I won’t lie to you, marriage is hard work. It takes time and commitment from both parties and is something that is a constant work in progress. BUT, it is something that is also very rewarding, and at the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Finding your best friend to spend the rest of your life with should not be taken for granted.
I have put some thought into this post and decided you might like to hear both sides of the story. I am going to share with you my top 5 things to do for a happier marriage and then also share with you my husband’s top 5 things to do for a happier marriage.
Just a little back story on Jeff and I before we get started. We met when I was 16 and he was 26. It wasn’t one of those fairy tale stories of love at first sight because, to be honest, I don’t remember the first time I saw him. He was the herdsman on the farm I started milking on while I was in high school.
We spent several nights a week together, milking the cows and feeding the calves. It didn’t take long, and I started to notice his laid-back friendly personality, and of course his love for animals. Now the part that always seems to shock people. I was the one who started the conversations of wanting to be more then friends. Of course, he was very hesitant to be in a relationship until I turned 18, but we started hanging out. We enjoyed the nights talking and taking care of the animals together. That was our strongest connection and our only similarity. Other than that, we can be complete opposites at times.
Now 13 years later, we are still together after many ups and downs. We got married in May of 2011 and have enjoyed each day together and look forward to what the future might hold for us. I wouldn’t classify us as aged players, or newlyweds, but I feel like 8+ years of marriage is an accomplishment. To have the same feelings for each other after 13 years together is an amazing feeling. So without further ado, lets jump right into the 5 things to do for a happier marriage.
Megan’s Top 5
1) Say, I love you! There is never a shortage of I love you’s each day. If something ever happened to either one of us (because you know anything is possible these days and we do not know when our time is up) we would never have to question if the other one knew how much we loved each other. It might be astonishing to count the times I say I love you in any given week. I say it when either of us leaves, when hanging up the phone, when Jeff does something to make me laugh, when something bad happens, when something good happens, and just because. You get the point! I say it all the time. I truly don’t believe there is ever an amount too great of I love you’s!
2) Listen when he talks and be supportive yet also realistic. One of the easiest things to do in any relationship is be a good listener. This doesn’t mean just sit there quietly and not engage in the conversation, but rather listen to what is being talked about and help your spouse work through the situation. Being supportive in every aspect of life from dreams to jobs and everything in between is a great way to support your marriage.
3) Make sure you laugh together often. This one might sound like something easy, but it is just as important as the other suggestions. A couple that laughs together stays together. At least that is what I tell myself. We do this by making sure we do not take everything so seriously. It always seems like if I am nervous or uptight about a situation, Jeff makes sure he is upbeat and makes me laugh. Somehow I make Jeff laugh at times too, and most of the time I don’t try, but it just happens. I guess that’s what happens when you live with someone that doesn’t have a filter.
4) Don’t ever be afraid to show affection towards each other (honestly, I don’t care if you are in public). I remember when Jeff and I started seeing each other, and we would go somewhere, and I would try and hold his hand…he wasn’t a fan. I have broken him down over time, and now it’s something that comes naturally. Why should we alter our relationship because it might make someone else uncomfortable? Don’t get me wrong, we are not making out in the grocery store, but holding hands and a little kiss here and there never hurt anything.
5) Be sure to thank him and tell him you appreciate him and all his hard work. Ladies, trust me on this one. If he does the smallest thing around the house, thank him! Laundry, dishes, sweeping, taking out the trash, and everything else that might seem like a normal task that always needs to be done, deserves a thank you. He is waiting for you to notice when you walk in the door so, be sure you are expressing your gratitude for him helping out.
BONUS) Be the best version of yourself so, he remembers why he fell in love with you! I know we cannot always be 100%, but try your best each day to show him the best sides of you. It doesn’t have to be all day but little pieces here and there to remind him of years ago when he first fell in love with you.
Jeff’s Top 5
1) Communicate each day and ask her how her day was. Ask how I can make it better. Sometimes you just need to listen to her and let her know someone is on her side.
2) Be her best friend and support her interests. Even if you are not fully interested in something she loves, still make an effort to be on board and go with the flow. I was not so sure about the essential oil thing when she started, but I was supportive, and now I use doTERRA products daily.
3) Make each day fun, and don’t take life too seriously, because you never know when it will be your last. I try and find humor in all of life’s moments. This normally makes her laugh and lightens the mood. It helps make our time together more enjoyable.
4) Begin and end each day with, I love you. I don’t think I need to explain that one further.
5) Always be up for some fornication. Although a relationship is not all about the physical aspect…a healthy sex life leads to a healthy marriage. (I made him be PG!)
BONUS) There is no bonus tip from Jeff. He wanted to end talking about fornication, and since I made him put that last, there was nothing left to say. Just a prime example of how he makes me laugh every day. He is a typical guy. 🙂