My wife and I celebrated ten years of marriage in the summer of 2017. I would like to share five marriage tips that have benefited us along the way, having reached this milestone.
- Make Date Nights a must
- Take a break
- Pillow talk
- Write down the vision
If you don’t practice this already, carve out some “me-time” and pursue a creative venture. I try to utilize every creative bone in my body, be it songwriting, gigging, playing sport, attending courses, blogging or reading alone during a café breakfast. It will make you a more interesting person to be around and talk to.
It doesn’t have to be fancy pursuit; find something you enjoy doing and simply do it! The key thing here is to hold on tightly to the things that make you uniquely you. After all, these were some of the reasons your life partner decided to be with you. Encourage and help your significant other to do the same. Creative outlets can help to cultivate positive energy, inspiration and personal growth for you and your partner. In these moments I grow to understand myself more intimately.
2. Make Date Nights a must
This cliché marriage ritual is a must. I suppose the general idea is that once you get married and ‘settle down’, that’s precisely what happens to your expectations of date-night glory. We settle for less and don’t feel as though we need to try as hard to impress our significant other. And then, children come along and it’s even more challenging to scrub up for a night in- or out! But, I must say, there’s nothing quite like giving the Mrs. a reason to dress up and step out for a dinner and quality time together.
Personally, we love a dinner and theatre combo, even if it requires travelling a little outside of London for the evening. If things are a bit tight or you are struggling to secure a babysitter; grab some scented candles, massage oils, fire up a relaxation and spa playlist on YouTube and become a masseuse for the evening. Follow this up with deluxe cheesecake and wine. Neither of you will be sorry.
3. Take a break
When your body tells you it needs a break, trust it! It’s too easy to lose oneself in the rat race because the wheel doesn’t stop turning. I like to bring a halt to the momentum and block out the noise when necessary. Rest is a vital ingredient for restoration and continued progress and success in a relationship. We recently took ourselves to Hampshire for a forest break in a cabin and had by far the best short break we have ever experienced as a family of four. It’s no secret that rest gives us time for reflection and rejuvenation. Time to stop and communicate with one another aside from all of the things that usually get in the way. It may well be this time away that gives you the opportunity to discern the needs of your loved ones more profoundly.
4. Pillow talk
There’s always that time late in to the evening when the house is fast asleep. Steady on fellas- I’m going somewhere with this! One of the oldest pieces of advice you will hear resonate at many weddings is the importance of communication. I was great at doing this pre-marriage. I gushed and gushed and gushed until I had no gush left. Somewhere along the way, it can become easy to forget just how important open communication is once you think you have learnt so much about one another. I’m learning all over again how important it is to continually open up ask and respond to honest questions. As we evolve so should our level of communication. That intimate pillow talk with your spouse can reveal so many things you aren’t privy to during the day when we tend to share our attention with many other facets of life.
5. Write down the vision
Develop a clear vision for your partnership and family (if you have or plan to have children). My wife and I began writing down our goals early on in our relationship and have continued to do so well in to our marriage. A few months could go by before we re-visit them and rigorously reflect. During reflection, we often find that we have achieved some goals, are working towards others or need to adjust our priorities. Nonetheless, it is this process of writing down the vision and making it plain that steers our hearts and minds with a true sense of purpose and unity. It could be as simple as writing on strips of paper, listing your priorities as a family or as complex as a grid of goals with actions alongside that detail how you will achieve them. Find what works for you and your family and factor in a healthy balance of personal, partnership and family-centered priorities.
Ten years, five tips, and lots more to learn. The journey continues….
One love and ‘Happy 2018’.
By Cal-I J. Muirhead
(Check out some of my personal stories at www.justcallmecal-i.com)