Was there a time when you envied newlyweds in love?
Are these people even real?
Well, years after tying the knot, you realize you and your spouse are not the same people you were when you said, “I do” long ago.
Then, you suddenly remember the times when you were a newlywed couple.
Every day seemed like honeymoon, like a fantasy, and you remember the times you couldn't get enough of each other.
Those days are gone because you learned the honeymoon phase eventually has to end.
There are far more important things in marriage than just living up to that fairy tale story, and coming out of it isn’t bad at all.
There are many lessons I learned after getting married, and some of them I want to share to you:
1. Not every day has butterfly moments.
The start of all relationships may be full of butterflies and daisies.
Eight years passed, and the daisies are not blooming as much as they were before, and the butterflies flew back to earth.
But, you don’t have to feel so bad about it because there are ways to make your relationship feel like it did during the first years.
Why don’t you bring back the times when you two spent some alone time, making out or kissing each other on the couch for hours?
Putting the spark back in your relationship isn’t really complicated.
The book, "Happy Wives Club: One Woman's Worldwide Search For The Secrets Of A Great Marriage" says if you want something to last forever, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new.
It can be as simple as giving each other a deep, long hug or complimenting one another.
2. Money is not a taboo issue.
My husband and I are aware of each other’s finances and share the decision-making on major purchases.
But I have to tell you, it’s isn’t always easy.
Do you find it awkward to talk to your spouse about money when things are tough?
This doesn't just happen to you or me, but to millions of couples around the world.
In fact, a weekly disagreement on finances makes couples 30 percent more likely to get divorced.
It’s taboo because it involves issues of power.
In the book "Money, Marriage and Divorce," Paul Clitheroe notes that it does not make sense to wait until you reach certain benchmarks like planning for a wedding before you broach the topic of money.
He advises to start your conversations about money on a positive note, like discussing your shared personal goals with your spouse.
3. Marriage is not 50-50. It’s 100-100.
One woman, married to her husband for seven years, says she constantly finds herself having to relearn that she has to give everything she has to their marriage.
Karl Pillemer, a professor of human development at Cornell University says the common belief that marriage is a 50-50 affair is a myth.
You can't spend your time calculating "50 percent in, 50 percent back."
4. Your kids are not the most important thing in your home.
Shane Pruitt, a husband, father and pastor in Texas, says the kids cannot become the center of your home.
One day, the children will move out, and you don’t want your home to crumble when they leave.
There’s a time when my husband felt overlooked and jealous when we had our firstborn.
I honestly thought he was just not as keen as I was on having a baby.
I'm happy we were able to fix it.
I studied my husband and figured out how to make him feel loved even after having kids. I now spoil him a lot.
Do you spoil your husband or your wife? If not, then it’s the time to show them him or her some lovin'.
Most of us spoil our kids so much that we lose time for that one person we promised to care and love forever.
Continue to date each other.
That can be harder now that you have kids, but there are people to help you out, like grandparents or babysitters.
Praise your husband or wife in front of the kids. Give your spouse a massage. Ask what he or she would like for dinner.
These are small things, but the best things in life come in small packages.
5. Loving someone is a decision.
It isn’t just a strong feeling. The truth is, loving someone is a choice.
I hear stories about young couples who end their relationships because they can’t handle each other’s uniqueness.
I must say this is unfair because part of loving someone is accepting your mate’s uniqueness.
When you decide to love that person, you encourage him or her to be the best person he or she can be.
6. Marriage is teamwork.
There will come a time when your marriage will be challenged.
In marriage, there’s always one person who needs more support and the other who is in place to give more support.
There’s the saver, someone who says sorry first 90 percent of the time.
If you’re not the saver in your relationship, make more of an effort to apologize first.
It’s "you and me versus the problem," not "you versus me"
Dr. Offra Gerstein, a licensed psychologist, says true teamwork in marriage require three essential elements: You need to focus on the partner’s needs in managing every task, accept that your spouse’s issues are your issues as well and stay dedicated in the face of adversity.
7. Communication is essential for a lasting marriage.
One of the secrets to a successful long-term relationship is positive communication.
This study suggests that happy couples talk more. Happy couples spend five hours or more a week being together and talking.
Communication is also key when you’re facing arguments.
As the line goes, never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.