1. We never avoid talking about one another’s short-comings. That might seem like a strange concept. Why would we so openly discuss each other flaws? It is because we support each other. I want Adam to succeed and he wants me to succeed. If something is not going right we talk about it, we figure out a plan to improve, and we give each other honest feedback. We want to grow together and we want to grow individually.
2. We share chores. There isn’t “Adam’s jobs and Deidre’s jobs”. We tackle things together. That way someone isn’t always to blame for the dishes not getting done. And we aren’t pushed into a stereotype of tasks. Although, we do make deals, “If you do the dishes, I will clean everything else in the house.” And those are fun. Because if Adam doesn’t do the dishes. I don’t have to clean!
3. We always eat dinner together. It is a good time to sit together and just chat. Even if I have to snack a little and not each as much at dinner time after his classes and practice. We can regroup. And discuss each other’s day. And be involved.
4. We openly discuss budgets. We don’t pretend we have more money than is in the bank. We set budgets early, so if last minute a friend invites us to dinner we know ahead of time if we can say yes or no. And even if we know ahead of time that we have money, we always ask one another before swiping the credit card if the purchase is over $10. Seems like a small amount, but I know we will never be in debt by trying to keep up with the Jones.
5. We always make time for each other. We are both busy people. Adam is a full time student athlete and I have a full time job. Sometime we get so caught up in our own tasks we forget we need time as a couple. We have started doing our own tasks in the same room. Adam will do homework and I will sit by him blogging. Adam will watch MLB on the computer while I watch my show on Netflix. We don’t have to be doing the same thing to be together.
6. We always take the time to compliment one another. A few months into our marriage we started noticing that we weren’t saying I love you, or thank you, or other kind things as often. It was fine, but it wasn’t fine. We both have a similar love language, words of affirmation. So we made saying those words fun for us. We have a traveling journal. I write something nice or appreciative and hide it in the house. He finds it and then it is his turn. It makes the words more meaningful than just to constantly repeat it.
7. We laugh. Because that can heal a lot. We make jokes. We make funny faces. We try to keep the mood light.
8. We take time to learn about each others passions. Adam plays baseball, and I am learning ever single detail of it. And it is quickly becoming my favorite sport. I used to compete in pageants and now I volunteer, so Adam has taken the time to learn about them. Now they aren’t just “his hobby” and “her hobby” it is part of our relationship.
9. We go on a date weekly. We are married, not dead! Having fun and making memories is just as important now as it was when we were just dating.
10. And last of all, we always put the other’s comfort and concern first. If you are always putting your partner’s comfort and concern first you will never have a selfish moment. You will be looking for something to do for your partner and you partner will always be looking for something to do for you. The selfish moments are what can kill a relationship. The constant care for the one another are what strengthens it.
Like I said. Adam and I have had trials. We have grown up. We have learned a lot. And I am in no way a marriage expert. I am just learning to take care of myself let alone a husband.I am not saying these things are foul proof, but they have been important to our marriage. Learning and growing together takes time. But that is what marriage is about. We are in love. And we love sharing that with everyone around us.