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.

Third Thing:

When we first got married, I (Olive) thought I had to be strong, to “pull my own weight,” so to speak. Marriage is a partnership, so I should bring my strengths. As a result of this mindset, I mostly kept my struggles to myself. Why bother Tim? I reasoned.

After we had our second child, I floundered deeply. I remember one conversation in particular, sitting at our kitchen island, a box of tissues at my elbow and weeping in front of Tim. Suddenly, I had this shocking realization: when I am weak, we are weak. My struggle is not only mine, it’s ours.

This is part of the mystery of union.

My limitations = our limitations. My being unwell meant that Tim had to adjust his life, including pulling back from work. I felt embarrassed and frustrated when I realized this. I didn’t want to be the weakest link! But part of the beauty of the marriage relationship is acceptance and companionship, instead of finger-pointing and blame. Tim’s response also helped me accept the truth about my condition. That acceptance helped me make positive changes, which moved me toward getting back on my feet again.

I also recognized that Tim’s struggles impact me, too. A cavity in his tooth meant an extra trip to the dentist, which meant my day had to accommodate extra childcare time.

This realization motivated us to be each other’s advocates for self-care. We want the other person to thrive! Practically speaking, we’ve become more intentional about our Sabbath (rest) hours, making sure that we each have at least a bit of Sunday afternoon to do something life-giving. We are more careful, considering each other’s areas of weakness: Tim makes sure I get to bed at a decent hour, and I make sure he’s on top of his oral hygiene.

We are only as strong as the weakest member. But if the weakest is strong, then how much better is that?!

1st thing: Appreciation Strengthens Marriage

2nd thing: Margin Helps Our Marriage

4th thing: Children Add Strain to Marriage

5th thing: Bring Out the Best

6th thing: Waiting Together, the Hard Times

7th thing: Rich Traditions

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.