My husband and I have been married for almost 15 years, and though we have had our share of trials ( see our infertility story here ), for the most part our marriage is a happy one.
So here I thought that I would give you my 9 top tips for marital bliss – well kind of!
1. Don’t try to change them
Often when you start living with someone, you begin to notice that they do a lot of things very differently to you. Remember and respect the fact that you may have been raised in dissimilar ways, and just because don’t do everything the same way, or they like things done in a way that you don’t, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Try and embrace the differences between you, it’s probably what attracted you in the first place.
You hear this a lot, but it is so important. You are two completely different human beings, thrust together in very close proximity, and expecting everything to be ‘your way’ will only lead to trouble. Remember that he/she loves you and they want you to be happy, but they will not ( and shouldn’t be expected to ) give up their own happiness all of the time in pursuit of yours, you must play the game of give and take, no happy relationships ever came from take take take!
3. Support each others interests
We come together in marriage ( sorry that’s a bit ceremonial ), as two separate entities. We had our own hobbies, commitments & lives before marriage and there is no reason to give that up. As a couple, we must support our partners in the things that they deem important, whether or not, they seem that way to us, after all, it does us all good to be away from our loved one sometimes … They say ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and they’re not wrong.
4. Date night
This is a must. Now it’s not always possible to go ‘out out’ with your guy/gal, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy date night. Put the kids to bed ( if you’re parents ), put on a movie ( maybe take turns choosing a movie that you think your partner will love), cook some special food, open a bottle or just pop on the kettle, and enjoy a ‘tech free’ evening with each other, you’ll be surprised how much you both have to say when you put down the iPhones.
5. No TV in the bedroom
The bedroom is for so much more than sleeping. Now aside from the obvious ( ahem ), it is probably the only time in your day when it is completely silent, so whether you choose to have a quiet cuddle, a cheeky little back rub, or just talk about your day, it is a calm and peaceful time for you both to share together.
6. Share the workload
Whatever your work situation maybe, you must both share the load somehow, to keep it fair. I am a stay at home mum & my husband is a lorry driver. He wakes at about 5 a.m, an hour before me, is out of the house until 4/5 p.m, and he also goes to the gym 4 evenings a week, ( that’s his ‘me time’ ), I, however, am at home all day. I do all of the household chores, get the kids to and from school, including all school meetings & appointments, and generally take care of keeping everyone fed & alive. But… when we are both at home during the evenings and weekends, we divide the work between us, if a job needs doing, one of us just gets on with it. If one of you thinks that they are picking up the slack from the other, it will cause conflict.
7. Go that extra mile
It’s always nice to be spoilt isn’t it.. So when your spouse ( that’s a grown up word ) comes home with a special something, just for you, it makes you feel all warm and cosy. It doesn’t have to be roses, champagne and a luxury box from Hotel Chocolate – It could be a take away so the other doesn’t have to cook that evening, a book they have been really wanting to read, or if you’re like me, a big bar of Cadbury’s. These little, unexpected treats show that you’ve been thinking about each other and that you care enough to want to show it.
8. Acts of affection
You may be the type of couple that likes to snuggle up together, or you may be the couple that finds it more difficult to show affection, either way, we all have a need to be loved, so whether it’s holding hands/ linking arms when you’re out, cuddling up on the sofa under a blanket, a cheeky pat on the bum, or my fave – a kiss on the head as they walk past, they all serve to let your favourite person know that you love them.
9. Laugh together
As often as you can, laugh and have fun. We are the kind of family that, if one of us starts head bobbing and silly dancing to a crazy tune, the rest join straight in. We all make each other laugh almost to the point of peeing or passing out, and it makes you feel great. So find your partners ‘funny bone’ and tickle it often.
Marriage is all about choosing that other special human to spend the rest of your lives with, sometimes we make it work, sometimes it’s just not meant to be, but what I do know is, you must always work hard at it, keep it fun & full of love, and during the tough times, stay close to each other, support each other, and do all you can to see things from the other point of view… When we are happy together, we are stronger together.
We don’t have the perfect marriage, but we are perfectly happy with its imperfections.
Let me know what you do to keep your marriage special.