*This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.
To keep the love alive in marriage requires dedication and a lot of patience. It isn’t always easy. If someone told you otherwise, they are either not telling the whole truth or still dreaming in cloud nine.
My husband and I are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary in 5 months and I have to say that I am mighty proud that we have weathered the storms that came our way through the years. We went on a trip to hell and back but here we are, stronger and still crazy about each other.
We still drive each other nuts sometimes but that’s alright because it adds spice to life.
I have to admit that I’m no expert when it comes to giving out marital advice considering that the Mister V. is my first husband and unless Channing Tatum asks me to marry him, there is a very good chance that he might be my last too (unless one of us gets really, really pissed off) but I would like to share with you what I think worked and still works for me and the Mister V.
*Disclaimer: No Therapeutic Claims
Keeping the love alive in marriage
1. Do not kill your spouse.
Very important! If you are married and have not strangled your spouse yet, keep it that way because obviously, to keep the marriage alive, you both need to be breathing. I know that sometimes we just want to hit our partners on the head out of exasperation but DON’T. Believe me, it’s never a good idea. You will rot in jail for the rest of your life and when you die, you shall end up as the Devil’s bitch.
When you’re angry at each other, take some time to cool off. Stick your head into the fridge or something. Guzzle up coffee (or wine). Once you’re ready to forgive each other, exhale, drop the fork and talk like mature adults.
2. Take the time to surprise your spouse once in a while.
And I’m not talking about expensive gifts. I’m talking about random acts that’ll make your spouse happy or smile. Don’t be afraid to look foolish. When it comes to making your spouse happy, nothing is too crazy.
A challenge for the wives: Leave crazy photos of you on his phone to brighten up his day at work (hopefully). Or you can just email it to him because you will never know when the dude will decide to check the photos on his gallery. Tsk.
Forget the sultry, sexy, naked photos because they are so Jennifer Lawrence and you really don’t want them to end up on the Google.
Send him one of your wackiest pose, in your apple juice stained shirt, messy hair and shiny forehead with a note “I love you” or “I miss you” or “Fuck this crackpot shit, get pizza on your way home!”
He will appreciate it. It will make him laugh.
Trust me, I know stuff.
If you are man enough, surprise your wife with a special date on a Thursday evening but tread slowly because this is like walking on thin ice.
Thursdays are when wives and moms are at the height of raging horMOMS. After 4 days of chasing after school children, 12 meals and 258 snack preparations, hours of looking for lost things, over 30 hours in the office, an average of 5 hours commuting/driving and 12 hours of sleep, she is ready to lose her shit.
She is tired and is looking forward to Friday so much just so she can say “Thank God it’s Friday!” even if it doesn’t mean she can rest on weekends.
If spontaneous combustion really happens, I think it is more likely to happen to a woman on a Thursday, so go ahead, douse the steam with flowers and chocolates and hire a sitter and take her out even for just pizza at 7/11 or a beer at the gas station.
Just a tip. Do not ask her to dress nicely. Sweep her off her dirty feet and tell her the yoga pants make her glow and drag her out of the house.
You are will either be a very lucky man or you will be blamed if the kids won’t have anything to eat for breakfast the morning after because the mother has a hangover. Either way, you get a point for trying.
3. Be ready to apologize and to forgive.
After 3 days, you will not even remember whose fault it was so if you know you’re bound to apologize/forgive him/her, why prolong the agony?
4. Live the kind of fairy tale that you want your kids to look up to.
Some people say that fairy tale is not real. I’m here to tell you that it does but it exists only if you live it. However, it’s not going to be the “and they lived happily ever after” kind. It will be the “they loved each other very much that they celebrated each other’s happiness and chose to work things out when things were rough. AND MY MOTHER WAS ALWAYS RIGHT!” kind of fairy tale.
Kiss a lot.
Hug a lot.
5. Try to get away from the tiny creatures once in a while.
It doesn’t have to be an expensive getaway, or a long vacation. A 2-hour aimless walk downtown is fine and goes a long way in keeping the relationship strong.
Sometimes, you really need to give your spouse your full concentration, without you straining your ears trying to decipher if the toddler’s scream was an “I’m dying!” kind of scream or “it’s okay to ignore me for a couple more minutes” kind of scream.
It is important to be able to look into your spouse’s eyes without seeing your son setting the house on fire in your peripheral vision.
Just so he/she will know that he/she is important.
Your spouse deserves it. You deserve it.
There are many tips out there on how to keep the fire burning but it all boils down to one thing. Be ready to chop the firewood, otherwise it’s gonna be cold and bitter frustrations for lunch every day.
Anything else you want to add?
What was the craziest thing you did to make your spouse laugh?
This post originally appeared on the now defunct Vanilla Housewife blog.