Today is Valentine’s Day, a day traditionally spent on roses, kisses, and a whole lot of “sap”. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind “sap” but the sugar overload on this day makes my teeth hurt…lol! Why wait until February 14th to tell people how much they mean to you or to celebrate them; doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I think it should be Valentine’s Day everyday, especially if you’re in a committed relationship.
On this day 21 years ago Shawn and I started tip-toeing our way around the possibility of dating and here we are in our 20th year of marriage (we hit our 20th anniversary in the fall of this year). He is, and forever will be, my best friend and favorite valentine. I am ever so thankful for him and all that he brings into our marriage.
I know that there are many who struggle within their marriage, and to you I say hang in there, pray, talk; it’s work, but it pays off in the end. That being said I’m going to share a few of the things that I am thankful for and that we have found made us work as a couple and have kept our marriage strong.
I know you’ve heard this one a thousand times but it is so key. Face to face is best but there are other methods as well. But, you say, one of us is hardly ever around. Well, then I say to you, use what you have. Do you have a cell phone? Then text each other during the day. For Shawn and myself, we have a killer texting plan because there are entire days where this is the only way to communicate with each other. He works long, crazy days, and I also work and am off taxiing teenagers around most nights.
I read about a study once that used babies in a touch experiment. One group of babies were played with, talked to and touched frequently, the other was picked up for feeding and that was it. the first group thrived while the second wasted away and some actually died. Touch is so very key to life.
Touch in a realtionship is also very important, and I’m not just talking about kissing and getting to second base, though those are great. Hugs, massages, washing each other’s back (or front), even just lying there with an arm around him/her. All of these things work to being intimacy into your relationship. And if I may be a bit forward, when doing these actions, may I suggest that clothing is optional. Just a thought.
Dating doesn’t stop once you’re married. In fact it is crucial to keeping your marriage alive. One on one time never fails to reveal something new and wonderful about the person you committed your life to. It doesn’t have to be anything big and fancy – a coffee, a walk (holding hands) – anything that you can do that will involve just the two of you and makes room for conversation is the ticket.
Shawn and I still date, and though breakfast seems to be the thing for us, it is important to have that time away from the children. We have a house full of curious teens and a morning away is just the ticket to help us keep our sanity and our marriage intact. Truth be told, sometimes even closing and locking the bedroom door with both of you in the room can be a date. I know because we’ve done this.
Remember all the laughs and hijinx that you got up to when you were dating? That too doesn’t have to stop now that you’re an “old married person’. Keep on having fun. Laugh long and loud together. Go places together and make new memories. Take lots of pictures. Be goofy. You’re hanging out with your best friend, act like it.
Shawn and I have laughed a lot together. Granted a lot of that laughter happens behind closed doors, but it still counts. Learn to laugh with each other, not always at each other. Most of all learn to laugh at yourself.
and last but certainly not least….
By that I mean sex. Indulge in copious amounts of this activity. It doesn’t matter how you feel at the moment, just get in there and make your certain someone happy!
Sex can become serious work when you’re in the process of making those babies, but it was there before the babies, and it’s definitely gonna be there after them, though you may have to get a bit more creative about it.
Make it fun. Don’t be scared to laugh before,during or after. Do whatever you and your spouse feel comfortable with. Explore the possibilities, and if something doesn’t work, chalk it up to experience and move on. Get sexy underwear and surprise them, who knows where it’ll lead (wink).
So my Friends,
What makes your marriage work? Enjoy this Valentine’s day, just remember to keep up the sentiment all year ’round.
Hugs & Smooches,