I’m not a perfect wife; I do not have a perfect husband. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. There is such a thing as a good, healthy marriage though. A marriage that is based on trust, friendship, communication, intimacy, and humor. I have been married now for 10 years; for some that may seem like a long time, but for others it may seem like only a drop in the bucket. Here are some things that I have learned over the past 10 years of marriage that I feel help to keep a marriage happy and healthy:
1. Make Time for Your Spouse:
From as simple as asking your mate how their day was (and truly listening and engaging with conversation and eye contact) to making plans for date night! Especially when you have kids in your life and most things throughout the day revolve around them, it’s very important to have that time together to continue your relationship with each other. Turn off the TV, put down that book, stop doing work on the computer, and take time out for that special person in your life to let them know they truly are special.
2. Keep Common Interests
Continue doing the things you enjoyed together before marriage and in the early years to help sustain the marriage. It’s easy to change as you age and find new interests, but keeping some similar interests (or creating new ones together) is an important part of making a relationship successful. For instance, we have always loved to travel, so for our 10-year anniversary we planned a trip together to Ireland (a country on our joint wish list of places to travel), and we went by ourselves (thanks again to my parents who watched the kids!). It was a great experience to focus on us as a couple, and not just the us as parents.
3. Talk Things Out
This is probably the hardest one for me, because I do have a hard time not becoming overemotional and hurt during a discussion, but it truly does help to have honest and open talks about your feelings with each other (even if you do feel hurt by it at first). My husband is able to talk about his feelings in a very open, calm, and logical manner. Even so, I still sometimes get hurt and defensive, but in the end it’s always good to have that open line of communication to know how the other is feeling. It makes the relationship stronger when you share and communicate with each other and do your best to meet the other person’s needs.
4. Have Fun with Each Other
They always say laughter is the best medicine, so a fun-loving household is beneficial to everyone in the family, parents and kids alike! My husband truly is funny, even though I don’t always let on that I think he is, and he brings so much joy and laughter into our family and into our relationship. A fly on the wall would definitely hear some laughter coming from our house. Laughter helps relieve stress, brings people together, and just makes for an all around happier environment.
5. The Importance of Intimacy
Intimacy should not go out the door just because you get married, it should continue to be a part of your relationship (one in fact that should even get better with time). This can be from a gentle touch to rubbing your spouse’s shoulders, or even just the way you look at your significant other. Everyone wants to feel loved and important, and both partners need to continue to show the other that they are important, attractive, desired, and even just cared for. Keeping your intimate life strong keeps the bond of the partners strong. Go snuggle up to your spouse and give them a kiss! Tell them they are loved!
All marriages have their ups-and-downs, because as I said before, no marriage is perfect. Marriage takes time, commitment, understanding, and hard work to keep it strong and lasting. Sometime you have to give in, and sometimes you have to know when to let things go. Compromising and communicating can be difficult, but in the end if the prize is a healthy marriage then the work is worth the effort. Working toward a good, healthy marriage is on-going, but continuing to put effort in together brings the couple even closer. My husband has taught me a lot (and continues to teach me) about how to be a better person, mother, spouse, and friend. He is my teacher, my friend, my partner, my confidant, my imperfect loving husband, who I will continue this journey called marriage with!
A Happy Couple………..
Makes for a Happy Family!
* What do you think is important in your marriage to keep it strong and healthy?