Tuesday, July 13, 2010

marriage review

patrick keeps writing book reviews, so i decided to write a marriage review. the opinions below are inevitably biased, mushy, honest, and all mine.


overall, patrick is the most amazing husband ever. i can't think of anything better to wish for a couple than that they have a marriage like ours.
we got married four years ago and things have been getting better ever since. when we first started off, we thought it was spectacular. and it was.

things i don't like:

we did have some rough spots, getting used to each other (and getting to know each other! 6 months of long distance doesn't really make a couple instantly, flawlessly compatible). i had to learn that every action isn't loaded with significance. life isn't a short story, so i can't expect every moment to be hugely revelatory. sometimes we both do things out of character, or do things that don't express what we really feel. (we - i - had a few drama moments.)

about me: i can be too needy and dramatic. i don't like this about myself. i'm trying to laugh more and pose less. i think it's helping.
about patrick: he can withdraw and be distant, and he can give horrible compliments. um - this one isn't really something i don't like. well - it's hard to categorize. sometimes patrick says things that sound like shocking insults but were meant well. (i'm practicing forgiveness, so i won't record them.) luckily, i didn't hear the first one until after the knot was firmly tied, so we set sail on blissful seas. :)

(things i like)
mostly, we had some really big bonuses going for us.

we both love God, worship Jesus, and believe the Bible. so in the deepest core of our hearts, we're building on the same stuff. the same things are really important and beautiful to us, and we have the same basic blueprint for living. we want, above all, to bring glory to God. and that works out in the little things, which means putting each other first, and trying to forgive quickly.

also, we speak similar love languages. words of affirmation build both of us up, and make us feel especially loved more than anything else. also, i tend to speak the love language of acts of service - which, awesomely, turns out to be patrick's other love language. (when i'm overflowing with love for patrick, i do laundry, or clean up. then he's all like 'oooh, you love me!' and we both feel mushy. weird, but it works for us.)

as well, we love to read. we've read a lot of books on marriage and sex and intimacy, which have helped us to be aware that love needs to be made. (HAHA BEST freudian slip ever. i'm leaving it in.)
what i mean is, love doesn't just happen when two people who dig each other get married. we have to deliberately nurture it and plan it. like, if we want to wear clean clothes, we have to deliberately do the laundry. they don't just happen. and if we want to eat, we have to cook, and do dishes.
same with love. if i want a snuggly marriage, i've got to be a warm person that someone would want to snuggle with. if i want openness, i've got to be willing to be open too - scary as it may be! if i want patrick to feel adored and amazing (because he is), it isn't enough to just assume he'll know that i feel that way about him. i've got to show him and tell him.

on top of all that, we've got a lot of the same interests. we like to read, write, and talk. we love to cook together and have company (although i like any number of people, and patrick prefers small groups). we like lame youtube videos and quirky cartoons. we like long drives up the coast and serious conversations. we're pretty dorky and incredibly happy. we're as comfortable with each other as we are alone, so we never need to pretend to be someone we're not. this is a deep and awesome goodness.

the main characters are stellar and conflicts are resolved. i give this marriage 5/5 sunset drives to peggy's cove.


  1. As an observer, though admittedly a biased one, I think you both do a great job of working constructively on the marriage. God bless you both!

  2. this is a very good review Janelle! You've summed it up well and it's great that you can be so open and honest about your marriage like this. Next year we celebrate 30 years of marriage and I wonder what kind of review I could come up with... I probably need help to write one!