This week when we help Kelly celebrate her anniversary (Happy Anniversary Kelly!) We want to look at five ways we can keep our relationships vibrant and happy. It's true that many of us got thinking it would be just like the movies or romance novels where the couple "lived happily ever after" because they were "destined for each other".
Maybe like us, you thought that it would not change your relationship because you were together for so long and nothing was essentially going to change. Boy, were we wrong! As Jamaicans say, "See me and come live with me a two different things." That just means that living with someone changes the whole dynamics of your relationship.
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We quickly realized marriage was hard work and there were no time-outs or days-off. We each had a permanent houseguest and bedmate, one who was there for smelly morning breath, bedhead and cranky days.
Being married is challenging; being married with children – is even more so. Challenging but rewarding in more ways than you can count. Whether you’re in the first bloom of true love or in the trenches going through hard times, here are five ways to keep your love for each other alive:
1. Talk to each other – Too often as married couples we forget to have conversations. Now I don’t mean talking about bills and what the children are doing. That’s important, but conversations also need to include what’s happening in each other’s lives.
Ask your spouse about their day, talk about what’s bothering them. Let them know what you’re going through. Dream dreams (even if they’re unrealistic like winning the lottery that you’re not buying). My husband and I are famous for fantasy vacations and imaginary menus. Even our son gets in on the action from time to time (smile).
2. Have fun together – Remember what attracted you to each other in the first place? I bet it wasn’t how well you could balance a checkbook or write a budget. Recapture or revisit the glory days. If your husband likes video games, plan a video games marathon. If your wife is a fan of tear-jerker movies, watch them with her.
Pretend you’re still dating.
Schedule some time to be together. It’s important to spend time as a family when you have children, but it’s also important to spend time together as a couple.
3. Learn new things together – One of the worst things that happen to married couples is complacency. We get comfortable in our relationships and comfortable with our partners. We can be so caught up in the routines of life that before we know it, we’re stuck in a rut and life seems boring.
Our marriage suffers and so do our family and friends. One way to combat this is to keep learning new things. Maybe you have different interests and that’s okay, if each person makes a commitment to learn something new and share it with the other, you’d be surprised at how many new things you’d learn.
4. Serve God together – one of the most awesome things a couple can do together is come into a greater knowledge of who Jehovah is. Pray together. Read his word. We were created for his glory and when we have a truly intimate relationship with God it changes us.
As we fall deeper in love with Jesus our ability to love each other expands. God is love and everything he touches reflects that.
5. Allow the person to be themselves – Did you get married thinking you could change your spouse after the ring went on the finger? So many of us thought that the little things that annoyed or bothered us could be changed after our marriage but the truth is – the only thing we can change is our response.
The only person we can change is ourselves.
The best thing we can do is allow our partner to be themselves. After all, this was the person you married and agreed to spend your life with.
I hope you enjoyed reading my fives; I'd love to hear what your fives are. Write them in the comments below or jump to mrsdisciple.com and link up with your tips to keep love alive. Whether you're experiencing your honeymoon glow or the full moon of a life spent together, I would like to pronounce a blessing on your marriage: