Monday, January 19, 2015

Keeping the spark alive

My husband and I have been married for eight and a half years and we have been together for over ten. We were high school sweethearts and everyone expected our love to fail. Even when we decided to get married, most people thought it was because I had to be pregnant. Which was not the case at all. We wanted to be one, for we both felt as though we found the other half of ourselves in each other. Like all couples we have had our fair share of ups and downs and twists and turns along the way. However, through all of the challenges that we have faced, our relationship is as strong and passionate as ever. This is because it is built upon a firm foundation of love, friendship, and trust, as well as our commitment to try to each put forth 100% effort into the relationship. That way if either of us falters, the other can pick up the slack. I have been asked if our love has begun to fade after all of this time and after having three children, and my answer is no. I feel as though I fall more in love with my husband each and every day. However, the love is different, it has matured and blossomed from the young puppy dog love we had at first. It is as though the love has grown up and matured with us.  I have compiled a list of tips that have helped keep our relationship strong and thriving.

  1. Treat each other with respect. It is essential that no matter what the circumstances that you both treat one another with respect. This doesn't mean that you have to agree with one another all of the time. It just means that, even despite an argument or disagreement, you do not belittle or attack the other person. You can disagree and can argue your point without making the other person feel bad about themselves.
  2. Make the other person a priority.  I know that this sounds much easier said than done, especially once you have children. However, it is so very important that you find time to spend with your partner. I try to include my husband in tasks that I have to do. For instance, when I am nursing my son, I try to sit as close to him as possible and start up a conversation. When we can, we also try to cook dinner together and do dishes with each other. We also try to make the most out of the time we get once the kiddos go to bed. I also always make sure to greet my husband when he comes home from work and I ask all about his day. I think it is so important that no matter how busy I maybe, that he knows how much he means to me.
  3. Date nights. It is so important to have one on one time with each other. It gives you both a break from the burdens of life, and gives you time to rekindle the spark and romance that can be smothered by all of the dirty diapers. It is time to just have fun and let loose with the one you love. An opportunity to be reminded why you fell in love in the first place. Dates don't have to be expensive or elaborate, you don't even have to leave the house. All you really need is one another. 
  4. Keeping the relationship positive. So many negative things happen in the world around us, it can feel as though the negativity will consume our lives. It is essential that we try to see our spouse in the most positive light as possible. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. Your spouse may not do everything the way you would like them to.  However, instead of focusing on what they do wrong, try to instead focus on what they do right. That way when you think of your spouse you will have a positive impression of them.
  5. Let it go. Conflicts are inevitable, sometime in your relationship, you are going to disagree about something. You will feel angry and your feelings will get hurt.  It is important to talk through your problems and come to a solution. Once the solution is reached, you have to let go of all of those negative feels. It is time to forgive and forget. Holding on to these negative feels only breeds more negativity. Which can cause problems and rifts to form in your relationship. Also, never go to bed angry, as this lets negative feelings fester. 
  6. Intimacy is Key. One of the most important aspects of our relationship is intimacy. Humans need to feel loved and wanted. It is just apart of who we are. Intimacy takes many forms, from showing each other affection by kissing and cuddling, giving one another loving message, listening contently to what the other person has to say, and enjoying a healthy sex life. No matter how tired you are, you have to find time for these things. Your partner has emotional and physical needs that have to be met. There are many times that I am so tired, I can barely hold up my head, let alone feel as though I can dedicate energy to being intimate with my husband. However, once I feel the warmth of his lips on mine, all of my exhaustion begins to melt away. The troubles of the world fade into the background, the only thing left is the love I feel between us. 

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