1.Don’t stop communicating.
Learn your own style of communication. I can in every way admit that I have not always been a good communicator. I tend to keep my frustrations to myself until they boil up and EXPLODE. Which is never good for anyone! First off, it is a terrible self-care method and second to that, it has huge implications on the relationships around you. Learn to let your partner in on your wishes, frustrations, dreams, difficulties, self-struggles. Many of these things are challanging to voice out loud and as society for some crazy reason we all seem to believe that we can never show weaknesses. We should never be functioning in our marriage this way. A very minor but prime example of a lack of communication. My first Mother’s Day with my hubs. He asked me for weeks if I wanted to do anything special on Mother’s Day. My repeated answer was, “No babe, don’t worry about it. I don’t need anything special.” OH THE LIES. Why do we even pretend? So what happens next… Mother’s Day comes. I secretly am expecting nothing short of a tiara being placed on my head and a personal masseuse to massage me all day. I wake up and the day goes on…and nothing out of the ordiniary occurs. I of course spend the day pouting and being mad that “how on earth could he not know that when I said I didn’t want anything that I secretly wanted to be pampered all day?” Finally after hours of me being passive aggressive all day the hubs asked what was wrong. Well open the flood gates why don’t you! I then explained how while I may say it’s not it big deal…please know it is a big deal. I want my kids to make me a big mushy “We love you Mommy card.” I want breakfast in bed. I want to be recognized. His simple response, “Why did you tell me you didn’t want to do anything then?!” Ladies and Men why on earth do we do this to ourselves? It is so much more beyond wanting to be spoiled on Mother’s Day but it is how we communicate to our partner on a daily basis. If we feel we are being unheard by our partners…TELL THEM. If we need them to tell us we are beautiful more or need to hear them say “I love you more”…TELL THEM. It seems like this is an easy fix however, it takes work. Put the effort into marriage to make it successful.
Give yourself approval to take care of yourself. Often times we spend so much time taking care of everyone around us that we forget about the importance of taking care of yourself. If you are not in a healthy mindset and taking true time to ensure your own needs are met it becomes very challenging to take care of those around you. Lock the bathroom door and take that long bath…we won’t even tell if you take 15 minutes longer and shave your legs..EEEEEk you rebel! Go to the gym, go grocery shopping alone. No matter what it is find your peace. Inner peace brings healthy outlets into a relationship.
3. Let your love life live.
Let your spark fly with your spouse. It is so easy to let those “first crush” moments go once the reality of life sets in. Kids don’t make this any easier. When you can no longer barely pee on your own without hearing little footsteps running to the bathroom door…trust me getting alone time with you honey is tough! You have to give yourself permission to take time as a couple. Being a full-time working Mom I daily struggle with feeling like I don’t spend enough time with my kids. I can’t always go to the field trips and I know I am on my work phone FAR too much. So, with that comes the feeling that doing anything outside of spending time with my kids when I have the chance is GUILT over ENJOYMENT. We have to get past that!
Allow yourself to date. Never stop getting to know your partner. We are ever changing. There is no one I know that is the same person as they were a decade ago. Continue to get to know your partner. Find things that you guys enjoy together. Folks, this does not have to be complicated. My hubby and I enjoy getting cuban sandwhiches and sitting on the beach or going to the Farmer’s Market for fresh veggies. The point is while it doesn’t have to be this big, planned out event taking time together is key.
My morning agenda:
6am-Shower and get ready
6:30am-Kids up and the rodea begins
7:45am-Out the door for drop-off routine
6:00pm-Get home from pick-up routines and start dinner, baths, homework.
After 8:00pm-Pack lunches, book bags, do dishes, laundry, finish work emails.
At some unknown hour crash and start the day again tomorrow.
As anyone can see there is not much time for “dates” or “unexpected events.” The point is we all function in crazy routines but we have to carve out time to take care of our partner and ourselves.
A few things that my husband and I try to do to keep the “mystery and love” alive!
*Leave notes for your spouse…on their car, on their bedside, on the bathroom mimrror.
*Never stop complimenting your spouse. Tell them they are beautiful/handsome. Tell them you are proud of them. Tell them how amazing of a parent they are.
*Spend a few moments to debrief with your spouse before going to sleep. Ensure to take the time to talk about your day with your significant other. Even if nothing eventful happened during the day take time to listen to eachother. Talk about retirement, talk about that dream vacation, talk about something funny that happened.
*Kiss eachother. Never forget the importance of holding hands and being affectionate.
4. Live by your vows.
When you wrote your vows you wrote them with intention and meaning. As you looked lovingly into your significant others eyes on your wedding day you said, “I mean these words. I am dedicated to loving you forever.”
I recommend putting your vows somewhere you can read them daily. Frame them and display them. Every day should be a reminder of your commitment to your marriage and the love you both have for each other. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the crazy moments of life and we need to remind ourselves of the commitment we made on our wedding day.
5. Never stop trying to impress.
I will be the first one to wave my hand in the air in admission of this one. Those sweatpants…the same raggity tshirt…the lack of “VA VOOM.”
You remember when you had a big crush on someone?! You put on your snazzy outfit, put on that bright red lipstick…really going for that “WOW” impression. You want to look, act, and be your best so that special someone takes notice.
Why do we stop doing that when we get married?!?!?! I will be first to wave the guilty hand at this. LIFE IS EXHAUSTING…and let me tell you the first thing I want to do when I get home is put on my yoga pants and oversized sweatshirt and turn of my brain molecules.
Please know that when I say this I am speaking far beyond just the “physical” aspects of continuing to try to impress your spouse. It is more about making the extra effort. We sometimes get lax about making the extra effort with or partner. Never forget how important going the extra mile is for people you love. Even a small effort to show someone that you are trying for them goes a LONG way.
Marriage is TOUGH. No one tells you when you say your vows how incredibly challanging it will be to love your spouse unconditionally and how to never let that love fade. It takes devotion and dedication on both parties ends. Marrige doesn’t have to be stagnant though. Keep moving forward and putting in the effort to make your beautiful mess of a marriage evolve into something INCREDIBLE.
For your viewing pleasure…a few shots from our elopement.
Photos by: ERayPhoto