Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. How lovely and wonderful it is to be married to this man. I am lucky and grateful. We've had big ups and bigger downs, but our 10th year together has been a very happy one. It is not a fairytale. "Happily ever after" likely doesn't exist, but happy most of the time certainly does!
Like good parenting, a good marriage takes hard work and effort. Dedication, commitment and energy. I used to think that marriage should be easy. If it was too hard then it wasn't worth it. Boy, have I grown up! The more you put into your marriage the more you get out of it. Just like an education and the career that follows, you have to keep working, keep learning and keep giving one hundred percent. If you stop putting in effort at work you'll lose your job. If you stop putting effort into your marriage, you'll lose your marriage.
Marriage matters. The relationship between husband and wife is the priority in the family because it is the foundation of the family, the very reason there is a family. It's easy to forget about this when a baby comes along. You devote so much time and energy toward the baby that sometimes you simply forget about each other, or begin to take each other for granted. Add a second child and you may go days hardly looking at each other (especially if you have twins or children very close together). It is vital to keep putting meeting each others needs amid the needs of your children. A fire left untended dies out. If anything, think of your marriage as a child. A new marriage needs the same time as attention as a newborn baby. A 5-year-old marriage is more secure, less prone to tantrums, but still needs plenty of love and attention. And so on, and so forth.
I encourage you to take a moment today to let your spouse know that they matter to you. That your marriage matters.
A few good books that have helped me along the way:
His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage Fifteenth Anniversary Edition
Saying What's Real: 7 Keys to Authentic Communication and Relationship Success
Grow Up!: How Taking Responsibility Can Make You a Happy Adult