These marriage tips are a must-read for all couples.
Not too long ago, I was deep in my closet, cleaning out the clutter, when I found an old tin box FULL of letters. Sitting on the floor, I began reading one after another. They were love letters, written to my husband, David.
My heart began to sink and my eyes filled with tears as I read sentences like:
“Hello gorgeous, how’s my darling, sexy, charming, romantic, thoughtful, loving man doing?”
“I miss you so much I feel like I’m going to go crazy!”
“I feel like something wonderful is getting ready to happen in your life!”
All I could think was, who is this girl?
Reading her letters, I was overcome by feelings of jealously. She was sexy, fun, romantic and totally in love with my man! Some letters had hand-drawn images and others were sealed with a kiss, literally – with pink lipstick that looked as if it were just kissed yesterday.
I felt as if I were reading the letters of my husband's mistress, yet the truth was, it wasn't his mistress; these letters were from me, written as a twenty-something-year-old girl. I felt so many emotions, but most of all shame because that girl was long gone and in her place was a stressed out, anxious 40-year-old mother of two.
I no longer made Dave feel wanted, let alone desirable; but more like a roommate or friend. Reading the letters, I saw the loss of my girl, the one he fell in love with and married. Traci Shafer was encouraging, always laughing, dancing, singing and saw beauty in everything around her. Traci Bild, well... let's just say she had a lot on her plate.
In a strange way, I felt sorry for Dave. With my growing business, two kids and a home to manage, I simply didn't have the time or energy for him anymore. Closing the box, I tucked the letters back where I found them. I thought to myself, you've changed.
For days I thought about those letters. The passion and emotion in them was intoxicating and I was tired of being tired. I wanted what my twenty-something year old girl had. More importantly, I wanted what she and my husband had together, so I set out to find her.
The first thing I did was make an effort to have more fun. When cleaning, I played blasting music, I traded the treadmill for kick boxing and the park bench for the swing next to my kids.
Next, I started bringing fun into my marriage. From disco dancing in the kitchen, going on pub crawls to taking road trips together, our relationship returned to its roots with fun front and centre. Slowly, the woman Dave married returned. The truth was she was there all along - she was just buried in responsibility.
Being a woman today isn't easy; there's always going to be more to do than hours in the day. What I learned from this experience is the importance of prioritising the things that matter most and having Dave at the bottom of that list wasn't going to work. I pushed him to the top and our family is better off for it. Here are a few more things I did that had lasting effects on our relationship. I encourage you to give them a try:
Make an effort to compliment your partner every day. I know, it's hard to even consider this being that no one ever says "Thanks for unloading the dishwasher," or "You look amazing today!" The goal is to focus on your own behaviors and see where they take you. Compliments such as "Thanks for trimming the trees today, they look great," or "You look gorgeous!" will change the tone of your relationship.