For two people in a marriage to live together day after day is unquestionably the one miracle the Vatican overlooked.
Bill Cosby, comedian
Both of these quotes speak to the same challenge–how to maintain a strong, loving relationship over time. This is not only a common fear regarding marriage, but is also a reality for many couples.
When you fall in love the world looks and feels different. The sun shines brighter, colors are more vivid, food tastes better, everything is more intense. You stay up all night talking and still have energy to burn. Your every waking moment is focused on that special someone–what they like to do, the perfect gift, how make them feel good, etc. Finding time to be together is easy because you both make it a priority.
There is a tendency to move from this focus of being all about your partner to “what have you done for me lately”. To keep this from happening, a successful, long term relationship requires both effort and commitment. It requires us to love and honor our partner. The longer you are with someone the more your acts of love need to reflect their wants and desires instead of your own. However, our natural tendency, when we are faced with an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation, is to try to get our partners to do things our way instead of focusing on what would make them happy.
Thriving relationships also require mutual respect. Be aware of how you treat your partner. We often are nicer to strangers than we are to our spouses but then are surprised when they don’t respond with love and adoration.
Letting your partner know you care by both your words and actions is another way to keep your relationship strong. Everyday tasks such as work, parenting, chores often take precedence over your marriage. Assuming your partner knows your feelings because you are physically there is a dangerous pattern to set.
Fearless Marriage Activities to Keep Your Love Alive:
Day One: Recreate an activity you did early in your relationship.
Day Two: Thank your partner for something you think they should do anyway.
Day Three: Give your spouse a compliment.
Day Four: Write your partner a letter telling them how much they matter to you.
Day Five: Do a task your spouse normally does just to give them a break.
Day Six: Tell your partner something personal about yourself.
Day Seven: Apologize for something you did that hurt your spouse.
For more on how to create your “happily ever after”: