Hello My Brides and Grooms!
My husband Bill is no Dr. Phil, and I’m definitely not Robin McGraw, but we’ve managed to find a way to work together, live together, play together and love together without killing each other. In fact, after seven years of marriage, my husband Bill is still my best friend and favorite person in the entire world. I love him so much that it almost brings tears to my eyes to try and describe it — so I’ll leave it there. No time to fool around today because we’re headed down to the old waterfront in DC to buy fresh lobsters and clams and othere goodies that Hurricane Irene screwed us out of on our New England vacation last weekend. But before we head out, I wanted to share some tricks to keeping your marriage happy and fresh after time has gone by.
1) Celebrate every anniversary. No, you might not have time to go out to dinner on your monthly anniversary every month, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set your calendar to remind you that it’s the monthly anniversary. When it pops up on your screen, take a moment to bask in the fact that you’ve made it another month. At the very least, send your honey and email letting him/her know that you know what the day is. Also acknowledge other landmarks — your first date, the day he proposed, etc.
2) Make time for the two of you. It’s okay to tell your friends to go home. When you first get married, there’s a really weird transition you have to make. It doesn’t matter if you lived together pre-wedding, all bets are off once you both have rings. And while he/she may have loved all of your friends before you walked down the aisle, that doesn’t mean those same friends have to come over every weekend once you’re married. This can be particularly difficult for the bride if her girlfriends are single and have spent the bulk of the six months leading up to the wedding at your house “planning” with your bride. Be gentle, but be firm. A good friend will get it. If you lose friends over wanting to have alone time with your new spouse, then they weren’t friends worth keeping to begin with.
3) Plan dates nights when you are fighting. When you’ve just had enough time together working or doing home improvement projects or helping an elderly relative and you want to run away and hide alone, that’s exactly when you should plan a date night with your spouse. Sure, a fancy restaurant is great if it’s in your budget. Girls like to dress up and get pretty for a special occasion and date night is no exception, even if your date is your husband. But it’s also okay to declare “date night” with pizza and the intention of working your way through the entire On-Demand catalog of an interesting TV show (preferably something you both like). Doesn’t matter what you do or where you are — as long as you are alone and together. Naked always helps too. Put the damned smart phones away or at least refrain from using them if you start to twitch when it’s not within eyesight.
4) Know each other completely. Have the same doctors and dentists whenever possible, and schedule annual checkups together. Go with each other for sick visits if you can, and make sure your physicians know that it’s okay to share information with your spouse at any time. If one of you is ever hospitalized (planned or not), do your very best to make arrangements to stay with your spouse the entire time. Some of you may think that’s overkill, but those of you who know about how sick both Bill and I were a couple of years ago understand where I’m coming from. I can’t overstate my feelings on this.
5) Tell each other everything — the good, the bad and the ugly. Tell the complete, unedited truth about job situation, finances, family relationships, and your feelings to each other every day. Don’t hide anything. And if you have close mutual friends dropping big secrets on you, tell each other that stuff as well. Nothing is harder on a healthy relationship than repeated exposure to an unhappy couple. It won’t ruin your marriage, but it causes undue stress and heartache that doesn’t need to be there.
6) Try hard with each other’s families. Sometimes it’s easy to love your stepchildren and/or in-laws. Sometimes it’s a challenge. But try your absolute best all of the time and don’t give up. Even if you all never vacation together like the Brady Bunch, the effort will have been worth it.
7) Tell each other “I love you” lots and lots. Say it out loud every time you think it. You can’t make it cheezy by overusing the phrase — you’re not 14 years old. I tell Bill all the time, he tells me lots, but not as much as I’d like to hear it 🙂 . But it’s still much more frequently than the average husband and I know how lucky I am. It’s not enough to love your husband/wife, you also need to tell your life partner how much you love and appreciate him or her on a regular basis, not just with words, but also with little actions. A little love note in a lunch packed for work, or a bunch of flowers picked up on the fly mean just as much as expensive diamonds in the grand scope of relationships.
With that, I will say goodbye for now so that we can head out and enjoy our anniversary!
Happy wedding planning from weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra! And happy anniversary to my wonderful husband Bill. I love you very much.