A few nights ago, my husband burst through the door in a frenzy of excitement. He carried in several aluminum trays with leftover food from an event he had put on. He presented the third tray to me with the biggest grin and explained that someone had made Mexican cornbread. With way too much glee (in my opinion), he told me Mexican cornbread was his favorite!! (I thought… “Who are you?”)
Then with much detail, he shared his memories of going to a special Mexican restaurant with his family to eat the best he has ever had. I looked at him confused!
“You like Mexican cornbread?” I asked with sincere curiosity. “How did I not know that?”
“Dear hubby,” I asked, “WHO ARE YOU??!!”
The Story of Us
I met my husband when I was 19 and he was 21. I like to think after 5 years of dating and 15 years of marriage, we kind of grew up and discovered who we are TOGETHER! We can answer the question “WHO ARE YOU?” I mean, we have lived through two decades together — scrunchies, hip-hop, saggy pants and all!
I know he HATES mustard. Yes, I did sneak the tiniest dollop of mustard in his sandwich one time to verify. Yep! He noticed.
Dark chocolate is the way to his heart. He knows it’s only milk chocolate for me!
His socks must be laid flat on top of each other in the drawer — not folded.
All those emergency bathroom trips when we were dating? We now know they were because I have Celiac Disease. (Talk about embarrassing for me! And he still married me!)
I LOVE scary movies.
He has an unhealthy fear of zombies. (Don’t tell anyone).
I dislocated my knee; he broke his collarbone.
We know each other well. VERY WELL! But the whole Mexican cornbread excitement got me thinking and asking: Husband, who are you?
Truly Knowing Another
There is such comfort and beauty in truly knowing another and being known.
To come to a place you feel accepted for who you are and to be loved in all the good and ugly. As individuals, we are always growing, changing, learning. It is no different for married couples. And I am starting to think that there is danger in growing complacent — in not continuing to date and ask and search out who your spouse is. We place value on another when we ask about them and learn about them. It cannot stop. We will never arrive at a place where there is nothing left to learn about someone.
So, I asked some friends and gathered some ideas to help us all continue to answer the question: “Who are you?”
Tips to Keep Growing Together
Here are some really creative and unique ways to keep learning about your spouse. I personally cannot wait to start #1, 3 and 7!!!
1. Use Conversation Starter Cards and Questions (Tabitha)
Start learning new things about your spouse using conversation starter cards. There are numerous resources to find them, from books to cards to printing off the internet. I love the one my friend Tabitha suggests that can be used weekly and semiannual. Here are some links to check out!
2. Take Financial Peace University (Brianna)
I think this one is so unique! My friend Brianna said taking this Dave Ramsey course together encouraged them to DREAM and get on the same page about money. It allowed them to share dreams and ideas they may have otherwise never shared. What a wonderful opportunity to reach for your dreams together and hear each other’s hearts about what the future looks like! Here is a link.
3. Save Jokes and Riddles (Pam)
Throughout the day or week, save funny memes, jokes and riddles to share with each other at bedtime. What a great way to discover your partner’s sense of humor and how can you end the day on a bad note with this suggestion?
4. Read A Book Together (Lauren and Pam)
Any genre is fair game or take turns each choosing books. The point is to read something new and then hopefully start up a new conversation. Set up fun weekly chapter check-ins over coffee or cozy up on the couch when the kids are in bed. Suggested reads might be The Five Love Languages or Baby-proofing Your Marriage — even Lord of the Rings!
5. Try New Hobbies Together (Tania, Dana, Erin)
I heard from several friends they “join in” on the things their spouse loves. Whether it is mountain biking, gardening, running, you name it, it is great way to find time to chit chat about what your spouse loves. Even better, find a NEW hobby for you both to try. You would be hard pressed not to learn something new about your spouse when both of you are trying something out of your comfort zone!
6. Work Out Together (Kathy)
I love what my friend Kathy shared — when they work out together he gets to show her how supportive and encouraging he is and she gets to show him how strong she is.
7. Marriage365 – (Justin)
Like and Follow Marriage365 on Instagram and find an easy way to start up new conversations and find resources to continue to grow together. At my friend Justin’s recommendation, I ordered the book 365 Connecting Questions for Couples. It has a question everyday to ask your spouse, ranging from super silly to deep, thought-provoking questions.
8. Pray Over Each Other Before Leaving (Adele)
A simple, but profound idea! Making sure to have the time as ask your spouse what you can pray over them about may lead to new understanding of the stress, fears, or excitement happening in your spouse’s day.
Let’s Be Intentional
When we know a person for quite some time, we have to be intentional about seeking who they are now — not just who they have been. It might take a little more time and effort. But how fun to learn about your spouse’s new dream, goal, favorite food or book.
I’d love to hear some of the new things you have learned about your spouse or tips that have helped you and your spouse continue to grow together. Share how you have been able to continue to say “I know who you are!”
OH!! And if you have an amazing Mexican cornbread recipe, send it my way. It looks like I will be making it soon!