Since I’m one of those people that celebrates all birthdays and anniversaries and oh my god you had a baby for at least a week or more accurately an entire month, I am still on an anniversary high from yesterday.
I am still in marriage mode and I have been thinking about what makes a marriage fulfilling.
Then helllllo, I remembered I wrote all about it.
In September I had the honor of officiating my brothers wedding!
They picked me not because they thought I was super wise or because I was a shining example of success in the marriage department, but because they thought I would bring some humor to their big day!
Part of the ceremony was called “7 ways to love your marriage”.
So I thought, why not share all the wisdom ahhhmmm. Wait. No. HUMOR. with you guys.
Love each other like you love Copley. Copley is Alie and Justin’s beloved dog. So I asked them why did you get a dog in the first place
They said things like… To cuddle. To take care of something else. To play. To have someone to keep us company. For affection. Really what they described was true unconditional love. Treat each other like you treat Copley. Copley literally exists so you can love on him.
Justin that is your job, to just love on Alie, cuddle her, play with her, no matter what. Alie, Justin gets to simply exist, to be there, laying on the couch and doing nothing and your job is to love him. It is easy when it is a dog, but when it is a human it can take some effort. Which brings me to number 2.
Second. Continually consciously choose love. This sentiment is something that was passed down to Brian and me on our wedding day and I love it. The idea is that love is a daily choice. Some days it will be super easy to love each other (enjoy and relish in those).
Some days it will be hard and it will be super hard to choose love. You are signing up for both the awesome and the hard and it is so worth it. Continually consciously choose love no matter what.
Third. Fight Fast. This one has been a game changer for us. So make it a challenge, a game. How can quickly can you authentically solve your problem?
Because really what is the point in lingering in resentment and silent treatments and anger? There’s no upside. Own your feelings and your actions. Say your sorry, find your solution and move on.
One rule I love is, don’t allow more than 5 minutes spent on talking about the problem, after 5 minutes is up, move on to the solution. It might be uncomfortable but you two can do uncomfortable.
Four. Don’t should on each other. Let me tell you what this sounds like inside our brains. He should take out the trash. He shouldn’t drink so much. She shouldn’t foster another dog. He should walk the dog. She should ___________ (you can literally insert any expectation or rule you might have for the other person).
Check yourself and stop shoulding. It is a gross habit and does not serve you or your marriage. When you stop shoulding you will be 100% responsible for your happiness and inner peace regardless of how the other person behaves which is the best news ever because it allows you hold all of your personal power and in doing that you give your partner the permission to do the same.
Have Fun. With and without each other. Keep sharing in all that you love to do together, like game night, checking out new restaurants, hanging with Copley and hosting parties on your deck.
AND celebrate and encourage each other to do the things that you love to do as individuals. Like, playing golf or watching your shows or tennis or reading an entire book in one sitting (totally Justins Favorite pastime) or football Sunday.
Second to last one guys. Still with me? Okay six. Check in. Make the promise to check in with each other once in a while, a couples state of the union so to speak. It can be on your anniversary or new years day or Copley’s birthday.
The point is to pour yourselves some wine, sit down and ask, how are we? Are we doing what Laura said to? What is going great? What can we work on?
The last one is the crown jewel. And this one your two have already got going on. This is the one that allows all of us to learn from you two and your unique love. And that is love each other for who you truly are. You guys do a remarkable job of giving each other the space to be your true authentic selves.