Successful marriages last a long time. While working at the same place for twenty or thirty years can be monotonous, being married for the same amount of time should be anything but. In fact, successful marriages are so long-lasting simply because both parties actively keep things fresh. The love stories you hear about a couple on their 25th, 30th, or even 50th wedding anniversary all have one thing in common: they’ve done everything they can to keep the passion and intimacy in their marriage alive and growing.
They do so by:
1. Not taking life too seriously.
Life certainly won’t be all fun and games, but that doesn’t mean you have to be serious all the time. Never lose the flirtatious personalities you had when you started falling in love. Joke around with each other, play pranks on each other, even tease each other (nicely, of course). Be the one who can pull the other out of the dumps when they’re feeling low, and remind them how much there is to enjoy about life.
2. Follow passions together.
Find things you both like to do, and experience them together as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to try new things, either. I know I would never go to an art fair by myself, but I love exploring the different crafts and gadgets being presented while strolling through an exhibition with my wife. And she would never go to a Yankee game if it wasn’t for me, but we have dozens of inside jokes and memories that stem from sporting events in which we both ended up having the time of our lives. Always be open to an experience you know your spouse will enjoy.
3. Be physically present and loving.
Being physical in a marriage doesn’t necessarily have to do with sex. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Remember when you were younger and used to hold hands all the time, or kiss each other goodbye or goodnight? Never stop doing that. Always show love and affection for your spouse, no matter how “used to it” you feel you are. You should never be used to hugging your husband or wife, simply for the fact that one day you might not be able to do so.
4. Write out your feelings.
Don’t just tell your spouse you love them; show them in words. Write them little love notes or poems, and send them letters (even though you live in the same house!). Putting your feelings into written words will not only mean much more to them, but doing so will also refresh in your own mind the reasons you love and care for them so much. If you feel like your relationship has hit a snag or has become somewhat stagnant, get out some fancy paper and write to your loved one exactly what you’d say if they were sitting right next to you.
5. Give thanks and pray together.
Even if you’re not the religious type, recognize the spirituality and sanctity of your marriage. Look deep within your heart and soul, and within your spouse’s heart and soul, and truly get to the essence of what it means to be bound in holy matrimony. Recognize how incredible your life is having someone with you throughout the good and bad times, and give thanks to them, as well as to whatever higher being brought you together for the rest of your life. No matter what you believe in, true love is proof that there are mysterious powers beyond our control that guide us in our daily lives.
5. Spend quiet time together.
Take time to visit a place that is special to your marriage, and simply enjoy that time with no interruptions or outside thoughts. Take in the scenery together, holding hands while making a short, fleeting moment last forever. Let every other care and worry you have slip away, and know that in that moment, the only thing that matters is your relationship.
6. Talk things out.
Like I said, not every moment in your marriage will be perfect. Rough times are unavoidable. But they’re unavoidable for a reason. Instead of trying to skirt the issue, or pretend everything is fine, don’t be afraid to talk about what’s bothering you. There’s nothing worse for a marriage than bottled up feelings that will one day explode in fits of anger or rage. If you feel like your marriage has hit a snag, don’t go to your friends for advice; they’re not experts in your relationship. Go straight to the source. Talk to your spouse about the problem you’re both facing. It will be much easier to work through whatever’s irking you than avoiding the issue altogether.
7. Give thanks and pray together.
Even if you’re not the religious type, recognize the spirituality and sanctity of your marriage. Look deep within your heart and soul, and within your spouse’s heart and soul, and truly get to the essence of what it means to be bound in holy matrimony. Recognize how incredible your life is having someone with you throughout the good and bad times, and give thanks to them, as well as to whatever higher being brought you together for the rest of your life. No matter what you believe in, true love is proof that there are mysterious powers beyond our control that guide us in our daily life.
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