Please note that I do not profess to be a marriage expert in any way, shape or form. I have, however, been married for ten years and have been reading marriage articles (that I can find) for the almost two years (!) since starting to write this column. Marriage is hard work (I like to state the obvious) but it doesn’t have to be something that you endure. It should be something that you enjoy. You know, aside from the whole living with a boy thing.
Here are some things that come to mind when I think about how to make make marriage easier (Not easy, easier).
1. Make the commitment
A friend’s Mom once said to me, “Love is not merely a feeling. It’s a commitment.” My husband and I vowed “’til death us do part” which means that divorce is simply not an option. We are committed to make it to the end. We can either get there begrudgingly, or have fun along our journey. We choose the latter because the former sounds a little bit awful.
2. Pick your battles.
I know - we hear this all the time. I’m not talking about battles over who gets more time with their friends or who gets to buy the next “toy”. I’m talking about the little things. I’ve been part of conversations where women are griping about toothpaste lids and how the toilet paper is hung and about how the dishwasher is loaded. While these are surely life-pressing issues (/sarcasm) are they really worth getting into a fight about? A spouse who perpetually puts car keys where you can’t find them, however, is a whole ‘nother story. I kid! Maybe.
3. Put your spouse first.
Women’s lib, women rule, blah, blah, blah. This point goes both ways. If you love someone, you want to make them happy and so you do little (and big) things that make them smile and brighten their day. I’ve found that in all of my relationships (marriage, kids, friends, etc.) that the more I pour out, the happier I am and the more that comes back to me. Everybody’s happy.
4. Make the best of it
Before I was married I had a number of different roommates and while the situation always started out great, we eventually moved on for a number of different reasons. But your spouse is not simply a roommate; they are a life partner. You’ve made the commitment to make it to the end - why not have fun doing so? Be playful (water fight, anyone?), be flirty (I won’t share the dirty details) and just enjoy each other.
Do you guys have any tips that have worked for you to make your marriage easier?