I may not be able to contribute every time, but this weekend's theme is marriage and since hubby and I have been married for 31 years, I think I may have something to say on the subject.
I have written about our beginnings here.
But there is so much more. We are certainly not the longest married couple around but in this day and age where a "marriage" can last but days or a few months before the couple gives up and divorces, 31 years is a pretty significant amount of time.
It has not always been a walk in the park. (I don't even know that we've ever taken a walk in the park unless you count me walking around the golf course with him while he plays golf. That was a frequent "date" for us when we were first together). We have had our share of stressors including major surgery on my jaws which changed the shape of my face and three major surgeries for him, two on his stomach and one on his back.
We've endured him working odd shifts like graveyard (11 pm to 7 AM) and swing shift (3:30 PM to 11:30 PM) where almost days would go by and even though we were living in the same house, we hardly saw each other because I was working and taking care of the kids so I had to keep "normal" hours. During those times we would leave notes for each other. He once wrote out the words to the song "You Are My Sunshine" and left them taped to the coffee maker so I would see it first thing in the morning.
My mother used to give these out to every wedding she was invited to. I think that they are a good starting point, although some of them are a tad old fashioned. I particularly like the one about "making up before you retire" and have made that one of the things I try to live by. We rarely go to sleep, or even leave the house, mad at each other. There have been a few exceptions, but I think in all the years we've been together I could count those on one hand. The other one I agree with is "date night." It is important, especially after the children come along, to keep the romance fresh because when the kids are grown, it will be just the two of you again.
To those "rules" I might add an 11th suggestion. Put a quarter (dollar) in a jar every time you make love in the beginning of your marriage. It slows down a bit as you get older but by your 30th anniversary, you'll be able to take some kind of second honeymoon! (Too bad no one told us that when WE were married).
Something else I learned in the 30 years is that while it is definitely important to do things together (we have our concerts, we like to watch baseball together, I enjoy watching him golf), it is also necessary to maintain a sense of self. Especially on the woman's side. There were many years where I did nothing without my husband and/or the children. I had no outside interests and no girlfriends of my own. I thought I didn't need them. I was wrong and a few years ago I began to have a meltdown. I needed to find myself again, do things with friends without the husband and kids, have an interest that was not tied to running the household. Once I realized that and started having lunch dates or "girls night out" then I began to get my "self" back.
As I said in my previous post, the keys, in my mind, are communication, honesty and respect. Sometimes the subjects are hard to discuss, but sweeping something aside that really bothers you only makes it grow. Lying leads to all kinds of problems. Respect for each other's feelings and opinions (even though you may not agree with them) is also necessary. To keep all that together is definitely work but it is definitely worth it.
Well, that's my contribution to this Weekender Theme Link Party. Would love to hear your comments! Have a great rest of the weekend!