As featured at Digital Romance
Some might argue that a woman who is twice divorced would be the worst person to give relationship advice; but in this woman’s case, I must say—au contraire.
I married for life… once… twice… now… forever. I have always preached the importance of nurturing a marriage daily, but, unfortunately, I picked the wrong partners the first couple of times. So here I am, on marriage number three (my “forever-marriage”), and I am in love with him just as much now, as I was those handful of years ago. Moreover, from that handful of years, I will offer you a handful of ways to keep the love alive in your relationship.
Daily affirmations of love
It’s crucial to let your partner know exactly how they affect your life in a positive way on a regular basis.Very early in our relationship, I started a ritual with my husband—we sat face to face in bed each night and had to say one of two things to each other:
a.) I fell in love with you a little bit more today because…; or
b.) I was reminded today how much I love you…Those daily exchanges, I believe, were instrumental in building a very strong foundation of love and respect between us. And if you think it’s an easy exercise, try doing it when you’re upset with each other—those were the times that really solidified our bond.
You’d be surprised at how impactful a gift can be. I’m not talking about extravagant items—just something small, yet meaningful.One of the traditions I started, was gifting him something on the day of our “monniversary” (each month on the date we first met). I had a tiny gift bag that I used each month, and my rule was that whatever the gift was, it had to fit in the bag. The gifts ranged from: aromatherapy massage oil, his watch (after repairing the wristband), his watch again (after replacing the battery), a tie, tickets to a football game, nail brush (because he hates how dirty his nails get at work), and many more.
My husband wins the prize for this one. I absolutely loathe making lunch, so he always does it for me. For a period of many months, he included a note with each tasty meal. Even though I always expected one to be there, my heart skipped a beat every time I opened my lunch.There’s no need to include a two-page letter with every pastrami sandwich, but a small note with a handful of words goes a long way.
Treat each other like you treat your coworkers
We put on our best outfits, make-up, and attitudes when we go to the office, so why wouldn’t we treat our partner in the same regard?I feel bad that I change into my “puppy proof” clothing, and twist my hair into a bun the minute I walk through the door each night, but I do still make an effort to treat him like the precious gem he is.I used to say, “treat each other like someone is watching,” but then I saw how some of you treat each other in public. Needless to say, I’ve scratched that analogy
This one might seem like it comes way out of left field, but you’d be amazed at what it can do for your relationship.Take turns (maybe once a week), giving each other a five-minute hand massage. The physical connection of your skin, and the stimulation of all of those crucial nerve endings in your hands, will cause you to feel more relaxed and more connected. I taught this to a friend and his wife once, and it actually improved their physical relationship exponentially.
I know I could come up with another 5, 10, or 15 ways to keep love alive, but the aforementioned items are five that are proven tried and true for many relationships.
The bottom line is that all partnerships need constant nurturing. My challenge to you is that you hold each other accountable to doing so.