I have been thinking a lot about marriage lately. Probably because I realized that I should be thinking about it rather than just going along on auto-pilot. I actually think that my recent focus on scrapbooking has really made me think about our lives and how fast time is passing. It seems like there is always the “we’ll get away for a romantic weekend next month” or “we can always reschedule our anniversary celebration” (the last three years something has disrupted it), but something else always ends up on the horizon and days turn into weeks and then months and years and before you know it, the opportunities get fewer and farther between.
Marriage is 20% romance and 80% work. I saw that today on a poster, and I smiled to myself because it is true. Or at least most of the time it feels true. I guess “work” isn’t probably the best term, but these days I’m trying to decide what it is. It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operation of life, that it feels like there are times that we are just aren’t focusing on the “marriage” itself because we are so busy putting out fires and dealing with other dramas. But lately, I’ve decided that I need to refocus. I have always felt that it is important to remember that marriage is a relationship like any other that needs to be maintained (even when I don’t have it in the front of my brain). Just because we are on the same team, it doesn’t mean that we can take each other for granted. Just because one or both of us may not be the MVP of the current game, it doesn’t mean that we should stop giving each other appreciation.
Tim joked around the other day about how we’ve “grown old together” now that we have two grandkids. I gave him the look and told him that I am not old, so he looked appropriately chagrined, and I forgave him. We’ve been together for almost ten years and have known each other for eleven, so it isn’t like “forever” but we have gone through a lot in that ten years. We really don’t ever fight. We have both come from past relationships where there was fighting and/or tension, and neither of us is up for that, so we just don’t fight. There may be times where one of us is irritated with the other, but I think we both recognize it and shift gears so resentment never builds. We don’t ever say mean things to each other or put each other down. We are terrific together. So I feel like I’m very lucky.
But on the other hand… I can be a better wife. That is my confession to you today. I read “The Happiness Project” and felt like there were aspects of her story that definitely could apply to our lives and our marriage. So I think I’m going to work on my own “Marriage Project” where I will seek out advice from couples who have successful marriages and implement things that make sense. I will hug my husband more, tell him how spectacular he is (even if I’m frustrated with him for a moment), be grateful that fate intervened and we ended up together, and also give him more quality time. I believe, that if I do those things, and refocus my energy just a little more, we will have an even stronger marriage that will continue to bring us happiness for the future when we really have grown old together.
So what are your marriage/relationship secrets? I’m looking for volunteers to share their philosophies on relationships/marriage, the love stories, the ups/downs and how to hold things together. I want to know how you decided on what marriage should look like and whether or not you had role models (real life or fictional) that helped you on your path to wedded bliss. Let me know if this is something you could see yourself participating in because I would love to know more.
I’ll leave you to think about marriage and with a recent picture of us that I was able to get scrapped the other day. Funny how it is one of the only ones I have of the two of us. See… my focus is helping already. LOL.