“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it be rather a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”~Kahlil Gibran
Today is a celebration of my 18th wedding anniversary with my best friend and love of my life. We started the day watching the sunrise from the beach, a favorite of ours. I thought I’d share some of our views with you from our glorious morning.I also thought I’d share a few ways to keep a relationship going strong and some of the ways we’ve managed to do so for 21 years in total… and be more in love than ever!
Communication— During the day, send a text or put a note somewhere they will find it, to know you were thinking about them. Make time to talk over dinner about your day or in the evening over a drink. Always make an effort to share even just 10 minutes away from electronics and communicate.
And when you are upset or another emotion arises (as they often do) learn to open up during those times too.
Care– This one may seem obvious. However, I mean care about what your spouse has interest in. While you both are different, learn to share in a common interest of the other. While it may not always be easy, it is a great way to learn about one another and spend time together, while bonding. Which brings me to the next point…
Time– Spending time together may also seem obvious, however the longer you are together, it can become easy to drift into habits that don’t include the other person. It is detrimental to your relationship’s health that you purpose to make time to do things together. We still enjoy dates every week and time together at night. It doesn’t have to be a huge portion of time. However, I highly recommend at least one date a month.
When you have small children these times are even more precious, so find a good babysitter!
Forgiveness– Holding onto bitterness is poison to a marriage. So is the lack of being able to say the words, “I’m sorry”! This was and is a hard one for me, I have a difficult time admitting when I’m wrong. But, I have recognized this about myself and I am learning to do better. That is part of growing and maturing in relationships. My husband has taught me a lot about saying sorry, even when he wasn’t in the wrong. It is a strong person that can do this and even stronger is the one who forgets and never brings it up again!
In Sickness & Dysfunction- I have struggles with depression. There have been times in my past that have not been easy for my spouse. We also have had multiple trials from outside sources over the years. Through all of these ups and downs, we have remained strong for one another. This is very important and necessary. When the going gets tough, you stick it out and hold the other person up. You give of your own strength to help get them through. And you always remain a joint unit to those outside who will try to tear you apart. Do not let anyone or thing come between you!
Above all else…
Put The Other Person First– I cannot enphasize this enough. Our policy has been, if you put the other person in the marriage first your needs will always be met. When you don’t think about yourself but stay focused on giving for the other person, the needs you have will also become less important. Marriage is a joint endevor. One that takes hard work, commitment and even compromise. But, like a precious treasure, it is worth all this…and more!