Upon posting last week’s Tantalizing Thursday: Recipe for a Happy Marriage, I realized there was so much more I wanted to add to the list. Like a living document, the recipe is ever growing, expanding, and evolving. I do not claim to “know it all” nor do I believe myself to be an “expert” in this field, but I have talked to hundreds of people about marriage. I especially question couples that have more than 30 years together what they feel contributes to their successful marriage. I’ve been stunned, entertained, and enlightened by the many different responses. In an effort to share and spread enlightenment, I am continuing the recipe started last week. Please feel free to read, comment, and especially add your own tips that you feel have helped you (your parents, favorite couple, etc.) stay happily married.
Recipe for a Happy Marriage (cont.)
31. Agree to disagree. So many people care too much about being “right” and insisting that their spouse share their opinion. Is it so important to be right? If it is for your spouse, simply allow your spouse to be right. I don’t mean compromise your integrity or lie, but listen and see things from your spouse’s perspective.
32. Compliment your spouse in front of him or her as well as when he/she is out of earshot. Nothing is better than having your spouse brag about you; don’t believe me? Try it!
33. Learn to give (and receive) a massage.
34. On the MP3 player(s) have his and hers playlists and then one you both enjoy!
35. Rent/go to movies you both want to see. If there is a disagreement, separate to see the movie you want to see so he/she can do the same!
36. Opposites attract, but marry someone you have things in common. Once the passion ebbs you want to have a strong connection outside of the bedroom.
37. Incorporate celebrations into your everyday life. Example: Today is Cinco de Mayo so make some tacos, put out some chips and salsa, and toast this important day in Mexican history! Live it up on the big holidays, but make each day a small celebration of love, life, and the wonder that is all around. When you live with a grateful, celebratory heart, then your life retains a positive vibe.
38. Stick it out during the hard times. When the vows are uttered the bride and groom are most likely not thinking about illness, financial ruin, or the like. But the reality is, reality is rough! Choose a spouse who can weather the storm, be supportive, and will see the rough stuff through.
39. Remember the brain is the biggest sex organ. It doesn’t matter if he has a bald spot or she has fifteen extra pounds around the middle. Love each other like you did when you first fell for each other.
40. Reach for your dreams while keeping your feet planted to the ground. Support one another, but remember to be there for one another. The family must come first.
41. Give your spouse space when he/she is upset. Everybody needs to vent, be annoyed, and feel anger to its conclusion. Once a cool down is finished, then discuss the issues behind the blow up.
42. Plan fun family vacations with the kids and really enjoy the break in routine.
43. Plan a “couple only” vacation without the kids so you can recharge your batteries and concentrate on only each other.
44. Don’t wait for a vacation alone to concentrate on one another; make your spouse the priority and the marriage, too. Happy children have happily married parents.
45. Treat your spouse with kindness; offer to make him a sandwich, make her some tea then rinse out her mug and put it in the dishwasher.
46. Don’t keep score. Marriage isn’t a competition or a game. You are on the SAME team.
47. Communicate. In every day in every way, keep your spouse apprised of what you are thinking and feeling. When communication leaves the relationship, the relationship dies.
48. Challenge yourself. Stagnation in one’s life sucks the passion out of you. Keep yourself stimulated and you’ll be stimulating to yourself and your spouse!
49. Take the word “divorce” out of your vocabulary.
50. Whether formally or privately, renew your vows each anniversary.
This concludes my Recipe for a Happy Marriage. Please add your own tips and strategies for a happy marriage that you’ve experienced or heard. Next week Tantalizing Thursday will return to its roots and offer a culinary recipe. Please join me tomorrow when I offer an all new Friday Music Blog.