On Being Married

“Let all that you do be done in Love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:14

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I’ve been married for 17+ years.  I fell in love with my husband literally at first sight and felt like I had seen a rock star. I could hardly acknowledge him when he first said hello to me as he took my breath away.  I’ve always had a crush on him, yet being married has not always been easy.

The hardest years of our marriage came when I quit work to be a stay at home mom and we moved to the suburbs. I felt lost and alone with a toddler and a baby on the way and trying to transition to our new lifestyle, while he was busy working at a start up and trying to provide for our family on his own.  We were both going through our own life changes and we struggled for a long time, even though we always loved each other.

I am thankful that we chose to stay faithful to our vows and to work through our differences and grievances. Love wins when both partners do the work and both stay committed to the contract you both signed, remembering and recalling in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad.  Having a marriage license made our relationship sticky when we felt we were slipping. Luckily we were able to keep flowing and growing, as I know this is a challenge.

I think the secret to a healthy marriage is to stay focused on the mission and each other and to take care of one another, even when you don’t want to and you don’t know which way is up.  It also helps when you admire each other. We shared a belief in each other and our family and this was more important than our individual needs.  We also choose to never go to bed angry and to agree to disagree, because we are more important than any one thing.  My favorite mindful meditation I always say to myself when I get frustrated with him or anyone I love is “I love you more than anything you can say or do.” These words are powerful and have helped me through the years to stay focused on the greater good.

I didn’t mean to start writing about all this, as I was just going to share a picture of our date today on our hike. I felt like I had to explain that we’ve been working hard all these years and now that the kids are getting older and less needy, we are finding more time to spend together again. I was so happy that he chose to go hiking with me today and that I got to be out in nature with my best friend, sharing something that I love to do every week, and now with him.  I love that he loves me and wants to hang out and share my joy.

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What are some things that make your marriage or relationship happy?

Life is good and I am thankful.

Wishing you a loving and happy, healthy relationship. Namaste.

A Good Marriage

What makes for a good marriage?

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These pictures were in a store front window and made me laugh and think.

As sexist as they may be, there is some truth to them and I think the truth pertains to both sexes for both statements.

What I see in the images is that a good man provides for his wife. I also think a good wife provides for her husband. How the couple chooses to provide and support one another is key.

In the second image, it shows that it’s important for a woman to maintain her health and look good for her mate. I think it’s important for both partners to take care of their physical well being and to look and feel good, primarily for themselves and secondarily to maintain their attractiveness to their spouse. I disagree with the measurements, of course, but agree with the idea of maintaining our health so that we can live a healthy, long, life together. When we feel good about ourselves, we have more positive energy to share with others. I think it’s important that we take the time to exercise and eat right most days, and to accept our bodies while we continuously maintain and improve them.

What are some other important attributes of healthy marriages?

I’ll share a little list.

1. Trust.
2. Unconditional love.
3. Laughter.
4. Independence.
5. Togetherness.
6. Shared interests.
7. Open communication.
8. Respect.
9. Patience.
10. Understanding.
11. Empathy.
12. Appreciation.
13. Confidence.
14. Faith.
15. Admiration.
16. Support.
17. Friendship.
18. Shared dreams.
19. Compassion.
20. Thoughtfulness.
21. Physical attraction.

What would you add to the list? What are the most important attributes?

I think that marriage is a practice. It’s something that is never done. The happily ever after comes after doing the work and investing time and energy and creating a shared history of practice and loving and forgiving and letting go and creating and starting over and keeping things new again and again. The practice of renewal and commitment helps to strengthen the bonds of marriage and keeps the relationship fresh.

In Dutch, they have a word to describe a cozy, warm, joyful, home or experience that they describe as gezellig. There really isn’t an English equivalent for the feeling that comes from this word that I know of, but I think gezellig is a good word to describe a good marriage.

Is your marriage gezellig? I wish you enough.

Namaste.