Monday, August 19, 2013

My Recipe for a Happy Marriage

Why does time have to slip through our fingers so quickly?  We know it doesn’t, not really…it passes the same now as it did before no matter how old we get, right?  The clock for a ten-year old is no different than for a forty-year old or an eighty-year old…it just seems to pass by more quickly the older you become.  Of course, if we could make one wish, it might be to let the bad times pass by at lightning speed while the good times freeze in time.
This past weekend would have been one of those good times I wish hadn’t gone by so quickly.  My absence from posting yesterday afternoon was due to the fact that I had made other plans:  my husband and I took off to spend the weekend at the beach to celebrate our twenty-second wedding anniversary.  To say we had a completely awesome time is an understatement.

Sunset at Ocean Shores

It’s actually kind of hard to believe we’ve been married that long.  It really wasn’t that long ago when we were first dating, just getting to know each other and learning very quickly how much we were meant for each other.  Every year we celebrate another anniversary, I feel blessed and very fortunate to have met my soul mate so early in life.  I can only hope the same for everyone else out there but for those who haven’t yet met the one…I do believe everyone has someone special waiting out there for them. 

If I were asked what I thought was most important about a marriage, I’d say that’s a tough question to answer.  Not because I can’t come up with an answer but because there are so many different aspects to what makes a great marriage…
Love, of course, is a given.   

Love one another and you will be happy.  It's as simple and as difficult as that.  ~Michael Leunig~
Friendship is a must.  Even if you love someone, it isn’t much fun to spend time with them if you aren’t also best friends, with common interests.

Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things.  ~Author Unknown~
Respect and appreciation is obvious but sometimes so lacking.  If you don’t show respect and appreciate the person who is supposed to be your “better half,” what does that say about your marriage as a whole? 

Don't be yourself - be someone a little nicer.  ~Mignon McLaughlin~
Every couple should give the other space when it comes to separate interests.  I love to write, I have multiple hobbies and I enjoy having coffee or dinner with a friend.  My husband likes to play basketball (pre-surgery anyway), golf and play poker with his friends.  While we could probably spend 24/7 together and be happy, it’s always good to have at least some sort of separation so you can appreciate your time together that much more.

To keep the fire burning brightly there's one easy rule:  Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart - about a finger's breadth - for breathing room.  Good fire, good marriage, same rule.  ~Marnie Reed Crowell~
And speaking of time together, every couple has to work on scheduling those date nights…or date weekends…or whatever works for them.  Don’t put off time together because of the kids, or work or money.  Whether it’s a couple of hours, a long weekend or a whole week, every couple needs to spend quality time together.  Or rather, they need to make good on their QTR…quality time remaining (term coined by entrepreneur, H. Wayne Huizenga) and always remember to enjoy every minute they’re able to steal away together.  When couples don’t make good on their alone time, they are no doubt surprised years later when they realize they don’t really know the person they’re staring at across the kitchen table. 

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.  ~Mignon McLaughlin~
Of course, there are many other ways of tending to a marriage, such as kindness, forgiveness and trust, but let’s not forget humor…

Never go to bed mad.  Stay up and fight.  ~Phyllis Diller~
A man in love is incomplete until he has married.  Then he's finished.  ~Zsa Zsa Gabor~

So there’s my recipe for a good marriage:  love, friendship, respect, appreciation, kindness, forgiveness, trust, humor, space as needed and quality time on a regular basis.  It has worked for us and it’s a formula my husband and I will preserve as we continue to celebrate each year together.
Our wedding was many years ago.  The celebration continues to this day.  ~Gene Perret~


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