In marriage things happen that challenge your love, trust and companionship. When they do, I learned to choose love first. This is still a struggle for me especially when all the other negative feelings hit first. But I think I figured out the “secret” to it.. It’s a choice! (Go Figure??) A choice that requires a great deal of mindfulness which is always a work in progress for me.
He won’t always get it right, neither will you.
It’s really easy to be critical and heavy about even the smallest situations. Especially when you have an “idea” of how you feel things should go. Gilbert K. Chesterton said it best, “It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.” I have to remind myself that I am living my life now. Its right in front of me and I can’t do it all over again. What I will rely greatly on at the end of my life are the memories of my happy life. I have to make sure I am enjoying what is front of me. Do what it takes to absorb the happiness and let the other stuff go. Forgive… Move On… And when those moments happen learn to be present and let your love for the good things outweigh your frustration over the trivial things.
Always make time for date night.
Of course this one requires more planning and scheduling once the kids come into the picture. But if anything, that makes it more important to take the time to be together doing things you enjoy. After several years of life sink in, it’s nice to be reminded of the way you felt when you first realized that this was the person you wanted to have dates with forever. It’s reviving to a relationship that endures the daily grind of a beautifully, wonderfully messy life.
Consideration is key.
I don’t believe a relationship can exist without consideration. To love someone is to put them before yourself, to consider them. Thinking of someone else first is a beautiful proof of love and in my seven years of marriage I have learned that consideration is a building block for happiness in my relationship with my husband. When we feel considered, we feel loved and respected. Isn’t that kind of the point of it all?
Trusting isn’t always easy but it is always important.
Inevitably in seven years we will all make mistakes. We do things that hurt one another and damage trust. It’s awful but we are human and it will happen when we don’t mean it to and even when we have good intentions. In the end damage is damage and it requires an effort to repair. Make the effort, if that person is right for you, they will make every attempt to let you repair what was lost. The lesson here, choose trust even when doubt creeps in and you are uncertain. Give them a chance to prove to you what love really is.
You can work through anything, literally anything.
My husband and I have been very blessed to be exposed to so many happy and healthy couples. We have learned one thing to be true for almost all of these couples… If you have committed you find a way through it. You never give up on one another. As long as the love and respect are still there, my husband and I believe that we can work through anything. We hope our marriage stands the test of time but that means we must find a way to work through the difficult stuff and make it to the other side with our love and friendship intact.
While I have learned all of these lessons during my seven years of marriage, I am still learning. Still trying to find a way to choose love first and be more considerate. I don’t believe in perfection but I do believe in striving for it. We only get one shot at this life and I want my husband to know that I love him with everything I have everyday. In the next seven years I hope to become better at showing my proofs of love, being considerate and especially choosing love first.
Here’s to the next seven! Cheers!