A few weeks ago, my husband and I were at a rehearsal dinner. I excused myself to go to the restroom, and he leaned over and gave me a quick kiss before I walked away. When I returned to the table, he once again kissed me. One of the other guests commented that we must be newlyweds, since he kissed me when I left, and again when I returned. We laughed, and explained that we are not.
We get a lot of comments about our relationship, and the fact that we seem to really enjoy each other's company. The truth is that we do. I love my marriage, and I love him.
We have had to work hard, however, to get to this point. Those who have known us since we started dating know that our courtship was....well, rough. We had no idea how to communicate with one another. We let stupid stuff build up until it seemed unbearable, and we broke up numerous times. I don't think there was a single person outside our relationship who thought we would ever be where we are today.
There are some pretty important things that we do to help strengthen our relationship. I'm not sure he'd want me spilling our secrets, but I'm going to anyway!
We talk. We talk about work things, sports, our kids, our family, our friends....pretty much everything. Talking to each other helps maintain our friendship. A good friendship can go a long way toward a happy, healthy marriage.
We play together. We do silly stuff when we're together with and without the kids. We are constantly laughing, whether it's because he's singing a strange song - loudly - to me in the car, or spontaneously dancing with me in a place where no one else is dancing. It's fun to be together.
We go on date nights. We don't do this as often as we'd like to, but it's a tricky thing to balance time with the kids and time alone together. We both miss them throughout the week, and the weekends are our time as a family. Often we'll go on a date night after the kids have been tucked in for bed. (Someone is always there to watch them...so no need to call CPS.) We usually don't do anything particularly fancy. Often we'll go to a local restaurant, sit at the bar and share a bottle of wine and some appetizers. It gives us both a chance to relax and just be together.
We have a very active and great sex life. We are both committed to keeping this part of our relationship fun and fulfilling. We believe it is a very important part of a good marriage.
We do things we don't want to do. Two people in a relationship are never going to agree on everything. That means sometimes you compromise and do something because the person you love likes doing it. It usually turns out to be pretty fun anyway, because we're together.
We respect one another. Like any couple we argue. However, we don't resort to name calling or putting each other down. We discuss things, and usually (maybe not right away) come to some kind of agreement. We had to work at this one. It takes a lot of communication and patience, and we weren't so good with that in the beginning.
We talk about money. Money is one of the biggest reasons for stress and strain between a couple. We have a budget and we touch base with each other about where we are usually about once a week. Neither of us makes a large purchase without talking to the other. Money is still never a fun topic to discuss (unless you have a bunch of it), but it is so important to get, and stay on the same page.
We share the workload. We both work full time, so keeping a house together and raising two children takes team work. If I had to do it all myself, I'd likely be pretty resentful, and vice versa. We've got a good rhythm going.
We love each other, and we express that love all the time. He calls me sometimes at work just to say "hi". We email each other throughout the day, we send flirty text messages when we're apart, and we say "I love you" all the time (and mean it). We're that cheesy couple.
Is our marriage perfect? No. There are always things upon which we could improve, so we work to do just that. We are, however, very happy together...and we count that as a blessing!