So today marks 26 years of marriage for us. (Yayyyyy! Crazy cheer!)
I've learned that for marriage to succeed I have to not only work hard -- I have to keep learning. As time goes I realize more things I need to give attention to. Believe it or not, keeping marriage hot isn't just all about lingerie. There's much more to it.
Here are three that are on my mind lately:
I'm talking about "please," and "thank you," and anything I'd definitely say to a business associate but have often forgotten to say to my husband. Sometimes we've let these things slide the more the years went on, because we've gotten used to each other and in a comfortable rhythm. I've learned that getting that comfortable can really be detrimental to keeping a relationship hot.
I learn a lot by watching others. Something I noticed a while back is that some spouses bark orders at each other like they are some kind of indentured servant. Then, when they grant their request they often don't bother to thank them. Recently I noticed a man gruffly say to his wife, "Serena*, get me a cup of coffee...," and she scampered off to get it and brought it back and he didn't even thank her. A few days later I overheard a woman yell to her husband, "Frank*, go pull the car around!" He dutifully ran off to get the car and she didn't even say please or thank you once he came around with the car. These kind of marriages often seem old and stale. Not how I want to be. So I'm trying to ask very nicely and really appreciate when Larry does something for me.
As the years of marriage go on it can be easy to get so used to hearing my husband talk, I don't even hear what he says anymore. Being a good listener is one of the key ingredients to maintaining a healthy (and hot!) relationship. I've learned that active listening involves being fully present and hearing what he is telling me without thinking up what I'm going to say next. Admittedly, this is realllllllllllllly hard. I love thinking about what I'm going to say next!