Those of you who read this blog know how very important I think the state of your marital union is for setting the tone in your home and for the health of your children in their future relationships. I have written quite a few blog posts on marriage, on challenges in marriage, and once a year I write on my own marriage. Here is the post from last year, on the 21st anniversary of our first date: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/10/01/happy-anniversary-to-my-husband/ . Today is our 18th year wedding anniversary and time for another post!
By the way, I am not certain I really do have “secrets” about having a good marriage, but I think I have learned some things about marriage, at least about my own marriage, in these eighteen years. I am sure you all have your own thoughts on what makes a great marriage, and please feel free to share your ideas in the comment box below!
Here are a few of our ideas for a happy marriage:
My husband says the biggest secret for him is to “take marriage seriously, but to be able to laugh at yourself and with each other.” HUMOR and WARMTH are really big in our house from laughing in the middle of a fight to giving each other compliments to just enjoying being together and little jokes. Humor and warmth are huge. Physical touch is definitely part of this warmth: hand-holding, back rubs, close space, and yes, intimacy. All of these things are huge.
Faith and praying together really strengthens our marriage. When my husband knows the children and I are praying for him when he is in a big presentation or meeting, it lifts his spirits and we all feel connected to each other and to our Creator.
Seeing the best in each other. We all have faults and flaws, but if we can love each other through that and make allowances for that knowing we are human, then love and forgiveness and striving for more can enter the feeling life of the home. Respect for each other and respect for even the differences in our opinions makes life flow.
Working together is what makes our marriage thrive; being able to solve problems together and work toward solutions together through good communication and having a positive attitude (there is that humor and warmth again!). Part of working together means surrendering the notion that you are always right, that you always know best and being able to make space for ideas that involve both of you.
We have nights were we are engrossed in reading or writing or doing our own thing, but we also have nights where we are engrossed in being together. Spending lots of time as a family works well for us as we enjoy being together.
A happy marriage is the bedrock of a happy family.
Much love to you and yours today,