Finding your true love
Marriage is hard. It’s one of the hardest things to succeed and thrive at in life. You’re (hopefully) raised to be an independent thinker. To take care of yourself and stand up for yourself. And then you meet your human. Your person. The one you can’t see yourself not going through life with.
It’s like looking through rose-colored glasses, where everything has a beautiful pink hue to it. A fairytale dream where people break out in love songs on the street. Ok, maybe it’s not quite like that, but you get the gist. You’re in love and you’ve found the one and now you’re getting married.
This is where the hard part starts. Now you’re supposed to meld your life together with someone else’s life. And it’s true what they say, opposites attract. Lord knows my husband and I really were nothing like each other when we first started dating 14 years ago. So how do you put two completely different people, so in love with each other, into one marriage and one household and let both of them thrive, shine, and grow?
10 Tips for 10 Years of Marriage
This September, my husband and I have been married for 10 years. A decade. It’s nuts. So crazy to think about, really. But it’s taught me some very valuable lessons that I’d like to share with you. So here are my 10 tips for successful and thriving marriages where both parties gets a change to grow and love.
- Don’t Forget Date Night.
Date night doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend money every time. You can have date night at home. Get something good to drink, make a nice dinner or order takeout from your favorite restaurant, and get dressed up. It doesn’t have to be a black tie affair, but something that makes you feel excited and done up.
- Have Separate Hangout Spaces.
I can’t stress this enough. Every human being needs a space where they can decompress and where they can spend some alone time. My husband and I don’t mind telling each other we need some alone time. Generally that means one of us hangs out down in the living room, while the other one is in the bedroom, doing whatever we want to do. There’s nothing shameful in wanting to spend some time with just yourself every once in a while.
- Travel Together.
I am a firm believe that travel solves so many problems in life. Plus it’s one of life’s greatest adventures – exploring the world around us. And to do it with your partner is extra special. If you can survive the stress of travel, while also having the time of your life, you can survive anything. Having that shared experience is something you’ll be able to enjoy and look back at for a lifetime. It helps you grow together and gain new understandings together for what life truly is.
- Travel SEPARATELY.
Like I said, I’m a firm believer in traveling. However, it doesn’t always have to be with your partner. Go travel with your best friends. Do a girls trip or boys weekend and have fun. It’s equally important to feel that you can go be yourself with your friends, because it’s important to not forget about who you are even when you’re sharing your life with someone else.
- Divide Chores.
No one can do everything, but together you can do anything. In our household we have it shared that one of us takes the dog out in the morning, the other takes him at night. This way both of us have the responsibility and no one feels they have to do it all. Same goes for cooking and dishes. Whoever cooks doesn’t have to do the dishes and vice versa. Don’t forget to mix it up though so you don’t feel like you have to do the same things over and over again.
- Say Thank You.
Be respectful, grateful and thankful to each other. Say thank you a lot. For cooking dinner. For doing the dishes. For picking up, for driving or just for being a good person. A thank you can go a long way so don’t be stringent with it.
This might seem like a silly one, but trust me, life has a tendency of getting in the way. It is easy to get stuck in a routine where you sit in your own spots on the couch at night watching TV or go straight to bed at night. Don’t forget to cuddle. Human connection and affection comes from touching one another. Cuddle up on the couch to watch a movie, or cuddle in bed even for a couple of minutes before falling asleep. It makes a big difference and releases endorphins which will increase your happiness.
- Have Movie Marathons.
Take a weekend day, or a mental health day from work and stock up on some good snacks, food and drinks. Prepare the couch and get started. Watch a movie series together and don’t do anything else all day! We all need days when we just don’t do anything but lay on the couch with our person.
- It’s the Little Things That Matter.
Don’t forget about the little things. A quick embrace in the kitchen. An appreciative glance before leaving the home. A sneaky peck on the cheek when your partner least expects it. A fresh bouquet of flowers just because. It doesn’t all have to be champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries (although I have yet to see that fail), but small acts of appreciation can really make a big difference in every day life.
- Say I LOVE YOU Often.
You can never say I Love You too much as long as you mean it. Say it in the morning when you wake up and at night when you go to bed. Send it in a text during the day or just give your partner a quick call to remind them you love them. Those three words are some of the most powerful words you can share with someone when you truly mean it. So don’t be afraid to say it loud and often.
Bonus Tips for Successful Marriage
While marriage is all about 2 become 1 (hey Spice Girls) it’s also important to understand that a marriage still consists of two individual people. Two people with different backgrounds, upbringings and interest. While you want to grow together during your marriage, you also cannot loose track of who you are along the way. Always stay true to yourself but find ways where you and your partner can do that while also building a life together. If you can do that, you have the recipe for a successful marriage where both parties feel as though they are thriving and loving life.
What tips do you have that have worked for you during your marriage?