Zach and I have been together for 10 years this September and celebrating 5 years of marriage in July. While I'd like to think we know how to keep our love as exciting as it was when we first began dating in college, truthfully we've had hard times come our way that have left us questioning our marriage at times. So how do you keep your marriage strong you ask? I thought I'd share 5 tips that have really helped us through the difficult times ( and they do happen ).
1. Communicate - I'm sure so many of you may know this already but communication really is key when it comes to having a strong marriage. So many past relationships of mine have ended because we never talked about what was making us angry, scared or upset. We never talked about what made us happy or feel less stressed. We were just there in this relationship that wasn't going anywhere. Zach has always made it a point to make sure I'm expressing what I'm feeling instead of holding it in ( a fault of mine ). It's something I constantly work on even if I'm worried about what the outcome is.
2. Give and Take - When we first had Lily I thought I could handle the stress of being a new Mom and still get chores and other items off my list done before my husband came home from work. HA ! Fat chance! Relationships shouldn't be based on what you have to do around the house or what your husband has to do. It's a give and take. There are so many moments where I just need a break and instead of saying to myself " you have too ", I ask for help from my husband who 99% of the time is always happy to do so and vs. versa. There are day where he really doesn't feel like cooking, helping to clean or run a particular errand and will ask me to do so. We always appreciate when the other one is willing to help and I know you will too.
3. Continue to Date - This might sound silly to some but it's a piece of advice a friend gave to me when Zach and I first became engaged. Of course marriage has it's ups and downs and we've had our fair share of those of course but what makes it continue to work is the fact that we set time out to spend quality time together. It doesn't have to be a fancy night out to dinner- even just grabbing popcorn and watching a few episodes of a favorite show of ours is what we enjoy doing together. Check out these 7 date night ideas or acting like kids again. We had a blast.
4. Never Go To Bed Angry - Zach really was the one that should take credit for this. I used to always get upset and shut down when I didn't want to talk but he pushes me to keep going ( as I mentioned with our communication ). We try to work everything out before bed because who really wants to wake up the morning, still in a bad mood? Not us!
5. Put One Another First - I've had friends that used to tell me they would do anything for their children and then their spouse. We knew from the beginning that in order for our children to have a good example of a healthy, happy marriage, that we should put the other person first. Kiss one another in front of our kids? You bet. Laugh and joke about ridiculous moments? Of course! Putting your significant other first means that you're showing daily affection, communication and above all, the love and care that you promised when you made your vows.
How do you keep your own marriage strong?