Do you find yourself frequently experiencing relationship envy over the pictures you see of other couples on Instagram?
Do you sigh and say to yourself, “If only my husband (or significant other) and I were that happy…”?
Then girl, do we have a treat for you today!
In honor of Valentine’s Day weekend, we thought it might be nice to revisit one of our favorite Modestshoppin Movement podcast episodes: “Our Top Marriage/Relationship Advice, with Brigitte and Jason Shamy.”
Brig and Jase routinely get questions about their marriage, so your favorite modest shoppin’ duo decided to share their tips and tricks on what it takes to stay happy in a relationship.
(And lest you think their marriage is struggle-free, wait until you hear what Brig once threw at Jase in the heat of an argument! 😂)
So whether you’re celebrating Galentine’s, Valentine’s, or Singles Awareness Day this weekend, we hope you’ll enjoy a little glimpse into the private lives of our SexyModest founders...
The secret to a happy relationship is...
Just kidding. (But it’s up there.)
When it comes to having the “perfect” marriage, Brig and Jase don’t pretend to have everything figured out -- even if people think they do.
“I get tons of messages about marriage goals,” says Brig. “Like, ‘I wish my marriage was more like yours,” or ‘When I do get married, I want it to be like this.’” I love it because … I know how hard Jase and I work on our marriage. But on the flipside of that, there are times when we’re not talking. We get mad at each other, we fight, we disagree. All the things.”
Jase adds, “We get mad to the point that we aren’t talking to each other -- and it’s probably safer that we aren’t talking to each other in those moments.”
So how DO they manage to keep it together in their relationship?
“If you see a happily married couple, they didn’t just get lucky,” said Brig. “It’s not luck. It is work. And it is work every day. And you both have to be willing to put the work in.”
But the “work” they’re referring to isn’t all that bad...
Brig and Jase suggest taking your spouse or significant other out to dinner, laughing until your drink comes out of your nose, and just remembering what made the two of you best friends in the first place.
“You will get what you invest in it,” says Jase.
Throw out the trash — literally
Does your spouse or partner have a funny little quirk that drives you NUTS? (Maybe they smack their lips when they eat… Maybe they squeeze the wrong end of the toothpaste…)
For Brig and Jase, it was a crumpled up paper towel.
Back in their newlywed days, they were playing a board game on the floor while Brigitte made cookies -- and Jason made a grave mistake.
“She comes over and she hands me a cookie, I eat it, crumple up the paper towel and put it on the side of the board. And she goes, ‘Are you serious? Are you going to leave that there?’ … She stood up, she huffed and puffed over to the garbage, and she threw it away.”
Luckily, the marriage survived.
And while some may see this as a trivial thing, for Jason, it was a valuable lesson.
“I learned that this is something that matters to her. It doesn’t matter if it’s silly in real life, or silly in my perspective -- it was a big deal to her. Which meant that it needed to be a big deal to me,” said Jase.
You and your spouse/partner may see things differently -- but doing your best to appreciate their point of view and what matters to them will ultimately save you a lot of heartache (and a lot of nights on the couch).
The second you start doing THIS, you’re in big trouble
One of Brig’s favorite quotes comes from a talk by Thomas S. Monson: “Choose your love; love your choice.”
That’s why she’s learned that comparing her marriage to anyone else’s -- no matter how good they seem -- is the kiss of death.
“The second you start doing that, you’re in big trouble,” she says.
Yeah, you might THINK the grass would be greener with someone else -- but everyone has their struggles. E-v-e-r-y-o-n-e.
“If you married someone else, it would just be different problems,” said Jason.
Instead of the comparison trap, spend time hanging out with your spouse and learning how to be happy in your marriage.
And a really good way to be happy in your marriage is by learning…
...What makes your partner tick!
For Brig and Jase, it’s all about identifying your partner’s love languages -- or the ways your partner expresses and experiences love.
For those who aren’t familiar with the book, the 5 love languages are:
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Receiving gifts
- Quality time
- Physical touch
If she looks beautiful, tell her!
If she’s tired after a long day of work, turn on the tub for her and take the kids out of the house.
If she enjoys something cute (particularly if it comes in a pretty, pink package), surprise her!
Stop making excuses for why you can’t spend time together and simply make it happen. (If you saw Brigitte’s stories lately, you’ll see that their hot Valentine’s date this year consisted of running around and doing errands together. And it WORKED.)
Physical touch isn’t just about the bedroom… Hold your partner’s hand, sit by each other on the couch, give them a hug when they get home from work.
Lower those expectations
In the wise words of Brené Brown, “Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.”
You’ve heard it ever since you were a little tot in preschool, but it still holds true today:
The only person you can control is YOU.
So when you make the conscious decision and effort to improve your relationship, it’s important to understand that your spouse/partner may not react the way you hope they will. And that’s okay.
“Go with zero expectation that it will be reciprocated,” says Jason.
Learn how to fight fair
Yes, even the happiest of marriages include disagreements -- sometimes even very *heated* exchanges.
“We love one another and I would say that we have a fantastic marriage, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t fight,” says Brig.
The trick is learning how to fight fair, Jason says. Learn when to keep your mouth shut. Learn when to say you’re sorry. Learn when to forgive -- and really forgive.
...And that includes the time when your wife throws a blunt object at you in the middle of an argument.
“She threw the book she was reading right at my face,” said Jason.
The title of the book? The Peacegiver.
“It has a picture of Jesus on the cover!” laughed Brig.
Good rule of thumb: forgive and forget. Put things behind you and don’t bring them up again. (Unless you’re using them as a humorous anecdote in your podcast with your partner’s permission.)
To sum up…
A good marriage, a good relationship, a good ANYTHING takes work (just try to have fun while doing it).
Don’t compare yourself to other couples.
Find out what’s important to your spouse and learn to speak their love language.
Give without expecting anything in return.
Learn to fight fair.
THROW AWAY THE PAPER TOWEL.
Brig and Jase have a lot more to say about this subject, so if you need a little extra help in the relationship department, check out these other podcast episodes:
Like what you’re learning? Tag us on Instagram!
Nothing is more gratifying for Brigitte and Jason than hearing that what they’re sharing on the podcast resonates with listeners.
From all of us at SexyModest, Happy Valentine’s Day! WE LOVE YOU. 💖