Ben and Ashlyn
Since this is our first “Meet the _____” I wanted to do a little background of why Kyle and I had this “interviewing couples” vision for Joyward.
Marriage is an adventure. It is full of trial and error and constant learning. It’s a journey of give and take. What’s beautiful is that every marriage has a personality, and every marriage looks different. Kyle and I are to a T, Myers Brigg, completely opposite. That makes life…thrilling. There’s never a dull moment, haha. Kyle and I are still figuring out marriage, like most of us no matter what year of marriage you’re in, because there’s always something to learn about yourself and your spouse. So, as we’re on this quest of gathering information and learning, we thought why not learn from people we love, from people of all ages, and experiences. We created questions that stem from our own marital journey including highs and lows. Every conversation has been extremely encouraging and refreshing. At the end of the day it’s cool to know you’re not alone and we can learn from each other. We hope you enjoy!
Meet the Winters. Ben and Ashlyn are a spectacular newlywed couple from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We met Ben a couple churches ago because I wanted to join the media team. As time went on, Ben and I ended up shooting a few weddings together. One of those weddings was in California so Kyle, Ben and I flew to my hometown and road-tripped up the coast. This is when we really got to learn about each other and how quality of a person Ben is. We’ve had the privilege of hearing and seeing bits and pieces of Ben and Ashlyn’s love story from the start, and also being apart of the day he proposed!
These two. They’ve been full of joy, transparency, gentleness, and grace. More than once I’ve heard Ben ask Ashlyn, “How can I serve you?” They’re just incredibly helpful and selfless. We had a wonderful talk about marriage one rainy evening in their perfectly lit cozy home. Ben is a photographer and Ashlyn is an art teacher. Therefore, their home definitely has personality, style, and color! As we cuddled up with some blankets next to our significant other, we shared the struggles, the eye openers, and the joys of our marital journeys thus far.
The conversation started with: So…Marriage…and went on for a little over an hour. The last time we talked about marriage with these two was a week or so before their wedding day. So, it was cool to see how their views, expectations, and attitudes have shifted.
- There were a few things that stood out to me the most from our conversation:conflict resolution
- love languages
- time budgeting
1.Over the past 2 ½ years Kyle and I have learned what resolution looks like for us and what boundaries we need to set when it comes to disagreements. We’ve learned what each other needs for resolution, and what also sets them off even more. Ben nailed it on the head when he talked about most men’s perspective when it comes to fixing things. When there’s a problem Ben just wants to fix it, and find the solution or the answer. In today’s world if we had a practical problem with our car, house or computer we could YouTube it or Google it and most likely find a resolution on line pretty quickly. Ben said it so well regarding that the answer in a conflict isn’t that simple, it’s not black and white, or 1+1. For Ben, to give a hug is what a problem needs. That should make it better right? Hug it out! Ashlyn expressed that wasn’t her method to resolution. When figuring out what works best for them, I think they said a pretty key word: acknowledgement. Many times disagreements are based on misunderstanding and you each just want to be understood and acknowledged because that makes you feel loved.
2. A lot of us have heard about the love language tests right? If you haven’t, Google it and figure out your love language. I highly recommend it! Ben and Ashlyn’s main way of receiving love is different. One is physical touch and one is quality time. Ben would go to give Ashlyn a hug or hold her hand, it was nice but it wasn’t the way Ashlyn felt totally loved. I think it’s common to ask, “Why don’t you love me the way I understand love?” They’ve realized that there is some give and take in this area. What’s natural for Ashlyn (quality time) isn’t natural for Ben. And what’s natural for Ben (physical touch) isn’t natural for Ashlyn. In that effort to show each other love it’s an intentional mindset and shift to think of what they would want. “Our language is not in our words, it’s how we act,” Ben shared with us while sitting next to his bride on a love seat.
3. Ashlyn shared with us a practical tool when it comes to managing time. As we talked about balancing time between friends, marriage, God, and yourself she said, “You almost need a budget for your time.” Kyle and I are fans of budgets. They give you your limits and then you know how far you can go and what you can do. It’s really easy in marriage to spend all your time with your spouse, and possibly neglect things you used to do or love. Something about the word “budget” gave me a fabulous visual. I have all these things I invest my time in, now what’s priority and how much time does each one need?
Ben and Ashlyn are extremely intuitive and intentional and ultimately just want to bring love and joy to others through their marriage. They have been married for three months and I’d say are a total inspiration.
“I’m loving the Lord more, because I’m understanding his love for me.” -Ashlyn.
“Marriage is great, but it’s not the final destination.”-Ben
Every interview we do will look different, and I can’t wait to share more!