Haven’t you ever wondered the answer to that question? I remember when I was engaged I would often ponder little tricks and tips that would hopefully make my soon-to-be nuptials last a lifetime. I knew it was right for me; I knew I would put in the work, but I still wanted to find some “must do’s” that I could implement guaranteeing me that wonderful life.
That’s funny right?
Marriages aren’t a one size fits all. What works for one marriage might not work for another.
But, here we are…ten years later. Still married. Still in love. Still working on it.
Because let’s face it. All relationships take work. Parent/child, husband/wife, friendships…all require a bit of effort from all parties. It’s rarely 50/50, at least I don’t see it that way. Some days I’m giving 75% and he’s giving 25%. There are times he might be giving 95% and vice versa. The important thing is we both give and take at different times. Life isn’t a perfect balance and neither is marriage.
So what makes our marriage work? I asked my husband and this is what he had to say.
1. We like to joke with each other.
This is very true. If we can keep each other laughing, that’s a win.
2. During an argument we never resort to name calling or saying hurtful things you can never take back.
True again. It can be hard in the heat of an argument, but we both work hard not to name call. Those things stick and we want to lift each other up, not tear each other down.
3. We hug & kiss at a minimum of every morning & every night.
This is a biggie for me. Hugging and kissing keeps up connected. Even if we’re in a funk, making sure we hug and kiss every day allows us to remember that we’re loved and we love the same. Plus it’s fun!
4. We go to bed together (i.e., at the same time.)
I realize that this doesn’t work for every couple and isn’t possible for some due to work schedules etc, but it’s been good for us. Yes, there are nights I stay up late to binge on a show or he might go out to play poker, but most nights, we are in bed together. This gives us a little extra time to cuddle and talk about our day, what’s coming up, how the kids are etc.
5. I step up for you when you are sick/cranky/upset/etc. and you do the same for me.
This is part of that 80/20, 95/5, 40/60 thing I mentioned above. Sometimes I’m just DONE for the day. I’m irritable and just don’t have it in me…to deal with the kids, to make dinner, to clean etc. And that’s okay because Jason recognizes it and steps up to the plate. Sometimes it the other way around. And this works in how we parent as well. Sometimes I’m arguing with a kid and it’s just not going well, so he’ll calmly step in and rectify the situation. I do the same for him.
I think the bottom line is that we view our marriage as a true partnership. We’re in this together, through the long haul, the bumps and bruises, twists and turns. Together. We’re a team. The days we don’t play well together are the days that are our worst. If we’re cohesive and working together, then things go smoothly.
It’s been a great ride so far and I can’t wait to see what the next ten years will bring.