Living a Thriving Life isn’t an arrival, but a way of living that involves constant nourishment, pruning, grace, and self care.
To learn more about these principles, check out my FREE Living A Thriving Life ecourse.
I’m excited to take a new twist today on my standard Thriving Life interview questions and focus them on marriage! The same principles apply! Davina Fear is not only one of my dearest friends, she is a brilliant minded expert on how to make marriages and families thrive!
Over a year ago in conversation I begged her to create an online course on marriage.
“You have such amazing ideas and methods on simple ways to nourish the marriage relationship!” I said. “Please create a course on that! I want to take it!”
To my delight, she listened! This week she launched her Better Together: A Marriage Adventure online course and I recommend it with gusto. I love my marriage, but Davina’s ideas and methods have truly inspired me in so many simple ways that we could do this all important relationship better. Check out her course HERE.
And now… off to the interview!
How do you Nourish your marriage?
When we were first married my parents gave us the advice to never talk about each other negatively to others, to only talk to each other. We’ve held to that advice. When we are among friends, kids, and family we make it a point to share the things we love and admire about one another.
We have connecting points through out our day. It’s important to us to make sure we’ve seen each other and touched everyday. Each morning we make sure to hug/kiss each other shortly after waking up.
Anytime we leave one another we hug each other and kiss. When we reunite we try to be deliberate about stopping what we are doing and take a few minutes to hug one another and ask about the time we were apart. I’d like to say we are 100% at it but I can’t. I will say we do it much more often than we don’t.
We give each other 15 minutes no matter what. Every night we make the time, before falling asleep, to chat about what matters to each of us, struggles from the day, exciting things that happened…whatever is on our minds. I find that when we let a few days go without downloading our thoughts to each other we immediately begin to feel distance between us, more frustration, and we’re more quick to take offense at each others words.
Recently, we’ve been trying to be much more aware of the kissing. It’s so easy to get in the habit of just giving each other a quick peck as we rush off to other things. In an effort to slow down and see each other and feel the nearness of one another we’ve been doing the 10 second kiss (for wedded bliss as Amy Voskamp suggests). It makes our kids grossed out and to be honest it was a little weird at first. (it’s embarrasing to admit that! when we were engaged and newlyweds we certainly didn’t think that was weird…) I want to say I give into the 10 seconds every time but there are moments when I am embarrassed or somewhere in my mind I believe I don’t have time for this 10 seconds of connecting with the man I deeply love, who has been by my side for almost 20 years, has seen me at my best and at my worst and still tells me I’m smokin hot.
The 10 second kiss is an awesome way to feel more connected and to nourish your marriage, though. It’s such a deliberate way to say you matter to me, 10 seconds is not too long for me to stop and see you, feel you, know you.
There are so many ways we nourish our marriage but I’ll stop there! lol
What have you Pruned?
The silent treatment. When we were first married I was prone to giving Mike the silent
treatment. I would stay mad for long periods of time thinking he needed to know how badly he had hurt me. The longer I stayed silent the more he had hurt me.
In the last almost 20 years we’ve learned how to fight. We’ve come to understand what each other needs during a disagreement or when we’ve hurt one another. We’ve gotten better at remember when one person is mad it isn’t up to the other person to change the weather they are carrying. We are each responsible for our own weather.
Mike and I have realized that I need time to process my thoughts and what I want to say. Often, if I don’t get time to think my words come out much more mean than I want them to. Now, we both know when I’m silent it’s because I’m trying to figure out what to say and not because I’m trying to hurt Mike. In turn, Mike patiently waits for me to
be ready to share the thoughts I’m trying to pull together.
When Mike is hurt or upset, oftentimes a hug or some kind of reaching out from me is what he needs.
Silence is rarely the path we take during arguments or misunderstandings.
How does Grace play a part in your marriage?
We pray together often and we forgive quickly. Anytime we leave to work, head off to work, or part ways to different activities we pray together. At night before drifting off to sleep we also pray together. Connecting with the heavens brings in a perspective and an unifying assistance that helps us to each be reminded that our marriage is
bigger than each of us separately.
It’s also wonderful to hear your spouse’s heart poured out in prayer for you and for the things that matter to them. I’t always nice to talk and download thoughts but hearing Mike pray for me opens his heart to me in a way that is different that when we are just in conversation.
Praying often together also keeps our hearts open to each other. It makes forgiveness so much easier.
A few days ago we had an issue come up with one of our kids. Mike and I were pretty frustrated with what had happened. Mike was more upset than I was (there have been times when this had been reversed). I had the inspiration that prayer would help our hearts. I prayed that we would be inspired, understanding, and kind. By the end of the
prayer, Mike (and my) heart were changed toward our child and we both felt more inspired together. We were more ready to forgive and to talk.
What is your simple luxury in marriage?
We date every single week. No matter what.
I don’t know that I’d say it’s simple but I simply need that time with Mike every week. It’s actually pretty complicated to make that time for each other. I’ve heard and read about people believing that a date is a silly answer for a happy marriage.
I believe it’s a necessity to a connected, happy relationship.
The thing is…date night is more than going out together. And by that I don’t mean that we have to have an elaborately creative date every week. When we make time for each other every week we’re saying that we’re putting each other first, no matter what. We’re saying to one another, you matter more than anything or anyone else. We’re saying, I love to be with you. I want to be with you. I look forward to our time together and I guard it carefully.
There are multiple reasons that date night ( is vital to having a rejuvenating, fulfilling marriage. I’ll just name one other reason that they are a simple luxury for us.
After a long week…whether it’s arduous or elating…it’s usually busy. Life is chaos no matter who you are. If you have kids the chaos likely is increased. Often the first thing to go in marriage is having fun together.
If you’re not having fun together it makes it a LOT more difficult to have soul-baring conversations together. If you can’t laugh together it makes it far more uncomfortable to bring up the challenging topics.
It’s imperative to have fun together each week…just the two of you. It brings aliveness and energy and happiness to your relationship to engage in activities that make you laugh and remember how much you just love be together. Date nights keep the doors to our hearts and to meaningful conversations open wide.
Davina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer and blogs at davinafear.com. She loves giving her husband 15 minutes and taking non-cheesy photosof her family life.
Have you signed up for Better Together: A Marriage Adventure? Get your seat here!
Thank you so much for the chance to be part of your Shared Experience series, Brooke! I loved your questions and, as always, love talking with you.