Ive been with my husband for 15 years and married to him for 9 of them. I don’t pretend to know what makes a perfect marriage, actually I don’t that a perfect marriage exists. But I do know that we have spent the last 9 years together 24/7 and we still like each other! I recently read an article about “15 Ways to Stay Married for 15 Years.” I enjoyed the article, agreed with some things and had a different opinion about others.
Going to bed mad.
The author says, hey by all means, if you are angry go to bed mad. I have to agree with that. Trust me, after a long fight and much tension in the air, sometimes things seem much lighter and not so big a deal in the morning. The most important thing that sleep does is provide time to calm down and allow the negative energy between the two of you to dissipate.
Don’t break up a happy home.
The author says to stay out of trouble’s way. I agree. (1) both parties need to communicate their boundaries to others looking to cross those boundaries. (2) “friends” with intentions, steer clear! You don’t need friends like that! (3) If you won’t do it, say it, or type it in front of your spouse, don’t do it period. (4) Any “friend” that does not want to be friends with you and your spouse is not a friend, steer clear.
If you think that sex is not a big part of your relationship you are wrong. After a few years, and especially kids, your sex life starts to take a back seat to working, chores, kids, daily routine and nightly exhaustion. How do you fix it? Make time for your sex life. Sounds crazy but sometimes you need to arrange your schedule to make sure you get it in several times a week.
Marriage is a team sport. If you have ever participated in team sports you understand that you don’t win every game. Sometimes, many times, there are lows and hard times. But no matter what you work it out and you work together. Sometimes one of you has to pull the load while the other plays the supportive role. Know your role and play it well. Don’t complain, suck it up and get the team through it.
Play to your strengths.
We have always had roles since we started living together. I hate washing clothes, he hates washing dishes. So I wash dishes, and clean the house. He washes clothes, and takes out the trash. We both cook, and we both help with homework, play with and discipline the kids. Sometimes I get caught up working late, so he washes dishes. Or sometimes he gets caught up working, so Ill wash clothes. Big picture, switch hats when necessary to get the job done and don’t complain, thats daily living for us.
Find Compromise in Faults.
We all have them. But funny, we tend to see our partners more than we do our own. My suggestion, find a compromise. For example, my husband keeps piles of papers everywhere. Im a less is more type person so that drives me crazy! Our solution, a basket for all of his “stuff.” This keeps the surfaces clean and still allows him to compile his things in one place.
The author says to do your own thing. I agree. I think you should both have extracurricular activities outside of your marriage. Mine is yoga and volleyball. Those are things I do totally on my own. I enjoy time on my own, it allows me to be me, not mom, not wife, just me. And that is necessary. At the same time, we also find enjoyment in each others interests. Sometimes my husband will sit and watch Columbo with me or I will watch Bruce Lee movies with him. Although we both have our own interests, we also spend time finding enjoyment in each’s interest as well. One past time that we really enjoy together is movies. We have had date night (day) every single week for over 5 years. And our date is usually spent at the movies because we are both movie buffs.
I learned something about myself through my marriage, humility. I have found that sometimes I need to apologize, take a back seat, play the smaller role or even admit that my feelings were hurt. Being a person that wanted to be the strong woman all of the time, that was hard for me. But I have found that at times humility has strengthened our relationship.
I Complete Me.
Everyone remembers the famous line “You Complete Me.” And though it may sound very romantic at the moment, the reality is if you need someone to complete you, you need help! When it comes to relationships, I don’t believe that 2 halves make a whole. Rather, two incomplete people do not make one whole happy relationship. I think you need to be a strong, confident, competent, sexy individual on your own in order to bring something to the table in a healthy relationship. In the end, it’s two strong individuals that make a hell of a power couple.