“What do you like more: Christmas or Wedding Season?”
“Ummmm wedding season.”
There’s a reason that we all love going to weddings (aside from crashing them like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson do in the movie that this quote is pulled from).
We may say it’s the open bar, great food, and the “free” party that we get to attend, but deep down we all know we enjoy witnessing love at its finest.
There are no dull, mundane moments at a wedding. Every phrase is poetry and every glance is romantic. If a marriage were to be encapsulated into that one day of romance and love, it would make a Disney movie blush.
But it’s not. A marriage is much more than “I Do”.
Long after the officiant announces the couple as husband and wife, the glitz, glamour, and fairy tale of the wedding day have faded.
Having a wedding is easy. Creating a lasting and fulfilling marriage is more of a challenge.
It’s not impossible, but it takes work. Follow the following pieces of advice and you’ll be well on your way to seeing your spouse the same way you did back when you shared your first dance, first kiss, and first hangover as a married couple.
Never stop having adventures
Remember the thrill of the honeymoon phase? You and your partner in crime would paint the town and explore new corners of the city. You’d try a new spot for dinner a couple times a week and head out on mini vacations once a month.
Everything was fresh. Everything was new. You weren’t certain where things would go from there, but you knew you were going to have fun doing it.
Then you got used to each other. You started completing each other’s sentences because you knew exactly what they were going to say. You expected less spontaneity and more of the same old, same old.
For one, that parts not anyone’s fault. Think about your oldest friend. How long have you known them? If it’s been awhile, you probably can read their minds on a certain level. You know them inside and out.
The same thing can happen within a marriage. The only problem with this comfort zone of couplehood is that it lessens the spark and deepens the hole that’s sinking into the couch.
Be active in scrapping your routine. Break your old, tired patterns and try some new things on for size. Stop going back to the Cheesecake Factory every date night because you dig their apps.
Be adventurous, my friends!
Be affectionate. Always
You don’t have to be wild animals like you were in the beginning of your courtship, but physical touch and emotional connection are important in a lasting marriage. Without it, you can go from passionate lovers to passive roommates in just a matter of years.
Aside from just improved emotional connection, studies have shown that increases in physical touch can improve your mood, your confidence and even your financial well being.
When you walk by your wife, hug her from behind.
When you come home and your husbands making dinner, rub his shoulders for a minute.
When you’re laying in bed and ready to doze off, sneak over for a little spooning before you drift into a dream.
Creating conscious moments of physical touch will improve your emotional intimacy and your physical intimacy.
Hold your spouse’s hand and watch how your relationship improves.
Learn each other’s love language
In his incredible book The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman goes into detail about 5 different ways that people would like to be loved:
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Receiving gifts
- Physical touch
- Quality time
His book became quite popular as readers everywhere began to see the validity in his work. They saw that they favored a couple of the “languages” over the others, and in that, a way to communicate to how they felt to their partners.
It’s important that if you want your marriage to last that you learn each other’s love languages. You don’t have to read the book together (although, it’s not a bad idea) or discuss it all that often (again, still not a bad idea). You just need to expose yourself to the content and have a discussion about it with your spouse every once in a while.
If you keep bringing home gifts and trinkets, but your wife’s highest love language is words of affirmation, you may be missing the mark as you try to show affection.
If you keep telling your husband you love him, but he prefers acts of service to words of affirmation, you’d probably be better off making him dinner or cleaning the house while he’s out.
What often happens is that we show love the way that we enjoy receiving love. Therefore, if you and your spouse don’t share the same love languages, there could be a vast disconnect between what you’re trying to give and what is being received.
By keeping yourself informed as to what your partner prefers, you’ll find yourself less frustrated as you attempt to show them some love.
So there you have it; 3 ways to create a lasting and fulfilling marriage well after the I Do’s are done. With everything in life and relationships, be patient in your practice of these tips. They won’t work every day of the week, but if you keep them in the forefront of your mind, you’ll be able to access them easily when your marriage gets a bit stagnant.
Lastly, the biggest and the best thing you can do to have a lasting marriage is to keep showing up for each other. There will be hard times. There will be times where you don’t know what you got yourself into.
But keep showing up. As long as you keep showing up and putting these pieces of advice into practice, you’ll be just fine.