My husband and I are coming up on one year of marriage. It’s crazy to stop and think about all that has happened this past year, but if I can take one reflection from it, it would be this: I am so thankful to have him as my partner in life.
We had a lot thrown our way this year, but instead of taking it out on each other, we used one another as our support system. We tackled all challenges with a team mindset, and I do believe that this mindset is helping us set a firm foundation for our marriage.
I’ve been on a Yoga kick this summer and, at the beginning of every session, we are asked to set an intention for our practice. This could be to focus on joy, release a worry or anxious thought we’ve had, to just focus on being healthy, or really anything that you want. I honestly didn’t take it so seriously the first time I went, but the next time I went in I was really anxious, so I decided to set the intention of release from worry during my practice. I completely immersed myself in the practice and found myself feeling ten times better when I walked out the door.
On my drive home, I really started to think about intentions. Merriam Webster defines intention as: “a determination to act in a certain way.”
What if, in all aspects of our lives, we set intentions? In our jobs, reflections, interactions with strangers, our relationships…anywhere!
I know that my husband set an intention in our marriage before we were even married. My husband is in the military and he spent most of our engagement deployed. When he came back, he would have another year or so at this unit before we traveled to a new location for training. He knew that we were getting married in 4 months, once he got back, and he also saw that his job was about to get ten times busier. He spoke with me about a month before he came home from deployment and said that there was a position he could apply for in the training location that would have us moving right after we got married. This would mean, instead of having another year, we would only have four months left where we were. At first I didn’t understand why he wanted to do this, but later on, I came to find out that he did this so he could make sure he was home for our first year of marriage. In this unit, he would be non-deployable. We would have two years together before he would have to deploy again. My husband set an intention to place our marriage first, and he followed through with it.
Side note: follow through is the most important part of setting an intention. You can plan something all you want, but if you don’t follow through with it, then it doesn’t impact anything.
Marriage in general can be stressful and challenging, and I’ve had numerous veteran couples tell me that you constantly have to cultivate your relationship. You cannot expect a plant to bloom without being watered, and same goes for your marriage. That being said, I also know how extra difficult a military marriage can be. Between deployment, long work hours, unexpected calls in, the fear or injury (or even worse); all of this can add an extra weight on marriages. We have seen many of our friends in the military get divorced. We found out about three within the first month of our marriage, which had us setting an even greater intention to cultivate our relationship.
There are two constant intentions that my husband and I do to continue to grow our relationship.
- Date nights: every Thursday (sometimes it gets pushed to Friday, depending on work schedules) we make a plan to go out for a date. Usually it’s dinner, sometimes it’s a movie. We just make the intention to go out and do something. We don’t have children right now, so it’s easy to get used to being around each other and get stuck in the groove. Actually planning something out with each other means more than a typical dinner at home.
- Nightly Devotionals: This is something we have recently started within the last month. We usually end up going to bed at the same time, which makes this easy to do. I bought a small devotional on amazon (link at the end of this) which has a bible verse, small reading, prayer, and a question. The questions are great because they’re not questions I would ask my husband regularly, so they really challenge us to dig deep and open up to one another. Technically we were supposed to start this in January, since it’s a daily devotion, but we just ignore the dates and go on to the next one every night. For two people who are not always in touch with their emotions, we were a bit awkward at first with this devotional. I have loved seeing us open up more and become more comfortable with expressing ourselves. (Devotion)
I am in no way, shape, or form a perfect person. I don’t have perfect relationships with people and I don’t always follow through with intentions, but I’m working on being better with it. I’m continuously growing and learning; we truly never stop. I hope that this blog helps you set some intentions for yourself. What is an area where you want to set an intention? Unsure about it? Just think of an aspect of your life that you want to change, and set an intention there. The only person stopping you, is you.
“Stop living on auto-pilot, and start living on purpose.”simplyfiercely.com