How to Keep Your Marriage Alive

If there’s one thing I’ve learned while I’ve been married, it’s that marriage takes work. It shouldn’t take so much effort that it feels draining, though. It’s the kind of work that you should enjoy and that keeps both of you happy. Rather than being a chore, it’s more like a hobby or passion you have to pay lots of attention to. I love working to keep our marriage alive and make sure we’re both happy. Plus, it’s not a one-sided thing, where only one of us is trying. A lot of people can feel unsure about how to keep their relationship fresh. I have some great tips that have worked for us that I would like to share with you.

Try New and Exciting Things

It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut, even if you’re not married. Going to work every day and coming home to do the same things might be tedious, but it’s also easier than the alternative. But if you want your marriage to be exciting, you need to get off your butt and try new things. Don’t let having kids stop you either!

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We’re always getting out and about with our little boy. In fact, if anything, he pushes us to try new things more because we want to show him the world. You don’t have to go skydiving or bungee jumping. There are lots of new things to try that won’t put your life in danger. For us, it’s simply stepping out of our comfort zone. We plan to get a sitter (something we rarely do) and going to a hockey game.

Remember What Made You Fall in Love

Whenever I feel myself getting annoyed at Match (it happens to everyone!), I remind myself of why I fell in love with him. But I don’t just think about when we met and fell in love, I also consider all the ways I continue to love him. Whenever I watch him play with Piglet, or do the little things like fold laundry without me asking, or making me coffee just the way I like it, I fall in love just a little more. You have to keep in mind that both of you will change as your marriage grows. If you’re one of the lucky ones, your love will continue to evolve as both of you develop as individuals. Remembering what your partner loved about you is important too. Perhaps you’ve been searching ‘how to make him fall in love with me again’. Think back to those early days. You might discover that you’ve stopped doing the things you used to enjoy together.

The Leather Anniversary

Being in a couple is hard. And committing, making sacrifices; it’s hard. But if it’s the right person, then it’s easy. Looking at that girl and knowing she’s all you really want out of life, that should be the easiest thing in the world. -Marshall, How I Met Your Mother

Tuesday Match and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. We started the day off with a walk in one of our town parks.

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Of course I had to bust out the camera and capture a few shots of my boys. Piglet decided he didn’t want to ride in the stroller-he wanted Daddy to carry him.

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They are so handsome!

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After the walk, we went for a drive through the countryside, and spent a few hours daydreaming about living there. 3 years before we were still house hunting. We laughed, thinking of where we will be in the next few years. Who knows? Maybe we will be living in the countryside.

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That evening we got all dressed up, and headed to a nice steakhouse. Match even busted out his cowboy boots in honor of the “leather” anniversary. We didn’t actually exchange gifts this year, but the traditional gift is leather.

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I got really excited because I managed to squeeze into the dress I wore for our bachelor/bachelorette party. The girls were just a tad bigger this time. I am not used to having anything remotely like cleavage, so I was a little self conscious. Match gave a big stamp of approval. 😉

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We crossed our fingers that Piglet would be a good little boy and sleep through dinner.  Piglet had better ideas. First he wanted some cuddles, and he decided to read through the menu.

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Then he insisted we have a family picture taken by the nice lady at the table across from us.
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Finally, he decided that right when dinner was served, he would like his dinner. He couldn’t figure out why mom wouldn’t whip out her tatas, when they were right there. Daddy being the great hubby that he is, stepped up and gave Piglet some expressed milk in a bottle, and allowed mama to finish her dinner.

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After only a little fussing, we made it through dinner. Afterwards, we went for a walk in the park across the street. They have this beautiful old footbridge that was just begging for pictures.

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My failed attempt at a timed photo. Match’s closed eyes just make the picture!

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Our beautiful boy!

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On the drive home, we talked about how much we’ve been through in these last 3 years. Last year we were just coming out of the fog of our grief as parents.  Like leather, we were a bit worn out, and a little bit stretched, but we also realized we were durable. This year we had my high risk pregnancy, and then the scary delivery of our beautiful son.

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We are now getting into the groove of parenthood, and so incredibly happy to finally be a family. We’ve gone through the typical ups and downs that any couple goes through in the sleep deprived haze of new parenthood. We’ve survived the newborn stage, and now we’re basking in the joy of infant smiles, cuddles, and longer periods of sleep at night. Watching Match love our son, and be such a supportive, loving father has made me fall more in love with him than I ever thought possible.  We’re reconnecting as husband and wife, and we’ve even scheduled a real, honest to god, date night for later this month. I can’t wait to see what this next year brings!

 

 

Marriage-An Outdated Institution?

Lisa: I wonder why Mom and Dad are doing marriage counseling. If you listen closely, you can here them arguing now. (they then listen closely)
Homer (in distance): And I say a monkey can mow our lawn! –The Simpsons

Coast Sister sent me this link to an article, written by a bitter divorcee, and it got me so fired up I had to blog about it. The article, written by Sandra Tsing Loh, basically denounces marriage as outdated and useless in today’s world.

I think what bothers me the most is how Sandra feels it’s not worth it to work on a relationship. When you’ve been together with someone for a long time, you have to make time for each other, reignite that spark. It’s work, but anything worthwhile is going to take a little effort.

On the one hand, I do think that there are times divorce is necessary. I’m a child of divorce, and I can tell you, had my parents stayed together I would have been begging for them to separate. But before it comes to that big D, you have to try to make things work. In the article Sandra talks about her girlfriend who is also contemplating divorce. She says her husband won’t sleep with her anymore because she’s gained so much weight. She binge eats because he won’t sleep with her. Both husband and wife should have started communicating when this first happened. Go to counseling, figure out the problem, seek a solution. Don’t just stick your head in the sand, shrug and say, this is my life and it sucks.  You break out the Kettlebell and start working out, if nothing to feel better about yourself. Then you communicate with your husband and say the reasons you’ve gained weight is because you don’t feel wanted anymore. You talk to each other, what a novel concept!

Match and I discussed it and we both agree that divorce should be the very last resort. It just bothers me that in some ways our society is so throw away, so disposable. Even marriage to some people isn’t “til death do us part”. Instead it has become, “until it becomes inconvenient”. I think this attitude roles over into work ethic, parenting, et cetera. It’s just a bad way of thinking in general.

I know that when it comes my time to say I do, I will make sure I know my partner, and know that we will work. It’s not a decision I will take lightly, because I don’t want to end up in that percentale of the divorced and bitter. So what about you readers? Do you believe in marriage?

People That Get Us

Let’s be honest. Sometimes there is nothing harder in life than being happy for somebody else. -Carrie, Sex and the City

I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this setback while in a relationship-your friends. When you have friends that aren’t happy in love, it is extremely hard to hang out, when you’re on cloud 9. I’ve been going through a rough patch with one of my good girlfriends, Reality Check. She’s been very unhappy in love, and it seems like there is constant drama surrounding her. It used to be ok-we’d go out, bitch about men, and I’d be in the same boat as her. Still even on those occasions, she’d be rude to new guys that would approach, and she’s always been the Miranda of my friends: fairly bitter and most of the time hates men. While I get that she’s unhappy, does that really prevent her from being happy for me? I couldn’t even tell her about Match wanting me to get my ring size, or how eager he is to get engaged. When I told her about it, she made a face and immediately started whining about her latest relationship disaster.

Continue reading People That Get Us