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Monday, December 8, 2014

5 Magnificent Marriage Lessons Anyone Can Apply

I've made many friends during my life. Today I'd like to introduce you to one of my good friends, Ashton Swank. 

Ashton lives in North Carolina with her husband and their little girl. She blogs about desserts at and her recipes are amazing! Cami loves/hates looking at her pictures because everything looks fantastic. The recipes that Cami has made were delicious.

Ashton also just released a new cookbook, Party Popcorn: 75 Creative Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Snack. Because we are popcorn fanatics we've already ordered our copy and are looking forward to getting it this week. You should pick one up to. It's a great Christmas present.

Cami and I have been friends with Ashton and her husband for the last three years and love them. Theirs is a great marriage and because of this, as well as because Ashton is a successful blogger, Cami and I thought it would be wonderful to hear the sage wisdom she has to share about both.

A big thank you to Ashton for taking the time to share with us today. Enjoy!

Interview with Ashton Swank

How long have you been married?
Over 8 years

What is your favorite thing about being married? Least favorite?
My favorite thing about being married is that I never have to carry a burden alone.

Although I frequently need to be reminded of that. I have a personality that tends towards taking on everything by myself. I like to err on the side of self-reliance to avoid being let down (my blog itself is proof of this! When we were going through a financially hard time, I decided to "take matters into my own hands." Which ended up being a blessing, albeit maybe not exactly the correct attitude to have).

But when things get really terrible and I know that I can't handle something on my own, it's such an overwhelming joy and relief to remember that I don't have to! My ever ready husband is always capable and willing to shoulder anything I give him (whether it's a sink full of dishes or something more tumultuous.... although, my dish load gets pretty tumultuous!) . And that's my favorite part of marriage.

My least favorite part? Being married to someone who likes to spend money just as much as I do. I was really hoping to have the corner on the money-spending market when we got married!

What one piece of advice would you give a couple married for one month? Why?
My one piece of advice goes against conventional, passed-down wisdom, but it works for us. GO TO BED ANGRY. 99.9% of our arguments happen after 10pm. And I know for a fact that it's because we're exhausted. And when you're exhausted, it's nearly impossible to reasonable, rational, tactful, and compassionate. And, in my case, emotions start rising pretty high once I'm tired-- it doesn't take much provocation for me to fly completely off the handle at that point.

We've found that sleeping on an argument usually results in the problem being mostly (if not entirely) dissolved my morning time when everyone is feeling sane again.

Now, the caveat to this piece of advice is: don't leave each other angry. I think going to sleep angry is fine-- partly because I know we'll wake up, safely, next to one another in the morning. But leaving the house angry? That's a different story. No matter what we're battling, we try really hard to not part ways angry with one another. I can't stand the thought that our last parting feelings towards one another (should the unthinkable happen while we're separated) be feelings of anger.

Does your blog get in the way of your marriage/family? If so, how?
I've been incredibly blessed to have a spouse who has been very supportive of my blogging, despite the fact that I've never made it easy on him! Before I earned ANY money blogging, I was spending anywhere from 30-50 hours a week trying to build it up. There were lots of emotional meltdowns. And I've invested a LOT of money that we didn't have for a few years on photography equipment, renting to create studio/office space, blog travel, graphic design, and (of course) ingredients. All of that before we were even getting any kind of return on the time and money we were investing. In the end, it was more than worth it financially. But for 2 or 3 years, we really didn't know if it would be or not. And it was no small sacrifice on my husband's part to support me without a negative word one!

So I guess the answer to the question is: blogging really could have gotten in the way of our marriage/family, but I've been blessed with a supportive family who didn't let it.

On the flip side, now that my husband is out of school and working full time, I'm making an effort to cut down on the blog time and money I spend since it's not the financial necessity it was. I can see that my efforts to do this have been really appreciated by my husband, and that is rewarding to me.

Any other nuggets of wisdom that you would like to share with your readers?
I meant to make these answers funny and witty, because that's the kind of stuff I like to read. But I guess my serious nature won out, and my responses all came out a little bit on the heavy side. So let me just add that I love the teasing, laughing, fun side of our marriage as well as the serious parts!

My husband and I love to watch TV together, and we both really appreciate the value of a good one-liner in a sitcom. I love being in the middle of something or other with my husband when a funny TV reference comes up in conversation. We can really have a good laugh over that, and those are some of my favorite moments with him. And I think you have to make sure to have some of those moments together in life. It's like the cherry on top of an already good thing.


  1. What a refreshing take on going to bed angry. It would be good to add, be angry and sin not cause some things just make us mad. Thanks for sharing at Tell me a True Story.

    1. Thank YOU for stopping by Hazel! And you're right, we also need to watch what we allow to make us angry. Good advice.

  2. I agree - no leaving the house angry, but sometimes, we just can't have the argument and get through our feelings well because of fatigue. Often morning times just start with apology!

    1. Ashton is wise. What more can I say? :) Thanks for stopping by Jen!

  3. Thank you for posting to Motivation Monday!


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