HowWe Keep Growing After 8 Years Together
According to a recent Stanford study, the
Now, I’m not claiming it has always been smooth sailing. Every relationship faces hardships, and ours is no different. But, in our experience, having hardships in relationships is different than relationships being hard. Everyone is different, but I don’t believe healthy relationships should consistently be hard. When that happens, it may be a sign that boundaries need to be established and difficult conversations are necessary about how the relationship needs to change from each person’s perspective. When couples are willing to inquire about each other’s experiences of the relationship, rather than just advocating from a simple positional standpoint, it can be possible to reach new levels of understanding and appreciation for each other. One thing I recommend to all couples, whether they’re married or dating, is the book, “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” by Gary Chapman. This book was assigned to Myles and me by our premarital counselor, and it ended up being a useful tool in evaluating how we wanted our marriage to function. The book posits that it is crucial to understand how and why our partners show affection so that we can dedicate time and energy into meeting those needs. At the same time, the book also stresses the importance of knowing how we ourselves show affection, especially because how we show affection doesn’t always align with how our partner wants to receive affection.
internet has surpassed personal connections as the most popular way U.S. couples meet. Despite the internet being around for almost thirty years now, I find that statistic remarkable … and reminiscent of July 13, 2011, when I received an email that changed my life forever. After enrolling in the University of Colorado Law School, I joined the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). Shortly thereafter, I got an email from a CU student and BLSA officer named Myles Johnson. Myles was one year ahead of me, and his email said that if I had any questions about law school, Boulder, or BLSA, I should feel free to reach out to him. When I received his email at the time, I had been stressing about my move to Colorado and literally jumped with joy at his kindness. For weeks, I had been hoping to hear from a current student, and with school being a month away, I was beginning to fear I wouldn’t get the opportunity before school started. Myles and I exchanged a few more emails and planned to meet at the BLSA Barbecue the first week of school. When we met, we immediately hit it off. Having someone so easy to talk to and intelligent to help me navigate law school was a true blessing. Later, after Myles and I had been dating, we began reflecting on how we met, and he told me he had reached out to all the incoming BLSA members that day, but I was the only one who responded. Now, eight years later, it remains amazing to me that the first CU student I talked to would be my husband and the father of my children! So much has changed since then. Myles and I have gone from being a couple of stressed out law students to being married with two precious children and running our own law firm. It’s been an intensely amazing journey. Because we share mutual love and respect, we are able to work and communicate well with each other, and we are motivated to continue learning about ourselves and each other to grow stronger as a married couple and as business partners. With time, we have gained the wisdom to be more understanding of each other’s needs, faults, and strengths.
“We are motivated to continue learning about
The five love languages, according to Chapman, are:
• • •
● Acts of service ● Physical touch
● Quality time
● Words of affirmation
ourselves and each other to grow stronger as a married couple and as business partners.”
It can be helpful to know your partner’s love language. After Myles and I had kids, my love language changed from words of affirmation to acts of service. With the fast pace of my days, it means a lot when someone can give me a hand. Meanwhile, Myles’ love language has consistently been physical touch. From my perspective, when Myles tells me I look nice, that makes me feel great every time. However, because my love language is acts of service, Myles cleaning the kitchen puts me over the moon. And from Myles’ perspective, when I pick up his dry cleaning, that is always a big help to him, but
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