6. Choose each other – again and again. In those difficult conversations when you find it hard to find common ground, fight through it, then look at each other and remember what brought you together in the first place, what keeps you together when it so easy these days just to walk away. Choose to stay and fight, come out the other side not because you have to, but because you want to. Acknowledge it out loud, “Yes this is hard, yes sometimes I want to give up, but I choose to stay, I choose us.”
7. Laugh– be silly together– just laugh. It’s the one thing that always brings us back up when we hit turbulence as one does in a long marriage. There is always something to smile about, there’s always a chance to be playful, and if it doesn’t happen on its own, think about it, work at it, until it will come naturally. It also makes our kids really happy (and sometimes bewildered I admit) when we goof around.
8. Sex– goes without saying right? WRONG. It’s the one thing married people tend not to talk about. How over the years, many women and men (yes – it goes both ways) start to feel like sex is one more chore in a long day filled with those. And maybe it would feel like it at times. After having my third child, all I wanted was to be left alone, when the kids fell asleep I wanted to do the same. I realized that whatever was left of my libido between having twin two year olds, a new baby and a second ceserian, was gone. It’s absence profoundly impacted our sense of intimacy and our sense of being a couple and not roommates who co-parent. So I made a conscious choice to work on it – on myself. Find my missing sexual side again. A tip from me – when you have young ones at home? The best gift you can give yourself and your partner is a key to your bedroom door…
9. Different is not wrong – I am a stickler for a schedule, deviating from it when it comes to the kids routine drives me nuts.
The hubby? He is more of a causal go with the flow type of parent. He loves to start the weekend with energetic activities, I love to kick back and relax. I am a bookworm, he is outdoorsy. We are different, we do almost everything differently, and yes sometimes these differences are hard to take. Remind yourself that different is not wrong, there is not one right way to parent, there’s your way and other peoples way. Our differences make us interesting. Celebrate it, and if you’re not there yet, just accept it.
10. Grow – with each other, on your own, with your family, just grow. Don’t stand still, give yourself the space to change.
I am not the person I was ten years ago, neither is my partner. I changed, I evolved, so did him, so did the small family unit we raise together. And that’s OK. We are not the bright-eyed, young, carefree couple we were when we got married. Allow each other to change – to discover new things, new hobbies, and new friends, change jobs, study something new.
Don’t insist on keeping things the way things used to be out of fear, grow and change together and separately.
Be supportive of these changes, of your partner. There is no better gift to give each other than the knowledge that there is one person at home that will have your back no matter what.
If you missed the first 5 lessons check them here.
Share your experiences and lessons you learned in your time with your partner, would love to hear from you.