The Marriage Project | David & Lindsay

We’ve loved getting to hear stories from couples who have been learning and growing from marriage for decades—the ones who really make it to the final rounds at an anniversary dance—but David and Lindsay made us remember why we love talking to couples from every length of marriage. Even for us, (even though we’ve only been married 3.5 years), it’s an encouraging and helpful reminder talking to a couple who is earlier on in their marriage—a good reminder of intentionality and not taking things for granted. You might go into marriage with ideas, plans, and commitments ("always say I love you", "have a weekly date night", etc), and those ebb and flow. Some things change for the better as you feel safer and more comfortable with each other, and some things start to get forgotten or overlooked because of LIFE. Sometimes that helps you reevaluate how to integrate those with your actual-real-life, but sometimes it just means you start to get into habits and take things for granted.

Just like a wedding makes us remember what it’s about all over again (and sometimes look tearily across the room at each other), talking to couples about marriage has been such a blessing and reminder to us about our own relationship.

David & Lindsay were set up on a blind date in college. They first met at frozen yogurt (Lindsay’s favorite), and their first real date was an 80’s themed dance. That was over five years ago, and they’ve been married now for about 8 months. We were lucky enough to meet them and get to photograph their wedding 8 months ago (at the time of this post!), and their love and kindness stuck with us—we knew we’d want to talk to them about marriage!

After a lot of comparing notes on Hawaii trips (they went for their honeymoon), how nervous both Lindsay and I were about the crazy waves, and how our husbands gently/forcibly tried to teach us to swim, we got down to business.

They asked every anniversary-celebrator and honeymooner they met on their honeymoon “what’s your marriage advice?” In between all the traditional “she’s always right, happy wife, happy life” stuff, something stuck with them: “Give each other grace. Put yourself in their shoes and give them grace.”

Which has served them well in their marriage so far, in the middle of the whirlwind that life always is after a wedding. Giving each other grace—and space, even if it’s scary, when they bicker about things that don’t matter, or had a rough day at work.

Their root has been in Christianity from the beginning, and they were abundantly thankful for the increase in church community they’ve had since getting married. In the middle of life craziness, they’ve been able to be a part of a community group of couples that has been a huge encouragement to them, and has been the community of like-minded people they’ve been looking for ever since they’ve been together.

MARRIAGE

“The biggest freaking promise you’ll ever make.” The most important covenant in your whole life.

 

THEIR MARRIAGE IN ONE WORD

David’s: safe.

Lindsay's: adventure.

FAVORITE THING ABOUT MARRIAGE

Their first dance song was “Bring it On Home” by Little Big Town, which still describes their favorite thing about their relationship: 

"When your long day is over

And you can barely drag your feet

The weight of the world is on your shoulders

I know what you need

Bring it on home to me." 

“He is my safe place”. Coming home to your best friend, who’s ready to listen to whatever’s weighing you down, and has your back no matter what. As David said “marriage is like a life-long sleepover with your best friend. You get to sleep in the same bed with your best friend and it’s not even weird.”

THE HARDEST THING

Time! Wanting to be together so much more than they get to be—and feeling torn when obligated to do other things. Getting spread so thin there’s not much left even when they do get time together. Lindsay sometimes has to zone out on her phone for awhile, since she’s been talking to students all day—and remember to turn off “Teacher Lindsay” when David asks her questions. 

MARRIAGE ADVICE THAT THEY’D CHANGE

“Don’t go to bed angry”. That doesn’t mean you have to hash it out to the bitter end with no breaks. Giving each other space when things are getting amped up helps to calm things down and keep you from saying something you’ll regret. Sometimes all it takes is a shower (or a night of sleep) to give you the perspective you need to get a little more reasonable and resolve it.

SHE LOVES

His adventurous sprit: because of him, she’s gone dirt-biking, fishing, shooting, parasailing, snorkeling, had ski classes.  She’s an overthinker, and he helps her get of her head and get things decided. He makes decisions that she trusts.

 

HE LOVES

How thoughtful she is. She surprises him with something from the store (even if she made an extra trip just for that). Or getting the whole house perfectly clean when he’s gone for a weekend.

FAVORITE MEMORIES TOGETHER

First falling in love while long-distance early in their relationship, while Lindsay was teaching in Germany.

First telling each other “I love you”. Her friend Kristina (whose wedding we get to do this summer!) took David aside and said “She loves you. Tell her already.”

He brought her a rose on her sorority steps when he came to pick her up for a date—she dashed upstairs and ecstatically everyone “DAVID SAID HE LOVES ME” and then came back. And spent the rest of the evening saying “I love you” over and over.

When her dad “gave her away” to David on their wedding day.

Recapping the whole day today together at their hotel the night of their wedding. Kissing in the rain (that didn’t happen until after their outdoor wedding—but still in time for good-luck-on-your-wedding-day-rain) in her covered-in-wine dress.

 

SURPRISES SINCE GETTING MARRIED

He’s messier than she is. She wears a shower cap. He unplugs everything. “Otherwise we’ll end up out of money and on fire.”

SHE’S LEARNED

To ask for what she needs and desires, and communicate about how she feels loved, instead of being embarrassed to be honest. He’s not in her brain, and there are things he won’t know unless she tells him! Whether it’s extra hugs or birthday protocol. I was so impressed that she let David know that it was super important to her that he decorate for her birthday—even if only she saw it. (Instead of expecting it and then getting hurt/feeling unloved because he had no idea that was special to her).

 

HE’S LEARNED

That little things mean the most. Learning and knowing the little stuff that makes her happy—most are easy to do, so why not make them a priority?

ALWAYS

Stop and smell the flipping roses. Enjoy right now, and don’t constantly be waiting for the next thing. Break the mold and do something memorable.

Greet each other at the end of the day—intentionally get up and show you’re excited to see each other!

 

NEVER

Hide anything from each other , no matter how small or silly it seems.

Hold things against each other.

HIS ADVICE TO WIVES

Know that you are the most beautiful girl in his life. He’s not worried about your bad days and zits. Be confident, because you mean the most to him. Asking you to spend the rest of your life with him wasn’t a mistake.

 

HER ADVICE TO HUSBANDS

Continue to surprise and romance her. Don’t forget how valuable chivalry is. Intentionally date and pursue her, even after you’ve got her.

DREAMS AND GOALS TOGETHER

Have a home that’s the gathering place. Property for kids and their adventures, dirt biking, bonfires with s’mores, the whole shebang. His goal is a place where he could shoot a shotgun off of the back porch in his boxers.

To be a couple who can say “we’re more in love now than when we got married” after forever together. Be intentional about their marriage.