And with all the hard work to get here, I'm a tad bitter that the best they can come up with is tin or aluminium for a ten year wedding anniversary. And while I can't say we have the perfect marriage (what's that anyway?), I do have some thoughts about why we will be giving each other some sort of metal this year:
- MARRY YOUR FRIEND. I knew my husband for eight years before we were married. That means that we hung out with mutual friends, each other's girl/boyfriends, even a previous fiance (I'll save that post for another time). It means that we knew each other warts and all before we got together. It also meant that we could carry on an awesome conversation on opposite sides of the room. And still can.
- HAVE THE SAME CORE VALUES. One of the biggest things I adore about my husband is his love/hope in God and his sense of calling. As it turns out, it's exactly the same as mine. In all the unusual places we've ended up, we've always been sure it was exactly where we should have been. There's nothing like uniting at your core level.
- KNOW YOUR LOVE LANGUAGE. You know the languages - quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch, gifts, acts of service. Your partner speaks one of these languages more than any of the others, so do you. Are you giving each other what you need? Speak each other's language. Every day. (You can learn what you and your partner's love language is here.)
- REMEMBER + REFLECT. Let's face it, marriage after a while doesn't always have that same animal magnetism it did when you first got together. There's nothing romantic about being at your wits' end by 6pm, the house in a mess, still wearing your pyjamas, yelling at the kids as your husband walks in the door from work. It's important to remember how you felt in those early days, and how holding your partner's hand was just so special. It's good to remember (and talk about) those first encounters. It's amazing how good it feels to remember how it all started. For me it keeps the love alive. And reminds us how we got to where we are today.
- BE A FRIEND. You know how you treat your friends? Treat your partner exactly the same way. Interested in their day? Well, now it's time to treat the person you love the most like they're the most important person in your life. Give them the best of your time, not the leftovers.
- SHOW RESPECT + TRUST/SUPPORT. Did you know that women need respect from their partner, while men need trust and support? Time for more of that stuff now!
- DREAM TOGETHER. My husband is the best at this. He'll share his dreams with me. Often. I love it. And although I admit I'm not as good at this as he is, I love that he wants to share all of his dreams with me. It makes me want to share mine with him too.
- CONNECT. How often in a week do you and your partner regularly connect? Like have a conversation that doesn't revolve around what needs to be done, what the kids did today, your budget, etc. If you don't connect today, then it's easier not to connect tomorrow. And then the downward spiral begins. My hubby calls me on this often. (He is so wise, don't you think?) So meet regularly with your minds. We all know that once you connect that way, everything else is so much better.
- FIGHT. If you're going to fight, do it properly. But ensure that you also find closure. And do that properly too ;)
- MAKE UP. Even when you're not fighting. (I think you know what I mean).
What do you do to keep the sparkle in your relationship?
This post was rewound at Life In A Pink Fibro on 30 April 2011.