Mr Dreamboat and I have been apart while he’s been on a business trip, and I miss him. He is my best friend and confidant and support team and greatest fan. Of course I miss him. This morning as I was sitting down to write a post, I found marriage on my mind.
While it is likely exactly the value of its name, here’s my Two Cents on the subject of a good marriage:
- Hold hands. I know that not everyone is affectionate, but we all grew up holding hands, at least as we crossed the street. Holding hands is like having an anchor, it grounds us even while it makes us feel brave enough to fly.
- Express gratitude. Perhaps we don’t want to barrage our partner with “Hey, I’m really glad you didn’t pull the covers last night,” but maybe we do. When we tell our spouse what we appreciate about them we don’t have time to criticize, and they have a map of what pleases us.
- Be loyal. It’s just not right to tear the person you’ve chosen to be with forever down to others. There’s nothing that makes me leave a party faster than a room full of women carping about their husbands. That’s just bad juju. It’s one thing to seek advice from someone you trust about a problem, it’s another to claim to be a victim of your partner while you’re actually victimizing them with your betrayal.
- Revel in their successes. There’s nothing as gratifying as being able to go to that one, special person and celebrate your joys, the compliments you’ve received and the realization of your dreams. There’s no place for jealousy. It’s a pleasure to be the wind beneath another’s wings, especially when you take turns flying.
- Expect to give 100%. One of the best piece of relationship advice I ever got was from a college class, I give it to you for free. No relationship is 50/50. There are times when it’s 20/80 others when it’s 90/10. We go back and forth and that’s okay. That’s healthy.
- Express your needs. I still hear people say things like, “We’ll see if he remembers my birthday.” That’s just not fair if you know he has a hard time with it. Last year, after Mr D spent Mother’s Day and the week after in the hospital, and the following 6 weeks recovering. I was feeling a little tapped out when my birthday approached. I made a point of saying to my Dreamboat, “I know it wasn’t your fault, but Mother’s Day was sort of a bust for me, and I’m in a bit of a self-pity phase, I really need you to spoil me for my birthday. It doesn’t have to be expensive, I just really need you to be thoughtful.” That is truly what I needed, I expressed it and I got what I needed. It’s not fair to the other person if we don’t at least give them the information. And conversely, when we receive the information, we need to be listening and responding as well.
- Date night. However we woo, and have been wooed in our relationship, somehow it got us into this marital contract. We chose to be here because of wooing. Well, it makes sense that we’d want to stay because of wooing and that needs to be done regularly. Weekly. Weekly Wooing. Do it. This is a non-negotiable item. Woo. Weekly. With gusto.
- Have a sense of humor. It is imperative that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Some of my favorite marriage moments involve irrepressible fits of giggling and usually over something ridiculous that I or Mr D has done. Life is funny and it’s even funnier when we laugh together.
- Cultivate your friendship. I think we often treat our friends much better than we do our spouses. We show them courtesies and kindnesses that should first and foremost be a part of our home life.
- Pretend. My mom often told me to “Fake it ‘til you make it,” meaning sometimes we don’t feel loving and we don’t want to be nice. That’s okay, but sometimes it’s wise to pretend. We do it with children all the time, we don’t really feel loving, but it’s not okay to act the way we feel, so we pretend to be interested or happy or whatever, and usually we find that we feel exactly the way we pretended we were feeling.