How Amanda is Living ‘The New Wifestyle’ in Her Marriage

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i am SO excited because today marks a special day! i am rolling out a new series all about how women from all walks of life are living out their wifestyles! i have some fabulous women lined up and am looking for a few more women to share their stories so if you’re interested, please let me know!


i have some other big, anxiety provoking, exciting things on the horizon for creating more of a community here so let’s kick it off with how amanda is living her new wifestyle. show her some love and thanks for sharing insight into your marriage amanda!

meet amanda the new wifestyle Hey there New Wifestyle readers! I’m super happy to be here today. I’m Amanda, and I blog over at Notes from a Newlywed, where I write all about my life as a new wife. I share my thoughts, emotions and observations on my newlywed journey. From wedding planning tips to what I’ve learned about marriage, having in-laws and trying to be a better wife, and even a few recipes and randoms thrown in there, it’s all about what I’m learning along the way.

My impressions of marriage growing up

As much as I wish I could say I admire my parents’ marriage, and that I had a great example, I don’t and can’t (and I feel so bad for admitting that). Even as a young child, I could tell something was off, and I was very aware of things. Of course it may be because I was an only child and didn’t have much to distract me. My mom and dad didn’t sleep in the same bed, which I always thought was weird because all my friends’ parents did. My mom said it was because my dad was a restless sleeper, but I never bought that. They rarely showed affection in front of me (or maybe at all!), didn’t communicate very well, and I never really got the feeling they were a team. This isn’t to say things were awful, because they weren’t. I was treated very well by both of them, and I knew they loved me very much. I just picked up on the small things.


Instead, I looked more toward my maternal grandparents and my best friends’ parents as an example. They were very loving and patient with each other, and I knew that was the kind of marriage I wanted. I make a conscious effort to choose how I treat my husband now, and I think it is so important to be passionate, respectful and silly together. I want my kids to want a marriage like mine.


My husband’s parents didn’t set a great example for him either, and they’re divorced now. Thankfully, he and I were able to bond over this, both agreeing that neither of us want a marriage like we saw growing up. We choose to stop that cycle, but it’s still something we have to work hard at. We’re all products of our environment, and we both sometimes revert to the behaviors we witnessed growing up, but we’re always able to talk about it and overcome whatever the issue is.

the new wifestyle profile amanda

Our love story

Cal and I met in college. I was a freshman and he was a sophomore. My roommate’s boyfriend was on the same dorm room floor as him, and he pestered both of us to meet. He kept saying how we had so much in common and he thought we should get together, but neither of us were really looking for a relationship, so we ignored him for months. Finally, I gave in. It actually happened because I wanted to go to a rock concert, but none of my friends liked that music, and I didn’t want to go alone. I recalled that this guy liked the same music I did, so I thought I’d give him a chance so he could be my concert buddy. Before it came up, we met so I could make sure he wasn’t a creep, and we hit it off. We stayed up talking until 3 a.m. in the common area of the dorms and pretty much became inseparable after that. After our first kiss, I told him I could marry him. He didn’t run away, so that was good, haha.


We dated for seven years before he proposed. I knew that it was important to him that we establish ourselves as adults before getting married, and that was fine with me. My view was always that if we know we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together, there is no need to rush it.


He is my rock and my better half and I am so grateful I met such a caring person to share my future with.

the new wifestyle profile amanda

My ‘wifestyle’

In our marriage, we laugh a lot. I think that is such a key to enjoying life together. Life itself can be hard, but if you have someone to lean on and laugh with, it’s so much better. He’s the funniest person I know and it’s the small things that make our lives fun. For instance, we came up with voices and occupations for our pets, and we often sit around and play out the conversations they would have with each other if they were people. It’s stupid and silly, but we love it.


We’ve bonded on a lot of deep issues as well. I wrote about our struggles with money before, but lucky for us, our shared debt was a way to come together, make a plan and fix it. It actually brought us together rather than tearing us apart, and we’ve been able to encourage each other to make better financial habits for our futures.


We always talk. About big things and little things. I find it important to find ways to connect with him, so we share our hopes and dreams and fears, which are constantly changing and evolving. But even checking in on each other’s days and sharing the little things going on in our lives, helps us communicate better. On date nights I like to do activities like asking each other questions, to help us always learn new things about the other.


We keep each other accountable in marriage as well. We talk about what we need in order to feel loved and appreciated, and we’re constantly working to have a strong relationship and meet each other’s needs. I know that I can be a nag and too critical, and it’s something I’m working on. He lets me know when I’m slipping into old habits, and I think being able to let your spouse do that, is important. You have to be open to constructive criticism in marriage! But at the same time, there are a lot of voices around us (pressure from social media or TV, the tendency to compare your marriage to others), and ultimately, I only care about his perspective. Focusing on each other is more important than anything.

the new wifestyle profile amanda

Roles and responsibilities

For the most part, we follow traditional roles, but in our own unique way.


In our household, I do 95% of the shopping and about 60% of the cooking, but that’s because that is what makes sense for us. I enjoy couponing and am able to save us money by doing the shopping, and I also get a lot of fulfillment by cooking, meal planning and lunch-packing for our little family. My husband is a great cook though, and he often will take the reins if I have to work late, get caught up in blogging, or simply don’t feel like preparing the meal. He also takes charge of the grill nearly every weekend in the summer, which we both love. Oh, and because I buy most of the groceries, he ALWAYS helps carry it all in and unpacks it for me.


We each do our favorite chores and split the rest. I scoop the cat litter and clean the bathroom; he vacuums, does dishes and takes out the trash. We both do the dusting, sweeping, laundry, and random other things, as they need to be done and we have the time for.


When it comes to our pets, he realizes that I am chronically late and terrible at mornings, so he takes care of them every weekday and I do the weekends. This is one example where it’s not exactly fair or split evenly, but it’s his way of showing appreciation and taking on the brunt of one responsibility since I pick up the slack in other areas.


Two lives, one relationship

Balance can be tough, but it’s so important to build in personal time and hobbies into your lives as a couple. Both people in a relationship need separate identities in order to function well together. My husband and I each have interests that we maintain individually (for me it’s blogging, freelance writing and volunteer work for animal rescues; for him it’s his metal band and a new podcast he’s trying to get started), and we both have to fully support each other in those. We also encourage each other to have a respective guy’s night/girl’s night now and then too, but at the end of every day, we have to come back together as a couple. Having separate interests helps our own senses of self and identity and gives us something to relate to. I think that’s healthy. As long as you get to talk to each other about them, and still have plenty of things you can do together.


The worst marriage advice I got

At my bridal shower, we did an activity where all the guests wrote down marriage advice. The worst advice I got was “don’t go to bed angry.” I don’t know about you, but for me, sleeping on something often helps my perspective, and there is no point in hashing something out till the wee hours of the morning only to get a couple hours of sleep then suffer through the next workday as a zombie. When we have any disagreement that may not get solved in one night, we still make sure to say ‘I love you,’ at the end no matter how upset we are. I think it’s much more beneficial to take some time to collect your thoughts and come back to it later for a better discussion and outcome.


The best marriage advice I can offer

As I mentioned, laughing a lot is really important to me. I think it’s right up there with communication, trust and honesty. But beyond that, I think constant effort is a must. To make marriage work, you have to always be trying. You have to keep that spark alive. You have to talk to each other, about big and small things, you have to have fun together, try new things, be adventurous (whether literally or figuratively) and make time for each other.


I’m currently working on a challenge to be a yes wife instead of a no wife, and so far I can tell it’s making such a positive difference. I think so many times we are closed off to certain things and make excuses without realizing it. By opening yourself up to fully please your partner, it brings you so much closer. And it’s so much easier than I thought it would be.

the new wifestyle profile amanda

Probably the best marriage quote I’ve heard is that marriage is not 50/50. Sometimes it may need to be 40/60, or even 25/75, and understanding of each other’s lives, as long as it is reciprocated.


One of my favorite posts on marriage from another blogger is this post from Katie. She refers to marriage as a seesaw and says: “Like marriage, both partners have to put in equal work. The seesaw will go nowhere if neither or only one partner is doing all of the pushing. … while on a seesaw one partner will always be up while the other is down. Such is life. You can’t be equals 100% of the time.” I just think that is so wise.


The last bit of advice I have for other wives, that has really stuck with me, is to make your spouse your #1 confidant and to never gossip about him (or her) to anyone. This means no seemingly innocent complaints or venting to your girlfriends, and not saying anything negative about him to others. Part of honoring your spouse is to want others to view them in a positive light. Additionally, I started telling Cal things first before anyone else. So if I had some good news to share, I didn’t call my mom or my best friend. I waited until I told him. This is such a small act, but I’ve found it really cemented in my mind that he is my go-to.


What’s the best (or worst) marriage advice you’ve ever received?

Whose marriages in your lives growing up impacted your own relationship now?


  1. Amanda

    September 24, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Thanks so much for this lovely feature, Chelsea! I’m glad I could share my story with your readers, and I’m excited to see who else you have coming up!
    Amanda recently posted…Blogger Weekend in Grand Forks

    • chelsea

      September 24, 2014 at 11:20 am

      absolutely! i am so thrilled you kicked off the series and shared what marriage looks like for you! totally agree that there are two individuals in one relationship and it’s important to maintain your own sense of identity! i love that you also tell cal things first before anyone else. we do that too and it does make you feel extra special when your husband tells you things first before anyone else and vice versa!

      thanks again amanda-love your story!

  2. Alicia

    September 24, 2014 at 11:56 am

    We sometimes go to bed angry too, since rehashing the same subject until we’re both exhausted never works for us. But that’s not the worst advice I’ve ever gotten. At my bridal shower a woman actually said to do whatever my husband says because he’s the man and God says I have to obey him at all times. There was a stunned silence and then someone swept in with more food to change the subject.
    Alicia recently posted…Five Fall Faves

    • Amanda

      September 24, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      Oh dear! Talk about a strong statement. I do believe that we should do our best to honor our spouse’s wishes when it’s reasonable to do so, but that doesn’t mean we should all do everything our husbands say 100% of the time. I mean, I try to be open-minded to what people other believe, but that’s something I would not want to take too literally. Thankfully someone changed the subject for sure or else you could have ended up in a heated religious debate, which probably wasn’t on your wish list for your shower!
      Amanda recently posted…Blogger Weekend in Grand Forks

    • chelsea

      September 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      whoaaaa this woman would probably not agree with ‘the new wifestyle’ of being partners and creating an equal relationship then, alicia! glad you deem that ‘bad marriage advice’ and of course someone saves the day with food 🙂

  3. Brittany

    September 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Hmm… I actually have to disagree with the bad advice. FOR US it is very important to talk it out that night before we have time to distance ourselves from it and either just brush it under the table in order to avoid addressing it, causing resentment later on, or from becoming increasingly more enraged. But hey, different things for different people.

    Also totally agree about never complaining about your S.O. to your friends, family, etc. I really try hard to avoid that at all costs. We are a team and we work best together, not at odds.

    Lastly, and I don’t know why I though of this but along those lines, we do really poorly playing games in which we are against each other. We both get way too competitive and its bad news. Put us on the same team or no game at all. Ha!

    • Amanda

      September 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Interesting! I like hearing your side of that advice. I think for sure that each couple just needs to figure out what works best for them. For us anyway, we did have several arguments/discussion that lasted till 3 or 4 .a.m, and at a certain point we were so tired and aggravated that it only made things worse. By morning I felt much more level-headed to continue the discussion and resolve the issue. I can totally see your point though on wanting to resolve it immediately so there’s no resentment.
      Amanda recently posted…Blogger Weekend in Grand Forks

    • chelsea

      September 24, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      thanks for chiming in that something works differently for you, brittany! i know we’ve also been guilty of saying “let’s just talk about it later” and then it keeps getting put off so i can see that and i’m glad you both have decided what works best for you!

      SUCH a valid point about not being able to play games against one another too! there is definitely a game that my husband and i are no longer even allowed to play because we (okay mostly it’s me) gets way too heated and it ends terribly. #teamtogetherORnogame 🙂

  4. Christina

    September 24, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Great kick off to your guest blogger series! I loved reading about Amanda’s love story and I found myself relating to her insights.

    I’d be honored to write for your blog sometime. I know I’m a baby wifestyler but I think I’d love to share what I’ve learned thus far. (Actually, one topic I’ve been thinking a lot about lately has been how having older parents influenced the way I view sex and intimacy. Long story short, my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s while I was in my early teens. I saw that a marriage could still be healthy sans sex and physical intimacy. This has definitely impacted our relationship over the years.)

    Anyway, just let me know if I can help you out! If not, my feelings won’t be hurt. 🙂
    Christina recently posted…The Grilled Cheeserie: Comfort Foods with a Gourmet Touch

    • chelsea

      September 24, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      thanks christina and i would LOVE to feature you! i shall send you an email with the details so thank you for speaking up! cannot wait to hear what you have to say about how having older parents influenced intimacy and sex (i wanted to say ‘that sounds juicy’ but that that was too weird but now i’m saying it anyways-ha!)

      so sorry to hear your father was diagnosed with parkinson’s while still in your teens-that has to be quite tough but so glad your parents showed you that people can still have a healthy marriage without the physical part!
      chelsea recently posted…How Amanda is Living ‘The New Wifestyle’ in Her Marriage

  5. Rachel G

    September 24, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I’m actually someone who can’t sleep when I’m mad…probably a character flaw…but we aren’t the kind to let an argument go on for hours anyways, so fixing everything up before bed works for us.
    That’s pretty sweet of the husband to take care of the pets’ needs in the morning before work!!

    And hey, Chelsea, you may already have dozens upon dozens of posts lined up, but if you need one more, I’m available. 😛 Not sure if you’re looking for a certain spin, but hey–cross-cultural marriage, teenage bride, age-gap marriage…I’ve got all sorts of stories to tell.
    Rachel G recently posted…DongMen Shopping Streets, ShenZhen

    • chelsea

      September 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      yay! you were on my list to reach out to rachel so i’m happy you are interested in sharing some of your amazing and interesting stories! i will send you an email with more details.

      early morning pet walks are not my favorite either, amanda! glad your hubs takes that on!

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  8. Amanda Wood

    September 30, 2014 at 9:30 am

    This was great! I love Amanda anyways, but hang these insights into her life and marriage are wonderful. I actually took some notes on a few things I need to apply to my own marriage.

    P.S. Chelsea, I would love to participate, if you still have spots.
    Amanda Wood recently posted…An Interview Conversation: Blogger Men Tell All

    • chelsea

      October 5, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      that’s so great that you had some great takeaways from amanda sharing her wifestyle, amanda! i did too and i think it’s just reassuring to have real insight into some of the struggles and happy things that other couples go through as well.

      i just sent you an email with the guiding questions so keep an eye out 🙂
      chelsea recently posted…Portland Fashion Week: Bridal Show (From a Non-Fashion Person)

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  10. Nicole

    October 3, 2014 at 6:01 am

    I love this! This is such a great series 🙂 I love following Amanda on her blog, and it’s always nice to see the deeper side of people. I totally agree with the marriage not always being 50/50, though my husband and I have only been married a year and we’re doing pretty awesome. Sometimes he feels he’s putting in more than 50, and sometimes I feel that way. We both want to make it work, so we both do what we have to!
    Nicole recently posted…Currently

    • chelsea

      October 5, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      thanks for your comment nicole and i’m glad you like the series! love to hear that you and your marriage are doing awesome after your first year of marriage…sometimes that year can be tricky and sometimes it can be awesome (and usually both) so hip hip hooray!

      glad to hear you are both doing what it takes to make your marriage work for you 🙂