Marriage isn't easy like I thought it would be so many years ago. Having children and the many obstacles that life throws you all add in different aspects to married life that I never knew existed. Also, as people grow older their likes, dislikes, dreams, wants, needs, etc. can change. How do you stay together when you might be growing apart? As I think about all this, I think about how to keep my marriage growing. Here is what my search has found:
- Relationships are like gardens. If you ignore it for a while, the weeds will take over. It is important to make the time to be together. This is so difficult when you have children, especially for me when I have mom guilt leaving my son to have date night. But it is important to take that time or the weeds will get stronger.
- Be proative versus reactive. Easier said than done when it has been a long day at work, you are exhausted, and your spouse just said or did something that you don't like. Just apologize and try to be better next time.
- Communication, communication, communication! In my experience, this is the hardest. Usually one person likes to communicate and share feelings, dreams, etc. while the other just doesn't. Without true communication, it could be a roller coaster to failure. Keep at it; keep weeding; keep trying.
- Be a team instead of two individuals. This is my downfall. I like to be independent. It is so hard for me to lean on someone. I take pride in knowing that I can take care of myself.
- Have fun. Very similar to #1; it is vital to enjoy life. Go out, have fun, do family activities, go on trips. Find positive things you like about each other and focus on those instead of those negative thoughts that creep in from time to time.
Most importantly, just work on your marriage. Be friends, be partners, be happy. Life throws us off track from time to time...somehow you have to find your way back, if you can.