The thought of writing this post had me smiling – nah – grinning. It is probably because – even though I am a fan of lists and enjoy bullet-pointing what I learn – this is not a subject I often write about. When I was invited to participate in the March Marriage Challenge – 31 Days to Create an Awesome Marriage hosted by The Eyes of a Boy and Huppie Mama I thought now is a good time, having just celebrated our 18th anniversary together – to reflect on what makes our marriage work.
If I had to choose one reason why we’re happy together, it would be our sense of humor. No matter how freaked out I am, Sury always makes me laugh. Even if I goof up big time, he’s kind and has a “hey it’s okay” attitude. That won’t stop him from teasing me about it, but we both know that he’s just – teasing!
It is said that life is always a balance of sad and happy. My Mom and I went through many hardships and she would often say there’s always something good on the cards to balance those scales. And you know how Moms can be right. I had a great marriage in store!
Of course we’ve had good times, sad times, scary times and ewww times. But we tackle them successfully. It is because we are united in believing that happiness is a DIY project.
Here are 18 ways that work for us!
- We always make it a point to talk. Communication is everything. Neither of us is reticent. We have a joke going that we have to tell each other even if we fart. Perhaps graphically. Be that as it may, we believe in sharing. We don’t rely on telepathy. If it happens that’s a bonus but we reinforce it with words. If there’s a situation, we talk and get it out of our system. Fighting is fine and making up is fun!
- We never go to bed without wishing each other “good night” and saying I love you. We never go to bed angry or feeling resentful over something.
- Life is full of curve balls. We accept that fact and keep moving.
- We don’t keep score over who did what first. That’s a lousy thing to do. It doesn’t matter who initiated it. We believe in “us” and not “you” and “I”
- We realized early on that marriage really is about “I take you, your mother, your aunts, your cousins, your uncles, your friends…..” It is all good. While marriage is technically between two people, it is actually between two families and all the people in the periphery. We’ve learned to see it as fun and that makes it a lot easier to deal with. And of course – the jokes later? Priceless.
- We don’t believe in perfection and we’re cool with that. Okay, so we personally strive for it in the things we do – but not out of pressure. We don’t expect it of each other. If anything, we’re constantly telling each other to relax and that the world would certainly continue to revolve on its axis if we left something half done. Case in point – my kitchen cleaning that began two weeks ago and is still not done. And oh, we’re fine with burnt toast for dinner. Or even lunch.
Soul-mates bring out the best in you. They are not perfect but are always perfect for you. ~Anonymous
- We appreciate and respect each other’s work, space and interests. And celebrate our achievements and talent. We’re not always crazy about the same things – in fact our taste in music, food and a number of things is different. Yet, we enjoy the variety. We are happy to accept and enjoy our differences. In the process, we’ve discovered plenty of common grounds for togetherness and therefore, happiness. I fondly remember, years ago, when he was traveling, he decided to surprise me with a copy of “Purple Rain” by Prince.
- We know happiness takes effort and that it is well worth it. We’re committed to working together towards being happy. We enjoy each others’ company.
- We’re friends. We base our relationship on trust. And persistence. And hard work.
- We are quick to praise each other, hug each other, apologize and thank each other. We have a no-yelling policy. Which is also a no-raising-voice policy. Which is great for our health and keeps our stress levels healthy.
Present your family and friends with their eulogies now – they won’t be able to hear how much you love them and appreciate them from the grave. ~Anonymous
- We put our gadgets away and enjoy cuddling up to watch a movie or just chat and sing together. We find it cool to date in our jammies. What matters is the time we spend together, not where, when or what we wear. And yes, while we’re at it, I quite enjoy the soles of my feet tickled.
- We understand that happily married is a lot of give and take. Maybe more give than take. We like it! And we’re careful not to take each other for granted except in the nicest way. And we certainly don’t try to second-guess each other.
- We’ve learned to appreciate the little things. A newly scrubbed bathroom floor, a new changed bedspread, holding hands, reading to each other, clothes cleared into the washing bin – everything counts. Life is crazy as it is and we feel lucky to have what we’ve got.
- We’re realistic in our expectations. And we don’t sulk when something we expect doesn’t happen.
- We make time for each other. We support each other. We listen to each other. We also give each other space – which means we sometimes chat on our laptops sitting in the same room because we’re happy to multitask.
- We don’t try to change each other. Oh yes, wait, we did. And gave up. We’ve cut each other a lot of slack. We now love each other exactly the way we are. What used to annoy us before merely amuses us. Because we know there are more important things in life.
- We practice gratitude every single day. We’re grateful for what we have and try our best to share what we have been blessed with by making a difference in others’ lives. This always keeps us grounded.
- We share housework. This one is a biggie and so I saved it for the finale. When we work together harmoniously, happiness doesn’t have a chance to stay away. It can’t help becoming a permanent resident in our house. So maybe we can’t see it sometimes for the layer of dust…but that doesn’t deter us.
Yep. Happiness is a DIY project – in all relationships, but especially so in marriages. We have fun with ours!
This post is for Day 15 of the March Marriage Challenge – 31 Days to Create an Awesome Marriage hosted by The Eyes of a Boy and Huppie Mama Click the photo below to follow along with the series and find amazing ideas for inspiration on how-to create an awesome marriage, and enhance the wonderful relationship that you already have!