Five years we’ve been married, and what a magical, problem-free union it’s been for us.
Well, magical, sometimes, but problem-free? Hardly.
We’ve had our share of hardships, and no doubt we will face more in the years to come. But I can safely say I’ve learned a few fail-proof tools in that time, and maybe you can relate.
Without further ado, here is my list of ten ways to keep the home fires burning:
1. Always make a big deal about homecoming
When your loved one walks through the door after a long day, be happy. Smile. Greet him or her with a big hug. Don’t miss that moment. Nothing better than seeing someone’s face light up at your presence.
2. Remember your manners
It’s easy to take kind gestures for granted, but a simple “please” and “thank you” goes a long way.
3. Learn to love what they love
When Country Man’s dog was young, he nipped at my sweet widdle yorkie and I didn’t know if we could be friends. Well, I gave him a second chance and fell hopelessly in love with him. While that was an easy one for me, some things completely foreign I’ve learned to appreciate, and the same goes for him.
4. It’s the little displays of affection
Mouthing “I love you” in a crowded room, holding hands, or a quick touch of the side as you pass by… the brief encounters that let your loved one know you’re thinking of them. Human touch is powerful.
Birthdays, anniversaries big or small, job promotions… put the music on and open that special bottle of wine! Life is short, so take advantage of any reason to celebrate.
6. See your loved one through another’s eyes
There have been times in our marriage where stress is high and dreams seem so far out of reach that we forget to see each other for who we are. It helps to step back and see him/her with a fresh perspective. I look at Country Man the way someone who doesn’t know his faults might see him, and it reminds me to focus on the good.
7. Never ever criticize or talk bad about him/her in public
You chose this person, so in a sense, you’re cutting yourself down as well. Just don’t do it, because more than likely, you’ll regret it. An older friend of mine gave me this advice early on, and I took it to heart.
8. Create your own traditions
Start something that is just between you two. Maybe a once-a-year B & B weekend stay? Brandy on Christmas Day? (I’ve never had brandy before, so maybe that’s a bad suggestion).
9. Dream together
There is something innocent about dreaming together. Even if your dreams never materialize, the conversation opens up a window into your each person’s heart.
10. Stay young at heart
Every heartbreak in life is an opportunity to harden ourselves.
Watching our beloved dog die made my heart ache so much it felt irreparable. I ache yet for the empty kennel, and I ache for the piece from our idealistic world that death stole. I have to deliberately open my heart back up to love, to stay young at heart despite what comes our way.
Well, that’s my list of ten ways to keep the love alive.
I hope your home fire is burning in a good way.