Recently, some of our family met us in Crested Butte for some much needed RnR. It was lovely! We went on hikes, played games, cooked some great food together and had even better conversations.
However, nothing could top the moment when my niece and her favorite person got engaged- on top of a mountain no less!!!
Some of us knew ahead of time and were giddy with anticipation! I am constantly in love with love- so of course this was such a special time to share with loved ones!
Emily and Michael have been together since their Junior year of high school (now 24 and 25 yrs old). They are that fairy tale story of young love. High school sweethearts who stayed together through college, grad school, and study abroad programs.
They are currently living in Denver in a lovely home with their newest addition Murphy (rescue pup!). Emily teaches 3rd grade and Michael works for a really cool mountain bike company. They have already begun to settle into a beautiful life together.
Michael and Emily have been together for 8 ½ years defying all of the odds. How many people meet their person when they are 16?
I’ve asked Emily to share her love story with us… swoon!
“We met in high school on a blind date at Chili’s! We were both very shy and a bit awkward. There was an instant connection and attraction, in a 16 year old’s words -’I liked him A LOT!’ He was sooooo cute. Not much became of that night, but we saw one another again at a party where I asked him to the Sadie Hawkins dance. He had already said yes to someone else… which in the end deemed itself not to be much of an obstacle as we ended up dancing together the entire night!! We were completely caught up in the whirlwind of teenage love and dreamed of a life together. We did have some of the typical teenage insecurities and struggles yet, we found our way through it and never looked back! Over the course of the last 8+ years, we have had our share of challenges and role reversals, but we have just been patient and we talk about EVERYTHING! We are the happiest we have ever been with ourselves, each other, both of our jobs, where we live, our adventures and our puppy! We are best friends and we love to play!”
The world absolutely loves young love, don’t you!?
There is something so pure about a young couple starting off in the world. There are movies, songs, shows and books galore all about meeting and falling in love. We just love- love.
I’ve heard some say marriage is just a piece of paper. I strongly disagree. You are personally, mentally, emotionally and spiritually committing to love and cherish another person until the end of time. This added layer of commitment in a relationship adds another layer of comfort.
It’s optimistic and hopeful for a lasting and beautiful partnership to sustain life’s journey. I believe it is the single most important decision of our lives. You are daring to believe in a future with endless possibilities and a lifelong partner!
It is so easy to get swept up in the wedding planning and the slew of events that come your way after an engagement. On the day, when the bride is walking down the aisle to her partner and the moment they begin to speak these sacred vows of commitment to each other, the rest of the world and all of the wedding hooplah fades away.
For these precious moments, it is just the two hopeful lovers looking into one another’s eyes declaring to the world UNDYING LOVE!
After several months of wedded bliss, the hype and newness begin to wear off and the two new lovers settle into the rituals of everyday life.
During these first few years of living together and joining of lives (whether 25 or 45 yrs old!), challenges begin to pop up, and sometimes escalate rapidly!
Tackling these challenges as they come is key to keeping your marriage thriving and filled with love.
Too many of us sweep the issues under the rug and hope against hope that they will magically disappear and go away.
I remember these days early on for Chris and I. We had an all to common cycle of:
I got triggered and would become upset and angry
Chris would look like a deer in the headlights, be afraid to say anything for making matters worse (ie, wife gets more upset and angry)
Chris would shut down emotionally as a result of fear
Shawn would get more angry as a reaction to shut down
Shawn would then eventually shut down after getting nowhere with anger
Chris would then hop up and attempt to ‘fix’ my mood by cleaning, telling a story, or making small talk.
Then some 3-5 odd hours later, I would come out of my funk, and we would sweep the situation under the rug, pretend it was gone… NEVER actually SOLVE the situation… and go on like nothing happened.
Fortunately, we found a completely different way to live, love, and communicate together, which helped us outgrow the need for fighting and conflict, which resulted in LITERALLY a conflict-free / fight-free marriage.
BOOM- real relationship magic!
You must have ways to actually SOLVE problems, not just hope they go away or sweep them under the rug. This is where we must rely on tried and true tools: Communication tools, great habit-systems, and evolving connection, vulnerability and emotional safety.
* Communication is really about talking and listening- WITHOUT using Emotional Weapons- everyone can learn how to lay down emotional weapons. This is the absolute key to claiming your own fight-free marriage or relationship and very efficiently builds emotional intimacy and emotional safety.
To take a deep dive into learning what your own Emotional Weapons are and how to lay them down permanently, click here: https://shawnhaywood.podia.com/emotional-weapons
* Systems need to be put in place to stave off resentments, and to help organize the roles and responsibilities in a home. This is where teamwork is born and is the life-blood of longevity in a marriage. Working together is vital! I LOVE teaching couples how to turn head-butting, stale-mates, pet peeves and general annoyances into pure perfect teamwork and collaboration!
* Connection is important to any relationship's survival. And knowing HOW to maintain connection is absolutely the difference between loving and living together for a lifetime, or having the ALL TOO FAMILIAR experience of “Falling out of love”. Thus, developing ways to have fun together, to connect, to reclaim connection is crucial!
We all love young love, but building a lasting, life-long fulfilling love is the ultimate goal!
Everyone has a beautiful beginning to their own love story (do you remember yours… doesn’t it make your heart swoon!).
BUT the real questions are this:
Does your love story look exactly like you had always dreamed?
Or has it taken a wrong turn into ‘shit’s creek’?
What do you want your love story to look like now?
Are you willing to do ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING to get your love story and relationship on track to what you always dreamed of?
Don’t stop working, get support when you need it, and never give up hope!
It is possible by the way- you can have any relationship you dream of.
What are you going to do TODAY to get your relationship back on track, OR to celebrate the goodness that is between you and your sweetheart?
Congrats Emily and Michael!! I love you and I love your love! Cheers to a beautiful and fulfilling, long and abundant life together!
Gimme a shout if you’d like to see your relationship change in beautiful, collaborative and loving ways! firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers To Reimagining Your Love!