Recently I glanced at an article that some emotional woman posted to her boyfriends wall on the Book of Faces. The article was titled: Do Couples Who Play Together Stay Together?, I proceeded with caution because the term “Play” can be misconstrued now a days especially on the internet.
Shortly after starting the article I went off on a tangent similar to the squirrel situation in the Movie Up. In the first paragraph I realized that the reason with Americans being in a financial bind is every single angle of the media perceives taking out debt for happiness as OK! Literally 1/3 of this article was about how “Financial institutions often encourage borrowing money against the equity in a home to finance a needed vacation.” No wonder we are all in massive trouble. At the end of the day you have to break down necessity versus luxury. Do we need to eat this week orrrrrr should we go to Disney World and eat pizza with Mickey Mouse? Well pizza sounds good we better refinance our house so we can afford to go! STUPID!!!!!
Marital satisfaction is analyzed in the second paragraph, which is something that could be defined differently by the husband and wife depending on the year. It states that between 1 and 5 years and 17 or more years together that marital activities performed together increased the happiness where as people being married 6 to 16 years weren’t influenced either way. Studies regarding marital satisfaction indicate that levels of marital satisfaction decline after the fourth or fifth year of marriage and stay at a lower level until the children get to the age of starting to leave the home for college and marriage.
After starting off a little rocky this article started to make a little more sense. Basically all I had to do was keep doing what I did in the beginning during the courtship phase of our relationship and my wife and I would grow old and gray together.
If you are like me you want to be with the love of your life forever, so always make your marriage a top priority (as in every day!). On a side note here are some easy and fun ways to keep improving an already awesome partnership. Even if you’re not married yet, you can start practicing these tips to enjoy your relationship even more throughout the wedding-planning process all the way into rocking in chairs while watching your grand children play:
1. Eat healthfully. You have to take great care of yourself to be the best “you” in this marriage. Even better yet, save some money and stay home and cook together. Which will make everything much more enjoyable and its a “play together, stay together” activity.
2. Make time for exercise. Sex Counts!
3. Talk about your early days of dating. You could say something like, “I was just thinking about that date you planned for our 1 year anniversary, that was really wonderful.” So simple but it means a lot. It instantly puts you pack into that place.
4. Bond with each other’s friends. When you mesh well with each other’s social circles it gives you more to do and remember that play together stay together thing! (Not orgies!)
5. Bond with each other’s families. It’s a gift to your spouse when you blend in well with his parents and siblings. Befriend them, give compliments, ask how their lives are going and smile. This is a big one, and it can be especially challenging if his relatives gave you a hard time during the wedding planning. You may not love them (and maybe you will someday), but make an effort to at least be cordial, forgive as much as you can and start fresh with them as a member of the family.
6. Touch as often as possible. Hold hands. Touch each other. Kiss good night. Think about these little points of contact as love “marks” that stay throughout the day.
7. Drop your old issues. We all have scars and damage from our dating days and from our families, but don’t use an old fight as a weapon in a new one.
8. Fight Fair… Avoid using “always” or “never” to accuse your spouse when you’re revved up and kind of irrational during a particularly bad argument. You both need to know when to apologize; love does mean saying “I’m sorry” sometimes.
9. Have a sense of humor. Don’t be uptight or overly sensitive, making it impossible for your spouse to playfully tease you if you do something silly. If you’re always a raw nerve, it will be like them having to walk on eggshells, which makes you a chore.
10. Know when to listen (without offering advice which is my biggest flaw must of the time). Sometimes, you or your partner just need to vent and spill out all the frustrations of the day.
11. Be financially responsible. Money is one of the top marriage stressors, especially in these challenging financial times (like when you take out a second mortgage to go to Disney Land). You both need the security of knowing that you’re each paying bills on time, and not making unnecessary purchases.
12. Speak well of each other. It is call edification and that is one of the most important things you must do to honor your spouse. Typically now a days we vent to your friends or family members about a fight we had, they may not forgive the other, even after you’ve forgiven and forgotten. This betrayel will also cause lies and gossip to start about the other and become a big ball of lies and negativity.
13. Be playful. Even if life is stressful, express your playful and silly side by suggesting new fun activities for date night. Show this side of your personality often, and remind your spouse how much fun you are. Even if you’re the worst Rummy Card player ever, laughing at your lack of skill lets your spouse see you in this adorable way.
At the end of the day, there are hundreds if not millions of people out there preaching about what marriage should be. Sometimes you even stumble upon articles like the one I mentioned above. The main thing to realize is every marriage is different and at the end of the day there is no cookie cuter solution to any problem. You just have to step up and figure out how to stay together, whether it is truly by playing or just surviving the marriage from year 6 to year 16. I love my wife dearly and will continue to use these 13 tasks to continue to bond with her till the day that I die.