i pay no attention to advice in magazines that guarantee 20 easy ways to fix your friendships, or how to spice up your sex life. whenever i see them, i think to myself, "ugh why don't you just mind your own business?" of course, it would be absolutely lovely if pat would randomly buy me a gorgeous piece of jewelry. or if he surprised me with flowers and dinner already on the table a few times a month. but do i believe that if we find ourselves broken, that either of those things would actually fix anything? no, i don't. not at all.
however my dear sweet friend, becky (bridesmaid becky!!), sent me "15 ways to stay married 15 years." and i found myself tearing up as i went down the list. the advice is so real, and so honest. here are my two favorites:
9. Move. Live in different houses. In different parts of the country. Travel. Make it so that you can look back and divide up your life into the years you spent in different cities, or different houses. If you’re feeling stuck geographically or physically, you can confuse yourself into thinking you’re stuck romantically. See your husband in different places, in different contexts, in different countries even. Try it. Take him to a mountaintop and give him another look. Pretty sexy. Take him to a new city and check out his profile. Along the same lines, don’t be afraid to change personally, or let your wife change as a person. Don’t worry about “growing apart.” Be brave and evolve. Become completely different. Don’t gather moss. Stagnation is unattractive.
14. Be loyal. All the crap you read in magazines about honesty, sense of humor, communication, sensitivity, date nights, couples weekends, blah blah blah can be trumped by one word: loyalty. You and your spouse are a team of two. It is you against the world. No one else is allowed on the team, and no one else will ever understand the team’s rules. This is okay. The team is not adversarial, the team does not tear its members down, the team does not sabotage the team’s success. Teammates work constantly to help and better their teammates. Loyalty means you put the other person in your marriage first all the time, and you let them put you first. Loyalty means subverting your whims or desires of the moment to better meet your spouse’s whims or desires, with the full understanding and expectation that they will be doing the same. This is the heart of everything, and it is a tricky balance. Sometimes it sways one way and some the other. Sometimes he gets to be crazy, sometimes it’s your turn. Sometimes she’s in the spotlight, sometimes you. Ups and downs, ultimately, don’t matter because the team endures.
because i truly believe that happiness is the consequence of personal effort, i get a mix of emotions about how much work marriage will be. how will i balance anna the wife, with anna the mom (hopefully, someday!), with anna at work, with anna and her friends. but what i already know, is that there is not another person on this planet that i trust more, love harder, believe in, would go to the ends of the world for, and am loyal to than patrick. and the best part? he feels the same way about me.
the rest of the list can be found here.
thanks for sharing, b! xoxo.