by: Michelle Lockwood
Last week, my husband and I celebrated our anniversary……12 years married and 16 years since our first date.
I have to admit, that number surprises me!
Don’t get me wrong, when I vowed “Till death do us part”, I truly meant it. But let’s be honest, the statistics are against our odds of success.
Marriages just aren’t lasting like they used to. Is it because we live in a “Disposable” society? Because we are an “Instant gratification” generation? Or is it because we have evolved enough to realize that people (who live longer than previous generations) change over time and shouldn’t be forced stay in an unhappy relationship? I’m not sure I have the answer to that, but I do know that my husband and I are determined not to become a statistic.
In many ways our relationship today is very similar to those first few years together. He can still make me laugh like nobody else can, he still impresses me with his determination and drive, and yes, though the “view” I wake up to every morning is a little greyer, he’s still HOT!
In many ways our relationship has grown, been challenged, and even been threatened over the years…..
- The first year of living together and learning to compromise were hard.
- The sleep deprived years that parenthood brought us were, well, they were CRANKY. The re-focus of attention and priorities that children bring to a marriage was distracting and threatened the “passion”.
- The re-adjustment of our roles when I left the 9-5 world to become a stay-at-home momma was lonely.
It seems that every few years there has been a shift in our lifestyle and patterns that required us to “get to know” each other again. Sometimes it has been an easy transition. Fun. Pleasantly surprising. And then there are the times it has been gut-wrenching and heart-breaking as we tried to cling to what “WAS”, afraid of the what “WILL BE”.
Why are we still together?? Because we WORK at it!
Realize that people change. The man/woman that you marry WILL go away. It’s inevitable. Life experiences can do to a person what water can do to rock. Over time it carves away at it, changing its size, shape and texture. And it does it in a funny way, if you stare at it in an attempt to witness the change, you can’t see it. But step away and ignore it for a while, the change when you focus back on it will startle you. DON’T STEP AWAY AND IGNORE YOUR RELATIONSHIP! Stay focused and involved, and those changes will be hardly visible.
Make your relationship a priority. Yes life gets busy, (especially when children come into the picture), and the busier it gets, the more important it is to carve out time for each other. It sounds corny….but SCHEDULE TIME TOGETHER.Away from phones, tv, work, children. Just You, and Him/Her. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy in order to be effective. Even 1 hour a few times a week will keep the magic alive.
Don’t be afraid to admit your relationship needs help. There can be times, when no matter how much you try to communicate your wishes/needs, it seems that your partner just doesn’t “get it”. Sometimes bringing in a third party (therapist) can open up the lines of communication and set things back on track. Marriage does not come with a handbook. There is no crystal ball to help you predict what challenges you will wake up to. There will be times when you heart aches and your head spins in confusion. Seeking the help of a professional sends the message
Recently I read a wonderful quote…
The couples that are are the ones who go through everything that is meant to tear them apart and come out even than they were before.
As I set my sights on another 16 years with my husband, I can only hope that our WORSE is behind us, and years filled with BETTER are ahead of us. And if not, I’m ready to tackle whatever challenges life brings to us, because HE’S WORTH IT.
Michelle is a Passion Parties Independent Consultant, suburban housewife and mother of 2. “I fill my weekdays with playdates, library visits, grocery shopping, laundry, learningABCs, potty training and more. However, on the weekends, that is my time to slip into my sassy jeans, put on some mascara, and turn into a PASSION DIVA. Every weekend I walk into the living rooms of other women and spend 1.5 hours sharing all of the fabulous & exciting ways that they can enhance the passion in their relationships in a fun & educational format.” For more information on PARTY BOOKINGS, BECOMING A CONSULTANTor to SHOP ONLINE visit www.mishlockwood.com Follow Michelle on Twitter