A lot of people ask me the secret to my marriage. It certainly didn’t start promising. I got married at 19. With a bun in the oven. We were doomed! Even my closest friends didn’t think we’d last more than a year. I can’t help but feel slightly smug that we are going on year 14. And while no relationship is perfect (seriously that would be boring), we have found a great rhythm and flow. Below are tidbits that took 14 years to learn and while they might not work for all, they certainly help us stay happy.
Laugh it Out
I know this sounds lame, but really folks. You need to laugh. Everyday. Laughter gets us through the worst of times. And fuels joy. Find ways to make your partner laugh. Allow yourself to laugh at yourself. When our looks have gone to crap and we’re suffering from a gazillion ailments, what will you have left? Yep. Giggling, sniggering, cackling, good ol’ belly laughing. Even though I was too young to really assess what traits I wanted in a partner, I got really lucky in that my husband loves to laugh and make me laugh. It’s been a crucial part to our marriage.
Get a Life
It’s great to spend a lot of time together. It’s also good to spend time apart, fostering your own interests. It took me a good 7 years to finally accept that not all of mine and my husband’s interests are the same. And that’s okay. I stopped getting upset every time he’d be playing in his 4th soccer game of the week and started pursuing my own interests. Let me tell you, my life is so much happier. I’m supportive of his hobbies and he’s supportive of mine. Happy individuals make a happy couple.
And I’m not talking yoga flexible (although that doesn’t hurt either) but I mean flexible in your expectations. Not everyone is perfect. No one will share exactly the same beliefs and opinions as you. And no one is without fault. But if you spend so much time picking apart your partner for his lack of cleaning, her desire to talk about everything, you’ll miss the beautiful parts of them. And more often than not, the good outweighs the bad. Don’t jump ship just because they do something that irritates you. And don’t think you don’t irritate them as well. Sometimes people’s expectations can become so high, no one short of Gandhi could live up to them.
Date Night, Date Night, Date Night
While earlier I said to foster your own hobbies, it’s equally important to plan date nights. Often. Especially if you have kids or high stress jobs. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of work, dinner, bed. Variety is the spice of life. Let your partner know that they matter. Carve a few hours out, get a sitter, get off early, and go enjoy your city. Whether it’s a new restaurant, a movie, the theater, art museum or a soccer game. Just spending a few hours without all the stress or responsibility in your life and focusing on your relationship will do wonders.
Try Something New
Getting out of your comfort zone and trying something totally foreign, together, is a fantastic bonding experience. Whether it’s snowboarding, skydiving, a new language, a cooking class, you name it. Learning together makes you feel like kids again. And when you’ve been together for a long time, that is invaluable.
Guest Post: 5 Secrets to a Happy Marriage ow.ly/aZZix Do you agree? Have any to add?
— Newlywed Survival (@NewlywedSurvive) May 18, 2012
Lisa Coronado is a content writer for Custom Magnets.