I often write about the challenges I face as a career mom, and how I strive to maximize what little time I have to spend with my kids. I write about frustrations at work and how I'm looking for the perfect family/work life balance. I share my thoughts on what I love about my kids and what drives me crazy about them. But I rarely write about what could be the most important factor in finding life's true happiness - marriage.
Around Christmas time I had purchased a book called, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I had read the back and thought, hm, sounds inspiring! Well, it sat on my night stand for almost 4 months, until last night when I thought I'd turn off my iPhone and open up my book.
I had recently been thinking about how having kids can really dull a marriage. It's easy to get lost in the mundane everday tasks. To work and live alongside each other instead of in unity. Romance becomes a rarity and dates nights a distant memory.
There's a chapter in the book that talks about the importance or nurturing your marriage. How your relationship with your partner is in turn highly responsible for how you react to many other aspects in your life (ie: if you're unhappy with your partner/marriage, it's common to feel unhappy about your job, and other aspects of your life as well). I won't get into the specifics, but the author lists goals she sets for herself to follow in hopes of strengthening her marriage.
She lists the following:
* Quit nagging.
* Don't expect praise or appreciation.
* Fight right.
* No dumping.
* Give proofs of love.
All things I know I need to work on. A big thing she also points out is that you can't expect someone to change for you. If you want your marriage to be happier, you need to start with changing your actions and your attitude towards your partner. If you make the effort, the hope is that they'll notice and will reciprocate.
I'm not in an unhappy marriage, but I know that making it better hasn't been at the top of my priority list lately either. I'm busy, and have a lot on my plate with a full time career and two kids under 5. But my marriage is important to me, and I needed that little reminder that it needs some love too.
I've been inspired to make an effort, so I'm going to try to stop nagging, stop expecting praise when I clean the house or make a nice dinner (and instead do these things for my own satisfaction), pick my battles (instead of starting fights about the little things), try not to blow up, and most importantly, do little things to show my hubby that I still care.
|We've been together for 10 years, married for 5|
What about you? Any tips on how to keep a marriage strong when you're drowning in the craziness of a hectic life?