July 7, 2019
Dan & Emma
We are Daniel and Emma Wilson. We have been married for 7 years in November, together for 9 and known each other for 14 years.
Currently we have been living in the USA for nearly seven months visiting family and adventuring around the country. We live in Mooroolbark, Melbourne with our big sooky Rottweiler, called Bruce. Daniel is a Plumber and Emma work in accounts for a Transport Broker.
1. TELL US YOUR SIMPLE LOVE STORY
E &D: It all started when Daniel moved to Emma’s school for VCE. Daniel with a big mop of hair and relaxed attitude, Emma was very happy that ‘new hot boy’ had moved to Luther College for the last two years of school. Daniel was none the wiser and had his eye on footy, cricket, ‘the boys’ and motorbike riding. A few sneaky pashes at High School parties was as far as it went for 15-year-old Emma and 16-year-old Daniel.
We were always in the same group of friends at school and remained great friends. Daniel moved to Perth for 2.5 years after school had finished. When Daniel moved back to Melbourne in April 2009 the friendship continued. Emma had taken a dating vow between her and God for 12 months not to date. However as time went on the more feelings we developed for each other, not knowing if the other person would want to date. Daniel patiently waited until Emma’s dating vow finished and asked Emma’s Dad if he could date her. A dinner date on 1st February 2010 was the start of our relationship, engaged in April 2012 and married in November 2012.
2. DESCRIBE ONE WAY YOU EACH INTENTIONALLY GROW YOUR LOVE
E: I believe a strength of our marriage is being intentional with time, which in turn helps our love to grow for each other. Whether it is time together, time alone or time for a boys/girls night. We are intentional with time to make sure we are recharged for our marriage to be able to give to the other person. Time together to share, listen and reconnect, time alone to re-energize and time with friends to keep balance. Nearly seven years in we are still working on it, however we have learnt the importance of intentional time.
D: Em and I will always try and get an intentional date night each week. This is something we have done since we got married. How that looks can vary in different seasons but for us it’s often a dinner out somewhere. Doesn’t have to be expensive but it’s an easy way to lock in with each other without the worry of cooking/cleaning and generally being surrounded by things in the house that need doing.
3. SHARE YOUR MOST RECENT, OR FAVOURITE GO-TO DATE
E: My favourite date is a “home date”. Sometimes after a week of working full-time it’s nice to be home together and intentionally just ‘be’.
Cooking for Dan is definitely my love language and his is Acts of Service, so works well!
I love to plan us a special dinner at home, spend a little more on good quality red meat or a nice wine. I’ll have a cheese platter or bruschetta ready to go when Dan walks in the door from footy, cricket or work. I also love to send Dan a text message beforehand asking him for a “Wilson Resident Reservation”. He chooses what he’d like for dinner and dessert. We can relax, nowhere to go, nowhere to be, just with each other!
D: It would have to be getting dinner near our local cinema then watching a movie. Usually ice-cream (our favourite) would be involved at some stage or a bottle of wine. That’s an easy go to for us and something we both really enjoy.
4. SHARE YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE TO KEEP A MARRIAGE THRIVING
E: Being mindful of all the ‘little things’ that add up. I feel like Dan and I show each other love through small acts.
We always put tooth paste on each other’s tooth brush, sounds small but it’s a small action to show you’re thinking about the other person first. Dan will unpack the dishwasher for me before I get home from work, so I can get started on dinner for us.
I also love to make Dan’s lunch for work – again a small task but it makes him feel loved that I make time to do that for him.
If Dan knows I’ve had a hard day or struggling with my anxiety, after dinner we’ll leave the mess of the kitchen and go for a walk with Bruce to clear my head. Then he’ll send me in to have a shower and wind down while he cleans up the dishes. The small things add up, you just need to be mindful and aware of what matters to your partner.
D: Keep a date night. It’s cliché but it forces intentional one on one time. It encourages you as a couple, even when things are flat in your marriage to work through them. It can spark romance again too, and help you to be reminded of the things you love about your partner. Even when “life” stuff is consuming all of your thoughts.
It’s also important not to forget the idea love is EASY. It’s not. But the harder you fight for it the better it is.
6. WHAT IS CURRENTLY OR HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR MARRIAGE?
E: In 2015, my self-esteem and self-destruction came strongly to a head. We needed to do something different to break the cycle, so we decided together it was best I started to see a Psychologist. We quickly discovered that my symptoms were anxiety, it was a relief for me to have an answer. However, things definitely got worse for me before they got better. Dan had to help me pick up the pieces in-between therapy sessions. It was quite the journey to understand my anxiety, my triggers and how to manage it moving forward. It helped us to grow closer as I voiced new things to Dan I have never said out loud before. It was a hard on our marriage, as it was so focused on me. However, I am so thankful I got to walk that journey with him and learn to manage it together. This journey is still continuing 😉
D: A major challenge we’ve experienced together, was having to deal with some mental health issues Em was going through that we didn’t realise were there. This meant figuring out some very real and deep issues Em and I didn’t anticipate. For us that was for sure the toughest and most challenging time for us as a couple.
Another challenge would have been when we renovated our entire house together. Take away power, water, a few walls, the floor of the house and add in the work had to be done on top of full-time work and sporting commitments – this was huge. Like plenty of new couples you start to struggle financially and it starts to take a toll, learning to budget and balance everything together.