“Honey – I just want to let you know that I’m committed to being 99% faithful in our relationship.”
Can you image saying, or hearing, that? Marriage is not a 50/50 deal or even a 99/99 deal — it is, without a doubt, a 100/100 commitment! Even though we understand this intellectually, it’s still a struggle for most of us to get to that 100/100 in our relationships. We often get so caught up in the trivial day-to-day problems, that we end up sacrificing our marriage.
So often, we hear things like “we weren’t on the same page”, “we grew apart”, or “we just lost the magic”.
That is something that my wife, Meg, and I have never considered for a minute. In fact, with over 30 plus years of marriage, being best friends, parents, and business partners, we’re still going strong. We aren’t marriage counselors, but we’ve had a lot of people ask how we do it!
What have Meg and I done to keep the magic and remain the best of friends?
Four things we do to stay on track in our relationship:
1. Marriage is work – bottom line.
Communication for us is the biggest factor in knowing we are moving in the same direction. We aren’t perfect and we get stuff wrong but we are always able to come back to a common ground because of communication. We set goals daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. With the end of the year just around the corner, we will sit down, not only as a couple, but with our kids, and set goals (huge goals)! We will review what we accomplished last year, what we missed and why we missed it, what got in the way, and, most importantly, what is working.
2. Love languages.
Do you know what your love language is? What is it for your spouse?
The 5 languages are:
- words of affirmation
- acts of service,
- receiving gifts,
- quality time, and
- physical touch.
A person typically has a dominant language. For me it is words of affirmation. Being told “I love you”, or “I appreciate what you do”, is huge for me and Megan knows it. A close second is physical touch. Guys, don’t read more into physical touch– I know where you’re all going! Don’t get me wrong that’s a big part of any relationship, but I love when my kids hug me, or Megan gives me a massage, or simply hanging out on the couch curled up.
My wife, Megan’s love language, is acts of service 100%. For me to undertake any little chore, like the dishes, make the bed, tidy the kitchen, cook a meal, is a major thing for her– and who knows? Might lead to physical touch!
So, getting to know your partner’s love language can be a game-changer for the better in any relationship. If you aren’t communicating with the right love language, you better figure out what it is, so you can receive and give effectively.
3. We invest.
We invest time and energy into our relationship. From reading books like the 5 love languages, to doing courses together, and studying other successful couples, we are committed to investing in and growing our relationship. Champions have many mentors and coaches in many areas of their lives, why not marriage.
I challenge you, right now, to write down 10 goals each, with your spouse, while avoiding peeking at each other’s list. Compare when you finish and if there’s any fewer than 5 goals in common, you may want to sit down and figure it out.
4. Have fun.
We love to be together as much as we love doing our own thing. Meg and I can be together 24/7 and enjoy every minute of it! Travel, movies, dinners, and just down time. What’s even more important than the time we love spending together, is the time we spend apart. We both love, and let each other love, the activities and things we do on our own. Meg loves to be in the garden, in nature, walking the dogs– me, not so much. I’m ultra competitive, from sports to xbox, and we don’t game together. Social media, the arts, drawing, and creating content– that’s me.
Bottom line – we love and respect each-other, we are best friends, and our motto is: LIVE – LOVE – LAUGH!!!