The past eighteen months have been wonderful..."living in magic," as he has said. That magic starts with love and respect, friendship and trust. Not everyone has that, and I am reminded every day of how sacred that is.
As we continue on our journey as husband and wife, I find myself more in love, and increasingly more grateful for the gift we've been given in our marriage.
As someone who married for the first time later in life, the transition from girlfriend to wife was not that dramatic. Nevertheless, there are lessons to be learned and lessons to remember.
Here's an overview of what we have learned as man and wife.
1. Holding hands creates magic. Whether it's body heat, energy transfer, or a combination of the two, holding hands sets the mood and connects us as one. It's just us for those moments in time.
2. Conversation is connection. It's a chance to reconnect and catch up on our days, make plans for what's to come, and work through bumps in the road. When we talk, we connect.
3. Quiet space is okay. Sometimes when we're driving, it's quiet. We don't always feel the need to talk...sometimes it's nice to share space. We know the other is there, and we chat when we have something to say. There's a comfort level in knowing that quiet space is okay...it's okay to just be.
4. Fight fair. It's as simple as that.
5. Explore together. Play tourist in your own town, your own state. Plan a weekend away, a long awaited vacation. See someplace new for the first time, together.
6. Be vulnerable. Trust that your partner has your back. Don't be afraid to let down your guard. If you can't do this with your partner, with whom can you be real?
7. Break out of the box. Explore each other's intimate fantasies and desires.
8. Listen...don't try to fix it. Often there's comfort in simply knowing someone hears you.
9. A little romance goes a long way, and romance is a two way street. Send a romantic or naughty text. Leave a note in his or her lunch, under a windshield, in a pocket. Let your partner know he or she is on your mind. If you build it, they will come.
10. Let it go. Don't harp on problems and don't bring up past transgressions. If it's over, it's over. Don't hold him or her hostage. If you can't let it go, get help or get out.
11. Enough with the pajamas/sweats/yoga pants. There's nothing more comforting than warm pajamas after a long day, but who wants a partner who wears yoga pants or pajamas like it's her job? If the situation were reversed, how many of us would love our guys in sweats all day every day? We want them to put in the effort to look good, and we need to as well. Yes, they're easier and yes, they're more comfortable. But many of us put effort into our appearance when we were dating. Back then he was little more than a stranger; now he's our partner. That must warrant a little effort.
12. Share the heavy lifting...get creative with planning dates. Share the driving. Share the chores. Both partners working toward a common goal is a win-win.
13. Share a common goal. Keep each other on task. Fitness goals, healthy living goals, financial goals...any goal...it all counts.
14. Date night. That's all.
16. Break out of your comfort zone. Try something new the both of you may enjoy.
17. Celebrate the little things...like anniversaries, half-anniversaries, birthdays, Mondays....it doesn't matter what it is. It's Wednesday? Happy Hump Day! Get busy!
18. Reflect. Be willing to put in the work to see what works and what doesn't. It takes two. Keep the communication lines open and be willing to have the hard conversations.
Eighteen months later, I still feel like a newlywed, giddy with excitement over the little things we have shared and for all the good that's to come.