When you think about July, what first comes to mind?
Is it Magic? Fireworks? Vacation? How about Romance?
For me, July is a complex month. My first marriage wedding date was in July, and so was my last. This year I celebrate two years with my best friend and love of my life. As I prepare him (and myself) to leave us to find work out of the state, it's bitter sweet with the fine lines of love and duty in between.
Now to some two years might not seem to be a big deal, but take a glance at the role models we have for marriage and you'll see what I mean!
As I mentioned before, this is my second marriage. My first could have been the book on "what not to do" but being the optimist I am I want to share what works!
"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. " Mignon McLaughlin
That is the truth! Marriage and being in love is a conscious decision. Every day you have to decide to be in that marriage, with all you are. Some days it will be easy to decide to stay married and some days won't be.
Arguing is the sign of a GOOD, HEALTHY relationship!
Problems really get big if you don't deal with issues immediately. Think about how angry you can get over something little if you "stew" about it! If your really angry take a minute for yourself, get calm, and then talk to him about it. Try to think about how you'd react to what your saying to him if it was the other way around.
Take your ego out of the picture! It's not ALWAYS about you and thats a good thing!
Sometimes, ok MOST of the time, when someone gets angry or says something rude it has NOTHING to do with you! Try to hold back your immediate reaction, take a breath and look at what could REALLY be going on. Then later go back and talk about it after its blown over. The last time I had this happen my husband was upset about nothing to do with me, but it still made me mad that I was being yelled at for nothing. So later in the day, maybe an hour or two later I told him he had hurt my feelings and I wanted an apology. Well what do you think he did? Apologised right there! I was like darn, I still wanted to be mad! :)
Accept your partner for EXACTLY who they are. NO FIXING!! :)
I had read this a million times in all kinds of books and articles and totally thought I had it down. That was until we went to counselling and I realised I had ALL KINDS of stuff I didn't accept him for. This doesn't mean you have to put up with him leaving his clothes all over the house or dishes in the sink, it just means that more then likely how your hubby was before, is how he will still be! What you can do also is look at what bothers you and try to see if its a behavior or who he is. For instance, My husband is a compulsive neat freak, nothing is EVER clean enough. Unfortunately, no changing that! And me? I don't mind a little clutter or toys on the floor like he does. I do try to tidy for his sake, but I'm just not him! In the Mastery of Love by Ruiz he talks about how we treat our dogs as a metaphor. We don't expect them to be anything but dogs, no expectations or fixing. Is that how you are with your dog, er.. husband?
Sometimes you have to make your OWN romance!
For some of us, our husbands are just not that romantic. We have to accept that as much as we have to accept we are! Make yourself happy! The way I do this is I have an "imaginary Jade" (My husband, what I'd like him to be!). This sounds silly but this way I can remember that he does contribute to my daily happiness, even if its not how I'd like him to. Buy yourself flowers every week then thank him and see how suprised he is! After all, his money is yours right? If you want your anniversary to be perfect, plan it yourself! Expecting him to do this stuff just adds more pressure to your relationship and sets you up to be disappointed.
Find romance in EVERY day!
I'm sure you've had moments that just melted your heart and made you realise why your with this other person, despite his ever growing sock collection in the bedroom. Does your husband kiss you good morning or goodbye? Does he help you with dishes? Take out the garbage so you don't have to smell it or get yucky stuff on your clothes? Make a list of all the ways he shows you he loves you. In the five love languages it talks about different ways we show love. Get a copy from the library or bookstore and try to figure out yours and his love language. Chances are he shows you love how he likes to be loved, and so do you!
And lastly, be grateful!
Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to realise how good you really have it. Also, when I was REALLY having problems, I'd read about other peoples marriage problems. Reading about other couples problems let me know I wasn't alone, and that other people had it way worse then me and still made it work!