8 Things I've Learned in My First 8 Months of Marriage

1| I need to chill out. Being an only child for the first 11 years of my life (and therefore not having to share with siblings or vie for my parents attention for a long while) may have contributed to me not being the most flexible person. I'm a little stubborn and definitely not someone you'd consider "go with the flow". I just like things a certain way, which I don't think is always a bad thing (it makes it easier to choose a place to eat when my husbands not sure where we should go...because I know what I want), but it can also cause some issues in marriage and life in general.

Marriage has been a HUGE wake up call for me because I've had to realize that I can't always get my way and that I need to take my husbands wants and needs into consideration. I've also realized that it's not the end of the world if something isn't done exactly the way I want it done or if plans are changed unexpectedly because my husband needs something. Basically, I've had to realize that life isn't all about me! I'm sure I'll get an even larger wake up call when I have kids. Oh, boy!

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How To Maintain a Healthy Lasting Relationship With an INFJ

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Generally, INFJ's make warm and compassionate partners who bring excitement and joy to a relationship. My husband has often told me that "there's never a dull moment" with me. We're passionate, loving, caring, and deep...but that doesn't mean we don't come with some...ahem, complications. But really, who in this world doesn't come with complications (unless they're a boring pushover...)?

Since INFJ's (and humans in general) aren't given personality manuals to give to their partners when they start dating, I thought I'd write my own little version of what the "INFJ Relationship Manual" would look like if there was such a thing. So, here are some of my tips for INFJ's partners (or for those wanting a relationship with an INFJ) on how to maintain a healthy lasting relationship with your crazy exciting (& totally complicated) partner.

Disclaimer: While I do think this whole Myers Briggs thing is AMAZING and definitely the most accurate personality test out there, I do realize that people can't be completely defined by a personality test. We're all unique. Not all INFJ's feel the same, act the same, or like the same things. So, while I do like writing about my experiences as an INFJ, I know that not all INFJ's will relate to everything I say (I mean, duh!)...but hopefully some of the things I experience will bring you comfort in knowing that you're not alone!

10 Ways To Maintain a Healthy Relationship With an INFJ

1. Respect our need for space:

Though we may want you and love you with all of our hearts, we often feel as though we don't need anybody. There's a difference between want and need. Because we're so independent, someone acting dependent on us for their happiness is overwhelming. We want to help you and contribute to your happiness but we also want you to be able to help yourself and make yourself happy. Also, sometimes we just need space.

The "I" in "INFJ" stands for "Introvert" and introverts need time alone to recharge. We become overstimulated easily and will need to break away for a bit of uninterrupted alone time from time to time. Please don't take this personally. We still enjoy being around you and care about you a lot! Sometimes we just need space in order to stay sane and happy. 

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2. Although we're quite independent and tough most of the time, we're also incredibly sensitive: 

We will do everything we can to avoid criticism, but when we are criticized we are so sensitive that we may lash out in anger and become defensive. This is something we need to work on....seriously! But it would also be wise for you to try to correct us in a kind and sensitive manner. A nice compliment or some simple reassurance of your adoration for us before your critique or correction is the best way to approach saying something that would otherwise come off as hurtful. This should be a general rule for going about correcting anyone, but it's especially crucial to implement this approach when correcting the sensitive INFJ. 

3. We want you to love us for who we are and to respect our desire to "be true to ourselves": 

There's nothing worse to us than someone trying to change us or shape us into the version of us that they want us to be. We value staying true to ourselves and we want you to love us for who we are and appreciate our unique quirks, passions, and values. If you don't, well then...adios! 

P.S- This doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to improve ourselves and that we won't consider advice and constructive critisism (when done kindly), but good luck trying to change our core values, beliefs, and passions! 

4. We don't want you to change our core values but you may need to lovingly talk sense into us when we are being hypocritical/illogical/too stubborn: 

We can get preeeetttty worked up about things. We feel so passionately about certain ideas and viewpoints that we can reach high levels of hypocrisy, unreasonableness, and stubbornness in order to defend that thing that we feel passionately about. While we have an impeccable ability to understand people's different perspectives and views, it's more difficult for us to remain indifferent and unbiased when we feel as though someone we're close to is attacking our core values, beliefs, or passions.

If we've become hypocritical and defensive, please lovingly (and calmly, gently, respectfully) help us see your side of things. If you do this without attacking us, we are much more likely to actually listen. Help us come to the realization that people (even the ones we're closest to) can think and feel different ways and that's okay!

5. Initiate or at least continue in-depth conversations with us from time to time: 

Talking about some crazy thing that happened at work and goofing around with us are conversations we love and cherish, but occasionally we want to have in-depth conversations about politics, religion, psychology, etc. If we feel like you change the subject whenever we bring these topics up because you're not interested, we may retreat more into ourselves because we'll feel as though no one understands us. We like being alone, but we also cherish in-depth conversations with the people we care about (or...even strangers). 

6. Please please please be willing to be adventurous with us:

We absolutely love (planned) spontaneity. I know, planned spontaneity is completely contradictory, just like the rest of our personality traits. We long to travel the world, try new things, and delve into our sometimes "impossible seeming" dreams. Support us in our desires to live our lives to the fullest. If you can't join us in the fun, than respect that we will be adventurous with or without you! 

7. Realize that we want more from life than going to school, getting married, and having kids: 

These things are great and might be part of our plans but we may also have some less traditional dreams. We often have a "save the world" mentality. We want to do more than help our spouse and kids (even though we believe that's great too!). We want to "be the change that we wish to see in the world." We want to do something that will help the lives of many because we know there are so many people suffering all over the world. We aren't satisfied with a traditional life. We want to be involved in adventure and change!

8. Don't try to manipulate us:

We see right through any type of manipulation. We see through dishonesty and can tell when you're being insincere. We're very insightful and see right through sales tactics, exaggerations, manipulation, and guilt trips, and we won't put up with any of it. We'll call you out right away!

9. Please be a decent human being:

I mean, if you're dating us, hopefully you are one (but we're often drawn to narcissists- that's a whole other issue). We obviously can't change you, but we really hope you look past your own little comfortable world of privilege and help people who are really in need. We hope you tone down the road rage (because who knows if the person who almost just crashed into you was about to have a panic attack or one of their family members just died!? You never know, so be kind!) We hope you care about people's feelings and are passionate about helping people and making the world a better place. 

10. Try to help yourself some of the time: 

We do love helping people, but when we're helping someone close to us, it's a whole new ball game. We're very sensitive to emotions so we're prone to take on whatever emotions you're feeling. The closer you are to us, the more your emotions will transfer to us. It can even get to the point where we feel equally as stressed or sad as you do. This is okay sometimes. We want to help you! We're partners after all, but when we're trying to maintain our own positivity, other people's moodiness can really drag us down. We want to be there for you but it would be helpful if you also tried to help yourself some of the time because of our empathetic nature and tendency to become overwhelmed easily.

11. Respect our idea of fun but remind us to stay balanced:

Our idea of fun is sometimes what other people would consider "work," such as spending hours on a project, writing an article or essay "just for the fun of it," or vigorously following through with our goals. We can become completely consumed with our passions, which is just one reason we would be perfectly (more than) fine with being left alone for hours (or even days) at a time. Respect our idea of "fun," as our ambitious nature can and should be seen as a great quality, but also remind us to stay balanced. Remind us that there are other important parts of life (like eating, sleeping, and spending time with you.) Sometimes we need that gentle reminder. 

12. Let us dream:

We're idealistic dreamers with our heads in the clouds and our goals set on what might seem like the impossible. Let us dream...because we actually do have what it takes to accomplish our goals if we're given the chance to. Don't try to squash our dreams or "talk sense into us". If we're zealous about owning a bakery or becoming the mayor of our city someday, than let us dream, because we may be some of the few that are actually determined enough to achieve the craziest ideas. At the same time, help us reign in our idealism when it comes to our relationship.

We often have an ideal of what our lives should look like and while in many ways we're logical, we can be awfully unrealistic about how perfect our lives should be. When this gets in the way of us having a healthy relationship, help us recognize that we're having unrealistic expectations for our relationship and that it's okay for things to go wrong sometimes. We may need a little reminder that we can still be happy even if our lives aren't perfect.


If you enjoyed this post, please pin the following image onto your Pinterest so others can read it. Thank you so much!

 
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3 Things You Might Be Feeling as a Young Single Adult & Why You Should Choose To Be Happy Instead

When I was heading off to my first year of college at Brigham Young University-Idaho, I can't even tell you how many people came up to me and say things like, "You're going to come back a married woman!" or, "You'll be married in no time."

I would always assure people that I was going to school for an education, not to get married, but the jokes about attending, "BYU-I Do" and getting married within a month of meeting someone persisted. 

Sadly, these jokes aren't really jokes.

It's the reality of BYU-Idaho. There's a very real pressure for everyone to get married there. In fact, my roommates my freshman year would regularly cry about not being married yet. They were only 19 years old. 19! 

I always thought those type of girls were silly and desperate, but I found myself starting to think the same things as them as the years went by.

When you attend a school where you can't even room with a close friend for more than a semester without them getting married and there are very frequent devotionals and church lessons encouraging you to get married and expressing the joy of marriage and starting a family, it's difficult not to feel as though something is wrong with you when you're not married yet.

This isn't just a problem at BYU-Idaho. It's a problem in the "Mormon Culture." When everyone's main goal is to get married and start a family. it's difficult for people to feel as if they're doing anything right if they aren't accomplishing that goal. They long for what most of their friends are experiencing and people even start to wonder, at a very young age, if they will ever find someone to marry. 

Even though I wasn't immune from thinking this way, I did try my best to ignore the pressure to get married. I had to constantly remind myself that I was still young, that there were other important things to accomplish in life, and that it's more important to wait until I meet the right guy than to rush into marriage or become desperate for marriage instead of enjoying my life.

And most of all, I had to stop comparing myself to others. Just because they were married and I was not did not mean I was any less desirable. It did not mean that they had a perfect life and I was some old hag that was going to be rejected for the rest of eternity. All it meant was that I hadn't met the right guy yet and that was just fine!

Even though I initially wanted to accomplish a few more things before getting married, I'm glad I found Connor when I did. Because it goes both ways. You shouldn't feel like you need to get married as fast as you can but you also shouldn't pass up the right guy because you don't want to get married young. But, I mean, really...you don't have to listen to me about what you should do or feel, or anyone else for that matter! Just do what you feel is right for you.

Because I know this "single stage" can be extremely challenging time for young single adults (and yes, you're still young if you're 30), I decided to put together a list of 5 things you might be feeling and why you should choose to be happy instead!

1. You are likely feeling pressure from family members, church leaders, friends, and acquaintances.

They may be trying to offer you advice on how you can get more dates or keep a relationship going. Unfortunately, they may even think you aren't trying as hard as you should be. My advice to you is to just ignore them. First of all, it's no ones decision but your own when or who you get married to and no one should be pressuring you or making you feel like you're not trying hard enough. You very well may be trying your hardest or you may have decided that you'd like to focus on something else for now. Either way, it's okay. You're an adult and this being the most important decision you'll ever make, you can decide when you're ready to make it and when you feel it's the best time for you.

2. You may be feeling like you're never ever going to find the right person or anyone to marry at all. 

Maybe you're not being asked out on dates or you get rejected by every guy you show interest in. Maybe you just don't like any of the guys you've hung out with. Whatever the case may be, remind yourself that even if it seems like there's a 0% chance of it ever happening right now, there's a 98% chance that you'll eventually find someone who wants to marry you just as much as you want to marry them.

My super-awesome sister-in-law got married when she was around 30 years old. I asked her if she enjoyed her time alone before she met her now-husband, Curtis. She said she did enjoy it but she wished she had spent less time worrying that she'd never ever find the right guy. She said she had some amazing experiences that she feels like she needed to have before meeting Curtis, but that it was also a difficult time for her because she let the pressure to get married get to her. Imagine if she had just had faith that she would eventually find the right guy. She would have saved herself the trouble of thinking she was never ever going to get married and she would have been able to focus more on the other important aspects of life.

3. You may be feeling like everyone who is already married has a way better life than you. 

I like to call this Fairytale Syndrome. You've spent your whole life idealizing being married and starting a family. How could you not? It's been ingrained in your head since you were a child. It's been ingrained in everyones heads; from bedtime stories, to Disney princess movies, to chick-flicks, and more. Of course you feel like your life will be better once you're married! It's what you've been taught to believe your entire life. This is a very damaging perspective to have because it tricks your mind into thinking you can't possibly be truly happy until you're married. Or at least, you can't be as happy as you could be if you were married. This just isn't true!

Yes, I must admit that I do think married life is great. I love having a best friend that I know isn't going to pack up and leave at any time. I love having Connor's support, love, and companionship. And I just love him and the life we have together.

BUT, it's so important that you learn to be happy on your own. It's important for the obvious reasons like just the simple fact that your life doesn't begin once you get married. You're living your life now so try to be happy! But it's also important so that you can be the kind of person that can healthily contribute to a relationship and not destroy it with self-esteem issues, neediness, negativity, etc. 

And it's possible to be happy when you're single! Trust me, once I decided that I was going to be happy despite not being married yet, I was more inclined to seek adventure and be happy in the "here and now," instead of constantly thinking about the future. I decided to travel to Europe, work at a lodge in Alaska, work towards my dreams, and focus on school. I began being more than satisfied with my single-status and that was actually when Connor popped out of no where! (I'm not saying you should try to be happy just so that the right guy or girl can pop out of no where...truly be happy just to be happy!) 

There's so many exciting and wonderful things to experience in life. There's dreams to fulfill, people to help, and things to see and do. This world is so exciting and full of fantastic things to explore and experience! Don't let your happiness be contingent on your marital status. Decide to be happy now!


I encourage all you singles out there to be happy with whatever point you're at in your life. I encourage you to always remember that you're just as great as anyone who is married and that your life can be just as great as anyone who is married. People can choose to pressure you into making whatever decisions they think are best for your life, but you are capable and smart and you can decide to shrug it off and do what you know is right for you.

How To Balance Independence & Unity In a Relationship

If you read my last post, 20 Things You've Experienced If You're an INFJ, you'll know that I'm a pretty introverted and independent (ahem...could be considered stubborn) person.

In fact, the idea of getting married always excited me but also scared the pazookies out of me!

I always thought of it as a loss of independence, which since I've gotten married, I've discovered that in some ways it totally is. But it's really not as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, with certain boundaries and perspectives set in place, marriage can increase your sense of self and ultimately be the best thing you could ever experience (if you choose the right person.)

This balance of unity & independence in a relationship can be extremely difficult to find but it is possible. I'm going to share some of the ways that my husband and I have created this balance. Of course, I'm still a newlywed and there's much more that we can learn about improving our relationship, but here's what I've found helpful so far.

1. Make "alone time" and "quality time" equal expectations.

I don't know about you, but I need my "alone time." It's a necessity for me in order to stay sane. People in relationships need different things and it's important that you respect whatever that may be. Instead of "alone time," someone may need, "social time," every week to spend time with their friends and family. Whatever the need may be, it's important that you respect each others basic needs.

I have seen so many couples lose their own identities once they're married. They focus completely on their spouse at first and then later they focus entirely on their kids. Respecting each others individual identities and allowing each other time to develop those identities is crucial.

On the other hand, it's vital to make time for "quality time," together. I've gotten so caught up in my own interests (blogging, reading, writing, planning, etc.) that I have to admit that at times I haven't done my part to encourage unity in our marriage. Spending time together is essential for a happy marriage. This is why the balance is so important!

Too much independence can disrupt unity in a relationship while too much togetherness can disrupt independence in a relationship. It's your job, as a couple, to figure out how to divvy up your time in a way that will benefit your relationship and your individual "sense of self."  

2. Realize that it's okay to have different opinions.

Sometimes people (including myself) get into a relationship and assume that their partner has to have the exact same opinions as them or it's not going to work out. In fact, I used to feel so adamant about this that I even tried to change my boyfriend's opinions by trying to convince or guilt them into thinking the same way that I did.

That's a huge "no-no!"

Of course you can help someone change (if they want to change) or help someone see your perspective on something but if they don't agree with you, why would you want them to insincerely agree with you?

Also, it's important to realize that a lot of differences in opinion aren't as detrimental to a relationship as we think they are in the heat of an argument. Even religious and political views aren't as detrimental to a relationship as people sometimes make them out to be.

What's important is that you love each other and that you are willing to try to understand the other person's point of view even if you don't necessarily agree with it.

I had to come to the realization that my husband, Connor, and I are two different people who grew up with different backgrounds and have different brains so there is literally a 0% chance that we'll agree on everything. There's literally a 0% chance that we'll even agree on all the "important" things in a relationship.

Mastering this skill of respecting each others differing opinions is more than a matter of, "agree to disagree." It takes effort on both of your parts to truly try to see the others perspective and to try to see why your partner might think the way they do. 

3. Treat each other as equals.

In order for people to remain individuals in a relationship, they need to respect each other as equals.

If one person sees himself or herself as higher up or smarter than the other, their partner will be taken advantage of and will lose their sense of self and individuality.

I had literally not met ANY guy that treated me as an equal until I met Connor. I'm so so so so stinkin' glad that I met someone who sees me as equally intelligent, equally logical, equally important, and equally capable of being a provider, nurturer, leader and a person with vulnerable emotions.

That has made such a positive impact on my confidence in myself as an individual! This aspect of equality also creates unity that you can't possibly experience without it. It provides an atmosphere where you are able to listen to each other and learn from each other equally without one person thinking they're in a position of authority over the other.

4. Encourage each other to have unique interests and hobbies.

The fact that Connor and I encourage each other in our interests and hobbies is one of my absolute favorite things about our relationship! 

Before Connor and I met, Connor occasionally enjoyed playing video games. After we started dating, he actually assumed that he shouldn't play them at all because he thought I wouldn't like if he played them. I was so confused when he told me this. I literally asked, "Why wouldn't I want you to play video games?"

Anything done in excess can be damaging to a relationship (including exercise, blogging, reading, crafting, etc.) but in moderation I feel that almost every hobby and interest is perfectly fine. In fact, it's more than perfectly fine. It's crucial that people stay passionate about their interests and hobbies!

I've always respected and admired Connor's love for video games and I encourage him to play them because it makes him happy, just like blogging and making jewelry make me happy. Respect for each others interests and hobbies is so beneficial, despite how silly or boring you think they may be.

5. Encourage each other to grow.

Earlier today, Connor and I were laying on a blanket in the park and I was having doubts about my new blog and jewelry business. Instead of shrugging my worries off, Connor told me how capable he thinks I am. He even went beyond that and initiated a discussion about ideas for my blog and business. He showed genuine interest in my passions and dreams which made me feel capable as an individual and united with him as a couple.

I can't stress enough how important it is to be your spouses #1 fan and supporter! This will not only encourage individual growth, but it will enhance the emotional intimacy in your relationship. Rooting each other on is an excellent way to be on each others side and have that sense of togetherness as a couple.


I hope that you'll give some of these tips a try. I promise you'll see massive improvements in your relationships and own self-confidence when you make an effort to respect each others individuality and also place importance on uniting as a couple. Thanks for reading and be sure to check out my other blog posts that you can find on my Home Page! Also, please let me know how you and your partner balance independence and unity in the comments below! Thanks!