know"... so to take something from this and learn and grow from it is wonderful. thank you! :) and i hope for only more happy years for you and yours.

seeker said...

I LOVED this post and your very realistic and useful ideas! I cannot wait to share this with my husband! I was so thrilled with what you wrote, I even blogged about! Just sharing in case you want to check it out :-)

country wife said...

So sweet - loved this.

Anonymous said...

I am not married, but I believe these 10 tips can and will benefit the relationship I have with my boyfriend. Maybe now, with some new knowledge about the beauty of marriage, I might be willing to give it a try. I enjoyed reading the list, because it makes the marriage seem fun and easy. I do not want to ever feel like I am obligated to show love; I want it to come naturally for me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing, will try to remember some of your suggestions in own relationship with my husband.

The Resplendent said...

Married for about a month, and already excited to try these things to improve our marriage early on! Thanks so much for sharing!

Raven said...

Those are some wonderful ideas! Thank you for sharing them.

Kitty Russell said...

:)

Alicia said...

I just started reading your posts a few weeks ago and you are a big inspiration to me. Thank you for taking the time to share your life, advice, and everything with all of us. I look forward to reading more. :)

<3 your new fan,

Alicia (TX.)

Monique said...

How can i be added to ur blog or how would i find it. I love this and would love to read more.

Anonymous said...

i have been married for 36 years and I cannot emphasize enough how important these ideas are. It hasnt always been easy in my marriage, I have a husband who does not express emotion or talk about things deep or spiritual but we are working on it and these are great ideas for us to try. God bless you both for sharing your marriage story and what has helped you so that you may help others.

Today's Letters said...

anony, i'm so encouraged that you are being intentional to pursue one another after 36 years of marriage! so much respect!

Anonymous said...

Very cute, but I am guessing you do not have children. I would like to see this post rewritten after you do. :)

Miss Rosie said...

I am so blessed to have come across your page via Pinterest. Currently I'm in a strange but amazing situation. My husband and I divorced in November 2011, but recently moved back in together to try and rebuild what we so easily broke.

Reading your ideas, I know and I feel inspired that we can build a greater connection than we ever had.

Anonymous said...

You guys rock! After 14 years of "going through the motions" I am feeling unfulfilled and not measuring up to what God had planned for me or my marriage"...
I will be implementing many of your brilliant strategies, thank you for being a blessing! You Rock!

Jenny said...

So so nice! Thank you so much for sharing this! I really got inspired! Have a good day and stay as you are! Greetings from Finland!! :)

Anonymous said...

I am engaged to be married in July... This opened my eyes. THANK YOU!

Lanie said...

This is precious.

Danielle Carroll said...

Wow, this was a great post and really encouraging. Marriage is the hardest thing I've ever done (and I've only been married a few months!) Sometimes I get discouraged and wonder what's wrong with us :( But I think at the end of the day married life is just tough..we definitely would benefit from these Sunday questions and praying together more..

Thank you!

Ivy Clad said...

Thank you for this. I'm glad it made its way onto Pinterest so that I could find it and your blog. I'm excited to share this with my hubster.

Keri

Mags Pomichowski said...

This post is amazing! Thanks for sharing. Happy anniversary.

xoxo
Mags
http://magsmind22.blogspot.com/

Emily said...

This is amazing. Thank you for sharing. My boyfriend of 6 years and I have recently been having some issues and I know they're just growing pains but it has made me think a lot about what marriage will be like. This is a beautiful post and some wonderful advice. I truly think it's a sign that everything will be ok because my name is Emily and my boyfriend is Tim. :) Thank you, again, for sharing.

Ariana Reed said...

Thank you for this. Going through some hard times with my husband and this is definitely going to help!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that this made me cry from the heart. This is the kind of marriage that I want. I yearn for it. I have quite the opposite and even 8 years late I see no hope for change. I've done all I know to do and nothing gets better. I pray every day for my marriage and for my husband. I am going to show him this and pray harder than I ever have before for this to strike a cord in him.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

really great stuff. glad I found you. Aly and I have 23 years logged in the marriage circus, sometimes its a freak show, others we are casually riding round and round sniffing cotton candy. alykev.com

Anonymous said...

I am a newlywed for the second time and I really enjoyed reading your post. Our marriage is complicated by some of the problems of our past and having two sets of children that we had to bring together. It has so many complicated moments, but at the end of the day we truly love being in each others arms. I am going to share this with my husband and we are going to try to implement your ideas. God bless you and I hope you make it to your 100 year anniversary. :) You were just what I needed to read today after a spat with my husband over kids this week. Thank you!!

Jonathan said...

What are the questions you ask each other every Sunday night?

Today's Letters said...

jonathan, they are hyperlinked in the post above or you can find them here: http://www.todaysletters.com/p/tuesday-questions.html

Freebound Photography said...

This is such an inspiring post. My fiance and I are getting married in 2 months, and I am definitely going to mention a few of these to him, and hopefully he wil go for them!!

Allie @ 6000 Miles to Home said...

I just came across this beautiful blog and I can't wait to follow it from now on. This post is so inspiring - I can't wait to share it with my boyfriend. We love each other dearly but sometimes forget to spend the time necessary to keep working on US. I can't wait to get going on this list :).

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Love this! I've been married 17 years and been with him 23 years...and can use each and every word of advise! Never be above improving your marriage its important to a lot of people for your marriage to survive! Such as your children! And also to those that have stopped believing that a marriage is work and staying together in a society that gives up on there vows and divorce is so common! I will say my favorite was the end of your day prayer! Use to do this every nigh but somewhere down the line we have stopped and my marriage has suffered for it! A marriage and a family that prays together stays together!

Little Bird, Pretty Song said...

Some friends sent this list to my now-husband and I right before we got married a couple months ago. It was/is so inspirational to us!
Since then, I've started following your blog regularly, your outlook and insight are so refreshing!
I blog to stay in touch with our far-away friends and fam, and your content helps to remind me of why I'm writing.

Thank you and keep it up!

Robyn said...

I love love love retreading this list

Courtney Marie said...

Amazing.. beautiful.. very inspirational :) keep up the great work. God Bless you two :)

Christie Lammers said...

What are the 5 questions you ask yourself each Sunday?
chlammers@wsd.net

Today's Letters said...

christie lammers, they are hyperlinked in the post above! here's a link as well :) http://www.todaysletters.com/p/tuesday-questions.html

Sarah Lycans said...

Can you please give me an idea for the first page of my traveling journal?

Anonymous said...

This is truly a great list! Just wonering how everyone gets their husbands to do interviews? I cannot play any kind of a question game with mine to save me life! Any ideas?!?

Jenny said...

We recently instituted a weekly walk and questions and it has been so helpful! Also, just wanted to say that your posts are always a wonderful reminder to practice gratitude. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

Taryn said...

I found this through a wonderful friend on pinterest and I'm really glad I did.
I read it to my husband and he was totally on board with trying some of them. We have only been married for just over 7 months, but I come from a broken home so I'm continually look for ways to make sure that doesn't happen to my marriage.
We started the 5 questions that night. We actually do ours on Sundays because after church is the only time we always both have free. A week later we got a box. As a friend of ours lovingly refers to it as we "bought a sex box". Also this morning I started a journal along with writing out a few interview questions. We will see how things go
I am so glad you have written this blog. You marriage is truly an inspiration.
Thank you,
Taryn

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