Recently both my husband and I have received comments from others that they want what we have, that our marriage gives them hope. My husband and I were high school sweethearts. Between our years of dating and being married we have been together over 27 years. However, we are both passionate people and are passionate about each other-that can be good and exciting, but the flip side is we can fuss and fight and get riled up with each other. I never sugar-coat our marriage or give the impression that we are blissfully married all the time because that is simply not true. Yet I adore my husband, he still makes me blush and my heart race, and he is my best friend. Over the years through lots of trial and error we have learned a few simple thing about marriage
1. Be Nice-That should be obvious, but life happens. We get busy trying to impress the new boss, being thoughtful of our sick neighbour and volunteering with the kids’ school that sometimes we get lazy with our significant other and stop taking time to be kind and considerate with them. But being nice matters! Everyone wants to feel loved and valued, including your partner. Likewise, notice, acknowledge and appreciate when your partner is making an effort to be kind to you even if they are not ‘doing it right’. For example, if they send you a bouquet of flowers don’t focus on the fact they sent you carnations when you prefer lilies-focus on the fact that they were thinking of you and tried in their own way to do something nice for you. Maybe sending flowers isn’t their style but getting new tires on your car so they feel you are safe on the road is the way they show they care-appreciate that.
Technology makes it so quick and simple to be nice. If you are reading this then you have time to send a quick text to show you care. Something as simple as ‘thinking of you and it made me smile’ will brighten their day and these little acts strengthen a marriage.
2.Communication-Early in my marriage I thought having good communication in your marriage meant you and your partner had to talk a lot. Now I believe it means understanding that words have power, what you say and how you say it matter. Being wise with your communication will help a marriage
Last week I was feeling and annoyed and frustrated and was going to let my husband have it. I rehearsed (over and over) exactly how I was going to tell him off. I even had a perfectly worded text to send but instead I took a hot yoga class. During all the sweating and stretching I realized my frustration was with myself and actually had very little to do with him. By not being careless with words I spared us a fight and some awkward post-fight days. Every time we have laughed and kissed and had a great time together the past several days I have been conscious of how things could have been different. Also, the next time I do have a genuine frustration with him he will be more likely to hear and take what I say to heart knowing that I don’t bitch about everything, only the things that really matter to me.
Again, be nice. Say nice things. In marriage we assume our partner should know how we feel about them and we sometimes stop saying nice things. Don’t. Saying he looks sexy or you love when she wears that dress keeps the romance alive and keeps you both focused on all the little things you love about each. It is also free, easy and takes little time so there is no excuse not to do it.
Finally, realize you and your partner may communicate a little different. Understand that people interpret different thing in different ways. That’s okay, just be aware of it and make sure you convey the message you truly want to give.
If your partner buys you an extravagant gift and you say “Oh, you shouldn’t have” They might hear “Why did you go spend all that money?” when what you are really saying is “This is so wonderful, I can’t believe it”. Simple and clear words are often the way to go. And if you are not sure you will say the right thing, hugs and kisses always work.
To be contd.