On Friday evening my husband and I went to a seminar run by Care for the Family called, Marriage Unlocked. It was aimed at all marriages, new or old (or inbetween!)
We were pleasantly surprised to see about 200 people there, and a few who we knew too!
At the seminar the speakers, a couple who have been married for 25 years, gave us 6 keys to unlock an even better relationship. While I think we had worked most of these out for ourselves over the last 12 years, it was good to feel reassured that we are on the right track! The speakers were excellent, really approachable, and the talk was full of anecdotes from their own marriage.
Briefly, the six keys were as follows.
(1) Be the best of friends.
Make time for each other. Just yourselves. Don't just assume it's going to happen.
We make Friday or Saturday night our time for this. We rarely go out on a 'date' as such, but often just leave our dinner until the boys have gone to bed and then we have time to talk without the juice spills and the meat cutting and the sauce passing etc etc! Then we will watch a DVD or sit and read. Simple but so effective!
(2) Keep talking.
Talk to each other about everything and listen to each other too. A good listener will encourage someone else to talk.
(3) Argue well.
Here is where we have some ground to make up. According to the statistics the speakers gave, the average couple has 8 arguments a day! I think I would be exhausted if that was the case with us. Neither of us are really the argumentative types, and I can't say I remember us ever arguing. That's not to say we don't disagree on things. We just don't shout our point of view at the other.
Anyway, the three Rs of good arguing are; recognise your differences, respect each other and resolve the issue.
(4) Communicate Love.
There are 5 ways to communicate love.
Words, Presents, Time, Actions and Touch.
Not everyone appreciates being shown love each of these ways and so you need to work out which way your spouse likes.
(5) Build Intimacy.
Intimacy is an expression of your exclusive commitment and the best way of communicating your love.
And it is never, ever the way that Hollywood would portray it!
(6) Choose to love
Remember those vows you made on your wedding day. There are bound to be times when everything isn't plain sailing but that is no excuse to throw in the towel!
A strong, happy marriage doesn't just happen. It needs to be nurtured, almost like a plant I suppose. Put the effort in and the rewards will be great!
Gaelic word of the day:
posadh (paw-sagh) - marriage