I've thought long and hard about this post. We share a lot on our blogs, mostly about decorating and sewing and projects and fun. There are some who say that the more negative aspects of life don't make for a "good read" and that most of you are looking for an uplifting post.
I can see that argument.
But there are some things that are important enough to talk about once in a while.
Now don't get worried, this isn't about Earl and I. But as I see my daughters and their friends reaching marriage age, I want to tell them that in this age of 50%+ of marriages ending in divorce, that there is a way to keep a relationship alive and strong.
Last week after coming home from my mom's funeral I found out that two couples that I care deeply about were ending their relationships. One a marriage of 18 years, the other a live in relationship of 7 years. It was a bad week. My heart breaks for them. I didn't see it coming, they didn't see it coming. But in talking to both of them one thing stood out. The relationships had died from neglect.
My goal in writing this is to make everyone out there stop and think about where they are in their marriage.
Do you remember when you were dating? Conversations about your dreams for the future, looking into each others eyes, holding hands and hugging and kissing? That is the recipe for growing a relationship. It is often said that a good marriage takes work. Well work is something you have to pay me to go to! Work is the wrong word. It takes effort. It's good effort, and it's rewarding effort, and it's very, very pleasant effort if done right.
You got married to spend more time together and you soon found out that with work and household chores and kids it felt like you had less time! All the to do lists and family responsibilities soon put your romantic lives at the bottom of the heap of things to do.
No more dates, less talking about dreams for the future, more stress.
I can only tell you what works for us.
Never stop dating. I don't care what your excuse is. If you value your marriage and your relationship, you need face to face time out of the house. alone. regularly.
We have coffee every week. We look forward to our coffee dates so much we usually turn to each other all giddy the night before and say "tomorrow is our coffee date!"
I know, it sounds corny. But we catch up on plans for the week, for the month. We catch up on all the latest stuff we have to tell each other but forgot. We hold hands, we gaze in each others eyes and we say "I love you." We have occasional dinners out, or movie dates, or concerts, but our coffee date is sacred. Sometimes if we have a super stressful week, we sneak in an extra one!
We also get away on weekends. Even when Earl was laid off and money was really tight, once I got enough mad money in my Etsy account we spent it on a weekend away.
We are a team and we never stop planning together, dreaming together, holding hands, or kissing. (much to our children's feigned disgust).
So, are you still dating your husband? Don't you think you should?
What keeps your marriage strong?
A big thanks to Anita who commented below and sent me this link to an article titled
It is a must read. I am happy to say that Earl and I practice each and every one of the things listed.