Last week was our 16th wedding anniversary and as always, it got me thinking about what makes things work for us.
1) First and foremost, he is my friend. I honestly think a strong base of friendship is EVERYTHING. So much ebbs and flows with having kids and life, but in the end, hanging out with him is my favorite thing on earth. After 20 years together I can say this, he is my friend and he makes me laugh.
2) Most arguments between us have nothing to do with the actual argument, but usually are about something else. Most people are just living wounds from the past, we get triggered, and we take it out on our spouse. I ask myself when I am upset and projecting, “is this even about him?” Another affirmation that works is, “my husband loves me.” No matter what the argument, if I can go back to that and can agree, then I can take a deep breath and work on the rest.
3) Laughter is everything, we laugh a lot and just have a good time. Also, time alone with each other is important. Make space for it, prioritize it, schedule it if needed;) Have things you do together and make time for each other.
4) Find out your spouse’s love language and work on loving them that way. Learn yours and let them know what you need. Also, know that it is not their job to give you everything you need! I heard the quote once, “your spouse’s only job is to be there for you to love.” Take that in. How can you fill your own cup and stop expecting someone else to do it for you? Marriage is amazing and fullfilling, but it isn’t a fairytale. Which leads into…
5) Work on yourself. Find your trauma, find your triggers, learn the things that bother you and why. Go to therapy if you need. The biggest gift you can give to your marriage is to know yourself and find peace. Once you have peace with yourself you will stop trying to make someone else be what they can’t possibly give you.
What has worked in your relationship?