5 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage
"WORRY BOUT YO OWN SELF"
We’ve heard this time and time again, you can’t give to someone else if your tank is empty. And by tank I mean your energy, time, spirit, and self- awareness. In order to take care of someone else you need to take care of you. Self- care doesn’t always mean an extravagant spa day or girls trip to Vegas. Sometimes it’s sleeping in, catching a movie alone, or reading a couple of chapters from that library book you checked out months ago (or is this just a Haighlove thing?). Worrying about yourself does not mean that you do not care about the other people in your life that you are responsible for, it just means that caring for them requires that you also care for yourself. Try getting on a schedule for self-care so that you can practice consistency and others know that on a specific day and time you are unavailable.
As you all know I just recently surprised Trice with a Promposal and tickets to an Adult LGBT Prom in Louisville, KY. We had an absolute blast so I made a mental note to keep secrets more often. I am a terrible liar, I get really fidgety and my eyes dart across the room. It’s a whole ENTIRE mess but it’s worth it to see my Wife happy and genuinely surprised. Granted you don’t have to do grand gestures for every surprise but you do want to make sure they are meaningful. The love is in the details. Whoever said secrets were bad must not have been flown half way across the world for a night they’d never forget. Don’t be that person, keep that awesome date night idea to yourself until it’s time to execute it!
Conflict is not always a bad thing. It is my personal belief that new Mothers and Newlyweds are the most pushed around and judged group of people. It’s almost as if you’re instincts with this person that you’ve just promised your life to and for are somehow now invalidated and you MUST listen to TT Jean’s marriage advice. “Never go to sleep mad” and “Never yell while arguing!” These are some of the most common pieces of marital advice that get recycled through the ages. Now, not to dismiss anyone’s positive experience with these one liners, but c’mon, you’ve NEVER gone to bed upset or “feeling some type of way” with your spouse? I call bullshit. Find what works for the marriage you have with your partner and make your own rules. Two halves can still be whole on their own. Conflict reminds you that you both are individuals and that you don’t always have to agree to get along and be one person. Conflict reminds you of critical thinking on your own and opinion forming. Conflict evokes change. Don’t be afraid to be an individual in your marriage.
BE THE PARTNER YOU WANT
Seeing that half of a couple is still a whole being, treat your Spouse like an individual who’s desires, needs, and wants are just as important to you as they are to them, 100% of the time. Nothing snaps me out of a psycho banshee mood like imagining Trice mimicking my actions. I’m immediately floored just thinking about hearing her say no to something that I want even when I’ve just told her no. I have to remind myself to be appreciative of the partner that I chose on my own accord and to treat her how I want to be treated. If I want surprises I need to give her surprises. If I don’t want to wash the dishes 5 nights in a row I need to make sure she’s not scooping the kitty litter 5 nights in a row. Put yourself in your Spouse’s shoes. If you wouldn’t want to do it chances are they wouldn't want to either.
LOVE EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T LIKE
I added to my vows “I promise to love you even when I don’t like you”, because I knew at that time my Wife had an uncanny ability to get on Every Single Nerve in my body. She thinks it’s a talent I think it’s one woman fort in the studio for a night, but hey there’s that lovely conflict! We both are great at getting on one another’s nerves but we always know when to end it, because we love each other and can both get carried away with emotions. We say “Half a Pizza” to signal to the other one that we are no longer upset and it works like a charm. Marriage is not about love it is the act of committing. Committing to continue to find things to love. Committing to being respectful and trustworthy. Committing to love even when you don’t like.