Marriage is this tricky thing. It starts off with intense passion for one another. There’s this gravitational pull towards each other that’s hard to explain. It’s that balanced fire or spark that attracted you to one another in the first place.
It’s easy to coast on that foundational passion. However, if you coast, your marriage derails.
A healthy marriage stems from how you approach the valleys and hardships that surface along the way. It’s what you do when things are going good that allow you to overcome those frictions when things aren’t going well.
My wife and I learn every single day. Good or bad, success or failure, the idea is to keep moving forward.
Our circumstances change. We change.
We switch careers, we start businesses, we get pets, we buy homes, we have children, we grow as individuals, our interests evolve, our lifestyles morph.
All of these things that occupy the space of our lives constantly change. We are continuously having to reinvent ourselves. All of these things not only affect us at the individual level, but they have a tremendous impact on our marriage.
How we respond to those experiences determines the health of our marriage. It’s a constant work in progress. Just like each and everyday we are striving to be better versions of ourselves.
The thing that’s so beautiful about the evolution of a relationship is the opportunity to continually fall in love with one another. Tweet this
Here are some things that I have learned in seven years of marriage (and thirteen years of being together) to keeping that passion thriving for one another:
In addition to back and forth dialogue, having open and honest communication, being vulnerable, allows for one another to connect on a deeper level. Invite the other person in. Let them aware of how you are feeling. Make space in your day for such efforts.
Over the years, my wife and I’s relationship has gone up and down. If we were to graph it we’d be able to correlate that for every peak of our relationship, our communication efforts were through the roof.
When in the troughs, that meant our communication took a back seat. When it takes a back seat, it plays mind games on the other person; assumptions form.
Communication is a balanced effort, both must be committed and present. That means one person is there to just listen.
Laughter and humor is an essential ingredient for any healthy relationship; whether it’s with a friend, family member, significant other or even yourself.
Allow yourself to play for no reason; laugh. When you immerse yourself in purposeless play you let nature take over. You throw up your arms and let go to the spontaneity of that moment, without feeling guilty.
If you can’t laugh and find humor in things, or even at yourself, the relationships you’re in becomes stale.
Life is too short not to smile; be silly, play and laugh.
Ever since my wife and I first started dating, we always reminded each other that we are a team. We say it out loud. And now that we have a son, we say it to him as well.
Whatever the risk or challenge or hardship we face, it’s handled as a team. No matter what we are in this together and have each other’s back.
This mindset molds a strong relationship. It builds unity.
This is core to the UYC project. Create space for just yourself. Do the things that speak to your soul; your passions. Allow yourself the space and time to be one with yourself. This is where the magic happens.
This is the action that supports a journey of intentional self growth.
The magic that surfaces in this space transcends into the relationship and to those around you. Take care of yourself first in order to give your best self to others, your life partner.
One of the biggest things I have learned, and am learning every single day, is to step back and provide the space for my wife (and myself) to both succeed, and more importantly, fail.
Not so I can say “I told you so” or to point fingers and blame when she does fail, but so she can have an opportunity to grow and learn.
Failure is a class that nobody can teach. The learning’s last a life time and equip one another for the future. It’s where growth occurs for an individual and for a relationship.
None of this matters if there’s no effort.
A healthy marriage must always possess that spark and passion. They must surface organically. That’s the attraction towards one another that was initiated in the beginning. Without that first, it’s hard to create later.
At the same time, it takes a balanced and daily effort, from both partners, to strengthen those. It’s not something that can ever be put on cruise control. When this starts, it becomes too easy to just coast.
The devotion and commitment towards your marriage is the love you have for one another.
Anything that is ever good is never easy. Tweet this
Photo Credit: Chris Ford