Living in LOVE
The kids are yelling, the dog is barking, and you just found out that your spouse forgot to do the one thing that you needed them to do today…again! This scenario may sound typical for your family, or your scenario could be worse. Maybe you and your spouse are arguing more and more, and connecting less and less? You may have even asked yourself, “Is this marriage a mistake?”. Though you knew your life wouldn’t be like the Brady Bunch, you may find yourself surprised at just how much work a marriage can be – and its twice as hard if only one person is working at it.
If this is your situation, ask yourself why you married your spouse? I know it sounds silly, but really…why did you marry them? “Because we were in love”- well, that’s the easy answer-go deeper. See, life happens…kids are born, cars breakdown, jobs are lost, and through all of the ups and downs that are inevitable, its important that you remember why you married this person.
Think of the first time you saw your spouse. What is one thing that stood out to you about them?
Remember one time when you were sad, angry or disappointed and your spouse really came through for you. What happened? How did it make you feel?
What is one thing funny thing you know about your spouse that no one else knows?
Think back to your single life, before you met your spouse. What was it like? Now, really think – what is one small thing your spouse does to make you happy that you are here and not back there?
Remember a time when your spouse did something out of the ordinary and surprised you. What did that moment feel like?
Remember the first time you saw your spouse holding your child. How did that make you feel?
In a quiet time when both you and your spouse are sitting together, bring up your first date. Bring up your happiest memories of this day.
Think of a funny story about when you first were married – good choices are dinners gone bad, ruined laundry, etc.
Talk about when you first became parents. What were your fears and hopes. Mention something positive about their parenting, and their connecting to your children.
If you eat dinner infront of the TV, stop. Gather together at the table with the TV’s off, so you can actually connect to your family rather than ‘veg out’.
Be nice. Okay, sometimes that’s easier said than done, but a little sweetness can go a long way. When you get up or go to another room, ask, “Can I get you anything?”
Be forgetful. Don’t remember every little thing your spouse has done that irritates you. Sometimes we hold on to the past because it feels familiar. Its not fair to hold the past against your spouse, and its not fair for them to do it to you. If they do, lead by example. Once they see you letting go of the past, they will also. As long as they know you are holding on to the past for future fight ammunition, they will do the same.
Touch. Place your hand on your spouse’s hand; lay your arm across their shoulders. An innocent touch can be just the softness and connection that your spouse is looking for.
Overlook. There is nothing gained by pointing out all of your spouse’s short comings, and when they have made a mistake don’t use it as an opportunity to put them down. Surprise them by ‘not noticing’ their mistake. No one likes to have their mistakes pointed out to them. We are all adults, and its likely that they are already aware of what they’ve done.
The point is, take some time to remember why you are in this marriage, take some self control and control your end of the marriage, and take the gloves off. Your spouse is not your enemy, and remember though children are the products of marriage, they are not the glue that holds a marriage together…love is.
Living in love with your spouse can sometimes be challenging, and that’s okay- that’s why the vows read for better, or for worse. With a little bit of effort on your part, and a partner that really loves you it is absolutely possible to live in love, and that is not only a great gift to yourself and your spouse. Living in love is a wonderful gift to your children.