When the last of the confetti has been swept away, you’ve lovingly packed up your bridal gown and returned the tuxedoes, you may start to realize that the honeymoon is truly over. Suddenly you’re faced with the awesome reality that you get to spend every day and night with this person for the rest of your lives and while on one hand it can be romantic and sweet, on the other it can be daunting.
Guaranteeing longevity in your marriage is up to two people: you and your spouse. Never mind “As long as we love each other, everything will be alright.” That’s pie in the sky stuff. Of course you should love each other, but there are more practical things you can do to make sure you reach your diamond wedding anniversary … and many more after that.
1. Make life easy for each other – This extends from taking the garbage out without being asked to not scolding your spouse for putting a dent in the car, and beyond. Do the little things as well as the big ones and appreciate each other as valuable human beings who deserve to be treated with kindness and generosity.
2. Keep modifying ‘the grand plan’ – Every couple goes into a marriage with hopes and dreams. Don’t lose sight of them. Enjoy, on a regular basis, discussing these goals and working out how you can get closer to realizing them.
3. Make your marriage top priority – You’ve invested a great deal in your marriage, including money, emotion, time and effort so you’d be unwise to allow it to turn into a high risk investment. Keep it in check, constantly re-evaluate together what it means to you and how to maintain it top of your list.
4. Recognize what you have – Whenever life starts feeling a bit ho-hum and you start taking each other, and your marriage, for granted, go in search of others less fortunate than you. It doesn’t hurt to visit a cemetery – yes, seriously! – and remind yourself of how lucky you are that you wake up every day next to your spouse. Visit friends who you know struggle with their relationship and come home feeling happier with each other than when you left. Imagine your life without your spouse and then remember what they mean to you.
5. Remember that marriage is a challenge – Anyone who goes into a marriage thinking it’s going to be all rose petals and perfect days and nights is kidding him or herself. Expecting marital bliss on a daily basis is totally unrealistic so get used to the idea that there will be ups and downs and the two should balance each other out so as to provide an average level of wonderful!
Marriage is a journey to be traveled one day at a time. Don’t rush it because every day can be an absolute treat if you work at it.