“How to Make a Marriage Last”
That was the title of a small article in the February edition of Redbook magazine. Of course it caught my eye. How do you make a marriage last?
This little article was simply a handful of tips from couples that have been together since they were teenagers. Hubby and I have been together, exclusively, since we were 14 years old. I couldn’t wait to hear what these other couples, with stories similar to mine, had to offer about the secret of a lasting marriage.
There were two pieces of advice that I really liked that I wanted to share with you. They are lessons I have learned in my own marriage.
The first was from a couple that had been together since they were 17 years old. They said, “Prioritize time for yourselves. My husband’s hobby is running and mine is performing stand-up comedy. We plan vacations around his marathons, and he attends all of my shows. We love our date nights, but everyone needs something that matters just to them.”
As I am approaching 15 years of marriage, I have come to realize the importance of this in my own marriage. It is so easy to lose your own identity as you try to please everyone around you, especially your spouse. In the last couple of years, I have tried to be more supportive of my husband’s hobby of playing basketball. It is extremely important to him to get a few times a week to go to the gym and hit a pick up game. He loves it! Who am I to deny him of time that makes him so happy? Now, I will often push him out the door. He deserves time for himself.
I have also discovered my own need for time to do something, all of my own, as well. It feels so good to do something just for me sometimes. For the past year, my sister and I have been taking a hip hop class once a week and just recently I signed up for a weekly guitar class. I love them both so much! It is time, just for me. For personal growth that is all my own.
I agree with the couple. It is vital to have something of your own, that is supported by your spouse and that makes you happy. You are a part of a couple, but you are still you. . . an individual. Do something, just for you!
The other piece of advice that I liked came from a couple who had been together since they were 16. They said, ” Act like your marriage is a job. Treat it as if you were climbing the corporate ladder. Address your challenges, work overtime when needed, and plan meetings to discuss how you’re doing. It’s the most important gig you’ll ever have.”
I love this, because it is so true. It seems people work their tails off to be good at their jobs, to get the good review, promotion or raise. Being successful at marriage, takes the same principles. It is hard work. That is the bottom line. I have realized that if I want my marriage to be awesome, then I have to really work at it. I have to give it attention, I have to work thru problems and get better. I have to talk about what is or isn’t working so that I know how or what to improve on. Just as in a job, if you stop working at it, then the promotions and raises stop coming. Even though it can be exhausting at times, working at my marriage continuously has the most incredible payoff. It is the best kind of promotion!
Today’s lessons in improving my marriage: Continue to take time for my self doing things that make me happy and never stop working hard at my marriage. Thanks Redbook! http://www.redbookmag.com/
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