Marriage Matters: How My Husband and I Stay in Love

Sometimes on Maggie's Musings I like to talk about marriage since it is so closely related to weddings, and I am passionate about my couples having happy marriages along with happy weddings. Marriage is the best gift I have ever been given in my life. Period. But it hasn't always been easy. The first few years of our relationship we had to work really hard at it; but just like anything else in life, the harder you work at something, the more you value it and the better the end result. And I can honestly say that my husband and I are more in love today than we were when we first met four years ago. Read below to learn how we stay and fall in love with each other again and again. 

1) Take an interest in each other's interests. Today, I asked Don what he thought made us more in love now than ever before. He responded (with a cute little smile on his face) "It's the little things" and then referenced a book on coding that I recently picked up for him. He works in the tech industry, but is on the business (non developer) side of things. I have heard him talk in detail about how he wished that he knew coding so he could be even better at his job. So one day, when I was in Barnes & Noble, I saw a book on coding and snatched it up for him. When I gave it to him later that evening, I could instantly tell that it meant the world to him. It was a tiny act with one BIG impact. And there are countless ways that he does the same for me. Granted, basketball may not be your thing, but if it's your guys' thing, nagging him about it will only create a wedge between the two of you. For some guys, there is nothing more endearing and attractive than a partner who will be supportive of their hobbies. Find ways to support your partner for the things that light their souls on fire. 

2). Be each other's biggest cheerleaders. I know without a doubt that Don is the biggest cheerleader I have in my corner and vice versa. Whether it's in my business or personal life, he always has my best interest in mind. Being married to him has taught me that it is so important to cheer your partner on and to celebrate when something good happens to them. A marriage should not be about competition; it should be about mutual support. Even if I am having a rotten time with work, and something good happens to him, I can still be joyful and cheerful! We are a team, and when something good (or bad) happens to one of us, it happens to the other as well. Encouragement and support help us to be teammates. 

3). Talk to each other. I know this one probably sounds like a no-brainer, but sometimes the simplest concepts can be the most profound. No one tells you that as an adult, life comes with a responsibility list that's a zillion pages long. Hellooooo adulthood! And in the midst of our lives, responsibilities, concerns, and the day-to-day, it can be easy to shut out our spouses. Sometimes, when I am feeling distant from Don or detached, I will simply strike up a conversation with him. But inevitably, when we are done, I feel like a million bucks. It's quite amazing how a good conversation can rejuvenate the soul. Often, I haven't even realized how much I've missed him until we connect again. We have also had to learn to talk to each other about the tough stuff. I like to believe that this area is an ongoing work in progress for most couples. For most of us, talking about the tough stuff with people is uncomfortable. Learning how to be an effective communicator takes work. Learning how to be an effective conflict resolver takes even more work, but talking through things helps keep resentment at bay. Communication is everything in a marriage. 

4). Do fun things together. I love finding things that Don and I can do together. Just recently I picked up a pack of $3.99 Monopoly cards at the grocery store. Then one Friday night when we had no plans, I pulled out the pack and we played together in bed. It was so simple and yet so much fun! Plus, I have just discovered that I love running together too. I love running in general, but it's even better with him. Not only are we doing something healthy for ourselves individually, but we are connecting as a couple as well. And that's not all. We love to take day trips together, watch Netflix together, talk life together, try new foods together, travel together, play video games together (yes, we are nerds) and more. Now what and how much time you spend together will vary depending on your interests and personalities, but doing fun things with your spouse is bound to boost your lovey dovey meter. For us, doing fun things together has helped us remain friends. 

5). Laugh. Laugh. Laugh. There is something about laughter that instantly lifts your spirit. One of my favorite parts about my marriage is that we laugh together. A lot. We have both been through some tough things in our lives, but we still find ways to laugh together, no matter the situation. Laughter lowers walls, builds trust, and strengthens bonds. To learn more about the benefits of laughing with your partner, check out this article in Time. Laughter helps us not take ourselves too seriously. 

6). Focus on attractive qualities. I have found that in relationships, it can be easiest to focus on the negative qualities of people. Let's face it: there are no perfect people. However, we can either keep our focus and attention on the things our spouses do that drive us crazy or we can choose to focus on all the qualities that make them special. I fall in love with my husband everyday not because he is perfect but because he cooks breakfast  for me every morning without fail, because he listens, because he lets me sleep in, because he is giving, because he still brings me flowers, because he makes me laugh, because he is abnormally kind, and list goes on and on and on. I fall in love with him everyday not in a Nicholas Sparks novel kind of way, but in small incremental moments of love, sacrifice, and growth. These are the qualities in him that I choose to dwell, which develops an ongoing adoration of him in my heart. We should never stop gushing over our spouses! 

So there you have it. Weddings are the first step on the journey toward marriage and like I said previously, I am passionate about my couples enjoying happy weddings AND happy marriages! The wedding is the tailgating; the marriage is the game! I hope these tips give you something to think about on your wedding/marriage planning journey (or on your journey as a newlywed or long time married couple)! Happy planning!

Thanks for stopping by,

~Maggie ♥