Mahalo! Today we bring you this gorgeous anw sweet 10 Year Vow renewal from Photography by Mariah Milan. Absolutely stunning and we loved what this couple had to say.
What have you learned after 10 years of marriage?
After ten years of marriage and some pretty difficult times we feel like we have learned a lot of lessons so narrowing it down to just one is hard! Probably the most important one has been learning how to communicate effectively in times of stress. When we, (meaning all people), are feeling vulnerable we have defense mechanisms that we go to and often instead of communicating what’s really going on we communicate in defense. It’s so important to learn what your defense mechanism is and what triggers it for you so you can recognize when you are doing it and instead try to communicate more clearly with your partner. It’s also important to recognize their defense mechanism and what triggers it so that when they communicate with you, let’s say with anger, you can remind yourself that it’s likely not really about the anger and you can understand what’s making them feel vulnerable and respond appropriately instead of feeling attacked and therefore going to your defense mechanism as well. It takes a lot of self-awareness and hard work to do that but we have found that to make a world of difference in how clearly we communicate with each other.
What do you think is the secret to a long lasting marriage?
Honestly I think we’d say “see above”! And find a good therapist! Actually I say that half in jest but also in all seriousness. Learning how to communicate effectively when you feel vulnerable can be extremely difficult. A good therapist helps you figure out what your patterns of communication are and what’s behind them so that you can move forward more effectively. Sometimes there is stigma behind seeing a therapist because we think only people who have “major issues” see a therapist. But think of it this way, you invest thousands of dollars into your education, and spend a minimum or twelve years and often up to 20 years in school to prepare you for your vocational life. You go to conferences and workshops all the time to further develop in your career. Why wouldn’t you spend at least a small amount on developing your relationship? If you want to be in it for the long haul and continue to grow it just makes good sense to actually invest time and effort into it!
What do you love most about each other?
Carissa: I love Ernest’s stability. He balances me by being rooted and steady in the times when I am the opposite. He has stood besides me in extremely difficult circumstances and been my rock in those times.
Ernest: The thing I love most about Carissa is that she has opinions, ideas, beliefs and she is not afraid to stick to them, or engage in meaningful discussion about them! I find her refreshing and enlightening.
What was the most memorable thing about your Vow Renewal?
Our entire vow renewal was so beautiful and meant so much to us that it’s hard to pick just one most memorable moment! Mariah did such a phenomenal job of finding us the PERFECT locations and being so relaxed that we just loved every minute of the day. I think our favourite two moments were when we were walking down the beach with our kids and the rogue wave practically swallowed us because although it caught us off guard we all had a good laugh about it later! And then the whole experience of being down by the heart. The waves were so powerful and the scenery was so breathtakingly beautiful and then the symbolism of standing there in front of that heart on Valentine’s day after 10 years together was just unbelievable. We will treasure that memory forever!