In the world of dad blogs there are a few that I follow. One of which is written by Cory Huff. He also covers marriage topics so it’s pretty cool that there are two Cor(e)ys writing on marriage (although I spell my name the right way).
I am pleased to have Cory and his wife Lissie contribute to our interview series. Be sure to check out their work. It’s worth the read. Enjoy.
Liss says: Lissie Huff, The Fascinating Woman. Full-time student and “lady of leisure” (formally referred to as housewife).
Q: How have you and your spouse simplified marriage effectively?
Cory says: The best advice that I ever received about marriage happened after we’d been married about 18 months. Our bishop told us to lower our expectations. Sounds rather disappointing, but in fact it’s rather freeing. It’s okay to make mistakes, to not be perfect, and it’s okay to be forgiving of your partner as well. You’re both human after all, bumbling through this mortal experience together.
Liss says: I took the same advice a little differently. I did not want to lower my expectations one little bit. Eventually though I learned that it wasn’t about Cory it was about me. When I turned my expectations from him to myself our marriage blossomed out wonderfully.
Q: How do you find harmony in marriage, parenting, work, blogging, fun?
Cory says: By making some time inviolable. We always have family time on Monday nights, every week, even if it’s just an hour or so. We also set aside an hour each Sunday to have Companionship Inventory – we plan our week, discuss long term goals, share thoughts and feelings about where we’re at, and then share compliments. We also do our best to have at least two dates each month – planned dates, not just hanging out.
Everything else is just stuff. Work, blogging, church service, etc. are all just other things that we do in addition to our time together. As long as we maintain our marriage as the center of that maelstrom, it remains simple for us to be happy.
Liss says: We both have pretty intense personalities. I think realizing it’s okay we won’t ever have the sort of marriage where all is smooth has helped us a lot. Certainly fire can get out-of-hand but it can also power vehicles, cook your food, and provide warmth in addition to being a backdrop for romance. We keep a grip on ourselves and recognize that if we go too far in any one direction the other will be there to reign us in. Summed up I suppose our harmony is created by mutual understanding and trust in the individuals we are.
Q: What can other couples learn from your marriage?
Cory says: Is this a trick question? Never take each other for granted. You never know what could happen. Lissie has a chronic illness that prevents her from doing some things, and makes me aware every day of how lucky I am that she’s around.
Always be learning. I started AGoodHusband.net because I knew that even though our relationship was in a good place, I had a lot to learn as a husband. Never be satisfied with where you’re at in your relationship. Find new ways to surprise her and show her you care.
Liss says: Your marriage is never going to be the same as someone else’s, no matter how similar it is. That same Bishop (similar to a Pastor) told us that he had never met a couple who talked to each other so much. This completely bowled me over and I realized that I didn’t have to keep trying to make my marriage over to be some sort of version of “ideal” that just didn’t work for us. We’ll never be the couple to wait each other out in silence – we’re big and dramatic, but then we’ll also never be the couple to keep all affection private – we’re tasteful, but still big and dramatic.
Q: What are your marriage dreams?
Cory says: To celebrate our 60th anniversary. How cool would that be? People never reach the end of their lives and wish they had worked more. People often, however, reach the end of their lives and realize how much they threw away by working endless hours. I want to enjoy my life while I’m in my youth, middle age, and golden years. I want to enjoy them with my best friend, my wife.
Liss says: I once listened to the interview of a woman over a hundred, she was asked about what advice she had for young people who wanted to reach her sort of success. Her response was something like, “Live long enough and everyone will think you had an amazing and successful life.” I’d like for us to be married long enough that everyone will think we had an amazing and successful marriage. I want us to be one of those “cute old couples.” The sort that laugh in private over the way young people view them as both quaint and remarkable
Q: Any other thing Simple Marriage readers would benefit from knowing?
Cory says: Have friends other than your wife, friends that you can talk about things with that are important. Make sure they are guy friends, for obvious reasons. Be loyal beyond the point of reasonableness – so that everyone knows that she comes first. Get away from each other every once in a while and do something with your buddies. Make sure she has girlfriends to talk to. Don’t tell her what to do. Expect less. Give more. Make her laugh, cry in front of her, and force yourself to share your feelings.
Liss says: Life is one great love story. Love between parent to child, husband to wife, grandparent to grandchild, uncle to neice, neighbor to neighbor, stranger to stranger. It’s only when we take love out of the equation – any equation – that we end up with unmitigated, unimaginable, unbearable pain. Even in the midst of horrible things – and who hasn’t experienced something horrible – if you can latch onto someone who loves you it will all be well. I’m glad that lead someone in my life is Cory.