7 Things We Learned in 7 Years of Marriage
It’s our anniversary. Here are 7 things we’ve learned in the first 7 years of marriage.

Sixth Thing:

A few weeks ago my friend Ying asked me (Tim), “How’s Olive doing?”

Ying is a good friend of ours, and so I wanted to answer her honestly, “She’s feeling stretched. Really stretched.”

There’s a difference between tiredness and weariness. A good night’s rest will end tiredness, but it doesn’t help weariness. Olive was weary. Having two young kids and working on our business had been slowly taking a toll on her over the past year. There were too many mornings where she did not want to get out of bed. We’d made minor changes to help her get more rest (like sleeping by 11pm every evening, sending her away on a 2-day personal retreat to catch up on sleep, and getting her started on a Zumba class). But I could tell they weren’t helping enough.

She wasn’t getting any better.

Olive had burnt out 8 years ago, before we got married. It took her 2 full years to recover. I knew that if things didn’t change, there was the very real possibility that Olive could burn out again. But part of me was ignoring these warning signs, hoping they would go away. We launched our marketing business two years ago, and it was doing well. I’m a competitive person, and I had goals for business growth this year. We were on track to reach  those goals. One year ago I made the decision to pull back our business by 50% to give Olive and I extra time to care for our newborn baby. After 3 months, we started ramping up the business again. But business doesn’t always come when you want it to. It took me additional time and lots of hard work to get back to our desired business level. I didn’t want to slow down the business again – at least not so soon.

In the journey of marriage, we have encountered difficult seasons. Olive went through burnout. I’ve gone through depression, multiple times. What we’ve learned is that the best thing we can do during these hardships is to wait together. It’s like sitting in the dark together, waiting for the sun to rise.

Practically speaking, what that means for me is that I wait with my wife through this difficult season of sleep deprivation, anxiety, and weariness. So, I made the difficult decision to take the gas pedal off our business, free up some time and energy, and wait with Olive. I will wait, the business will wait, and the business growth will wait. We’ll wait together for as long as it takes for the sun to rise.

1st thing: Appreciation Strengthens Marriage

2nd thing: Margin Helps Our Marriage

3rd thing: As Strong as the Weakest

4th thing: Children Add Strain to Marriage

5th thing: Bring Out the Best

Written by Tim and Olive Chan

Tim and Olive Chan

Olive is a friendly introvert and recovering perfectionist. Tim is a cheerful pessimist and always thinking. He especially enjoys being a husband to Olive and father to Alena and Kayla. Tim currently works as the Marketing Strategist for Coracle Marketing, and Olive is the writer and web designer. They started Coracle Marketing together in 2013. Olive has been a contributor to Converge Magazine, SheLoves Magazine, and Hello VanCity.