The Little Things in Married Life
Tonight my son Adam went to his sweet girlfriend’s senior prom. It brought back to many memories of my own senior (and junior) prom. It is not everyone who can be blessed to say she married her prom date. Kevin and I have been together since 1984, when we were just babies of 16 and 18. The road is not always paved with puffed sleeves (see picture below) and roses but honestly there is no other road I would want to be on. Our relationship is one of the things I am most grateful to God for allowing in my life.
The Basis for a Good Marriage
In 2014, when I first wrote these tips, I was inspired by something very simple, hearing a familiar voice from the kitchen call out, “Hey Wifey, Guess What?”
Wifey. I love that. Kevin has actually had a plethora of nicknames for me over the years. Buttercup, the Hawk, but by far, Wifey has been my favorite.
We have grown up together – mentally, spiritually and sigh, physically (he hee). I tease him that when we met he had a six pack, and now his belly is a keg. He just needs to raise an eyebrow my way for me to catch the drift that I am the last one to be teasing about extra pounds.
But tease we do, in fact, it the ability to crack each other up that I believe has strengthened our relationship more than anything else, well, other than our faith. Sharing our journey to Heaven, with Christ in the middle of our marriage; along with the a few keg sized belly laughs along the way.
I have always considered us a match made in heaven, and that is not only because we met at a church! In the beginning there were a lot stacked against us making this work — our young age, financial clue-less-ness (causing many early arguments), and a struggle with my mental health — yet we made it 29 years, and God willing, many more to come.
I credit returning to Mass about 2 years in as the one pivotal decision that saved our marriage, and put us on the path to special bond we share today!
5 Tips for a Ordinary, yet Happy Marriage:
- Never go to bed angry. Cliche, yes, but truly best marriage advice I have ever received. It is also, as it turns out, biblical (Ephesian 4:26).
- Communicate. Even if by Facebook Messenger across the room. As soon as the Internet hit our world, we’ve used it to stay in constant contact with each other. Not to an annoying fault, though my husband might disagree a little on that, but to keep each other in the loop and feel connected even when our busy lives keep us apart. It also worked great for talking about things in private when the kids were in the room.
- Stay physically intimate. Let’s be honest, physical intimacy is the only thing that sets apart your marital relationship from the others in your life. This is where our practice of Natural Family Planning has been the most beneficial. Those natural breaks of a women’s fertility cycle brings, prevented feelings of rejection or pressure in our marriage. I have no doubt it absolutely created, for us, a more loving, respectful relationship. The 20+ years of practicing NFP, did not come without struggle especially as menopause approached. It was worth every effort because it not only strengthened our bond but also our bond with Our Heavenly Father.
- Do not forget to DATE! Clearly, I do not mean with others (hee he) but each other. Get a sitter (it rocks have teenagers), barter with friends, or put them to bed early and have a stay-at-home date. JUST make time to be together. Talk, LAUGH, or just sit in peaceful silence.
- PDA (aka Personal Displays of Affection) – well at least at home. Hold hands watching TV, hug randomly, kiss before bed, don’t be afraid to love each other – especially in front of your kids. Physical touch is an important to bonding as the words we speak to each other…you can never say I LOVE YOU too much or give too many HUGS! Perhaps Kevin might disagree with that last hug statement, but I love that out of love for me, he tolerates them all the same.
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2014; 2018