1) You absolutely, 100%, get back whatever you put into it.
2) Sometimes what you have to put into it is making a conscious effort to accept and appreciate the other person exactly how they are.
3) Sometimes what you have to put into it is making a conscious effort to see things from the other person’s perspective, even and especially when you are stark-raving angry.
4) For that matter, a happy marriage is full of effortful, intentional thoughts and behaviors. Studies show that the more you focus on and appreciate your partner’s positive qualities (as opposed to focusing on the lousy qualities), the more those positive qualities will truly become important to you, and the more you will truly value and cherish your partner…. (Some other intentional things are reminding yourself that a “loss” for you may be a “win” for the team, cheerfully biting your tongue when you want to object to him taking time for himself because you know he needs it, and anything that falls under the category of #8)
5) It is important to know your partner’s language of love, and not just assume that he would like whatever you would like.
6) It is as important to spend time together as it is to nurture your individual pursuits.
7) It is actually okay to go to bed angry, and sometimes sleep is the only thing that will allow you to once again become rational.
8) Marriage is not about keeping score and making sure each person contributes the same amount. Marriage is waking up each day and asking yourself what you can do to help the joint effort, and also recognizing that your partner legitimately asks himself that very question. If that and only that takes place, it will be a good marriage.
9) Just directly say it or directly ask. Don’t play games or wait for him to pick up on the hints, That will just leave the both of you frustrated.
10) Every good or bad thing that happens in a marriage is because of a cycle or a dynamic. For example, if he is loving and available, that will make you value and appreciate him, and the more you value and appreciate him, the more he will be loving and available. Or if you feel angry and disconnected, you will behave in a way that makes him feel like avoiding and distancing even more, and then you will feel even more angry and disconnected. It’s always a good habit to identify your part in the cycle.
11) Since you share a bathroom, do each other’s laundry, and live in each-other’s space, there will be gross things. Pretend they never happened and never speak of them again.
12) Get in the habit of sucking it up, owning your part, and apologizing, without any mention of what the other person did.
That’s all for now!
This overthinking mommy 🙂