My Penguin And I

marriageI had the pleasure of being at my grandparents 60th Anniversary in Italy a couple of weeks back, and it was beautiful!

Marriage and relationships aren’t always easy, and as with anything good in life, a healthy marriage takes work, and is in essence, the backbone of the house. The honey moon stage in most marriages has a shelf-life, with familiarity creeping in, a growing family, a change of job, this can all put pressure on a relationship, and add troubles to what started out strong.

A healthy marriage doesn’t mean a plateau of emotions, or the absence of arguing and disagreement.  The up’s and down’s can be a roller coaster ride, to say the least, but it’s what makes a marriage stronger. All marriages go through rough patches, some don’t survive long enough, others see it through till death do part.

5 Tips For a Healthy Marriage

I love and treasure my husband through our good times and our bad times. I know our tough times stem from fundamental personality differences – which can get in the way! But I also know that we have something good, something solid, something worth fighting for. It sometimes takes putting things on the back burner, choosing to overlook things, or by making some healthy compromises.

While doing some research into golden advice for a healthy marriage, I came across a few juicy tidbits. Here are a few points that stood out to me:

1. Acknowledge the little things – It’s easy to forget that you were once “man and wife” before earning the title of “mom and dad.” Make it a habit to jump into his or her arms after not seeing each other all day, filling each other with kisses and words of love, instead of jumping to the troubles of the day. Arrange a little date night at home – a special meal just for the two of you while the kids watch a movie in the room.

2. Be mindful of your words – Say thank you for the little things that go unnoticed. Forget the things that went wrong, or were forgotten – they don’t need undesired attention. Tell your significant other she’s beautiful, and she’ll be beautiful. Tell him he’s smart, and he’ll be smart. Tell them how much you appreciate the jobs he/she does, and they’ll do the job even better. Tell her she world to you, and she’ll make your world a better place. Make kindness a priority!

3. Accept that not all problems are solvable Sometimes learning to walk away from a heated discussion, or difference in personality is the smart option. Accepting that certain things about your partner will never change, and there is no point wasting time and patience trying to change them. Instead choosing to move on to what you find as common ground or similar interests will help you overlook a problem or realize it’s not a deal breaker.

4.Take care of your appearance – So much is involved in the courting stages, plenty of time is spent exercising, and working on appearances, so one can look and feel attractive. This often is not the case once the honey moon period passes, or sometimes after having children. The ease of letting go can seem very enticing, and easy to fall into. But exercise and paying attention to your appearance is crucial in a healthy marriage. Exercise also releases tension and stress – one of the main culprits of discord in a relationship.

5. Don’t keep score –  Marriage requires a lot of give and take, and it’s never fair to tally up scores. “I did this, so you need to do that.” Tit for tat is childish and counter productive. A better thing to keep score of is the positive things your partner does – and then thank them for doing it.

To My Penguin:

(My hubby and I started using this term long since we first got together. Penguins are for life – and so are we, or at least we’ll try our best to be.)

As time goes by, we get a little older, a little less patient, a little less tolerant of each others shortcomings. The “little people” in our life sometimes take preference to the once “man and wife” we used to be. But if there is one thing I know, it’s that no matter what life may bring our way, I feel honored to share it with you.  I promise to work my best at this marriage so that our grandchildren can witness our 60th Anniversary, the same way I just witnessed my grandparents 60th.

I love you.

xx Lara

“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact they’re not.” – Jodi Picoult

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