We recently attended a wedding. As we sat and waited for the bride to walk down the aisle, I reflected on that time in our life. The honeymoon phase of a relationship and marriage is a special time for couples.
When all is said and done, I don’t miss the pomp and circumstance of those days. All the stress of planning and executing; the endless hours of strained etiquette at showers, wedding, and reception; While I loved sharing and celebrating my love and marriage with family and friends, I was less fond of everything that went along with that.
I watch as images of travels to a honeymoon destination flash across my Facebook news feed and secretly recall the private memories my husband and I share from that moment in time. It is a time just for the two of you, with no interruptions, responsibilities, or interjections. You laugh, love, explore, and share with each other in a happy, blissful place of your choice!
But then what? You arrive home and real life seeps in. Work, laundry, grocery shopping. Then come kids, sleepless nights, car pools, sporting events, volunteer requirements and more. (Can you tell that this just might be where we are in life right now?)
So how do you keep the honeymoon phase alive?
The number one most important thing to maintain a healthy relationship is communication. My mom always used to tell me to, “keep short accounts” with people. Meaning to be sure you are keeping lines of communication open with the other person, letting them in on how you feel and being open to what they are saying to you. This is important with matter of the heart, as well as just your day to day schedules and happenings.
2. Little Things
Little things matter. They may possible matter more than the big grand gestures. Drop a quick text of a special secret you share. If you are at all in tune to social media send a SnapChat of something in your day. Make a favorite meal or treat just because. Be truly present and engage when your spouse is talking about something. Kiss hello and goodbye. Do something you know would matter to your spouse without being asked. (For instance my husband likes the sink to be clear of dishes – he is more than happy to do it himself – but it is always a nice treat when I happen to have it done before he comes home)
3. Make Time
I can tell you from experience that sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be even one moment of time for each other. Many days my husband and I don’t see each other during daylight hours. This makes it very important to make time, any amount big or small to touch base, to connect.
We always joke because my husband will call me on his way home from work. While he is hands free and has time to kill, I am always running around getting kids fed and ready to run out for the nightly activities. Even though I will often be short or irritated (that is the stress talking), I always wonder or end up calling him if he hasn’t called me.
While there are many days that go by and we feel as though we haven’t connected at all, we will then find a moment for a short walk, or a brief talk while standing in the kitchen at night, or time to sit and watch a tv show together. At your busiest moments is when it is most important to make time, even if it is just a moment.
4. Grace & Patience
Ah, grace and patience, things I have clearly yet to master. In this moment I am reminded of a favorite verse of mine, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 A Time For Everything. Even in our busiest of times I am reminded that this is the time for that. In a quicker amount of time than we can fathom, these years will be gone and our children grown. I need to remember this when my patience is short and my capacity for grace seems lost.
We need to offer each other a safe place, a place to make mistakes and not be crucified for it. A place where one picks up where the other has left off. A place where we remember that this too shall pass.
So when you find yourself in the busyness of life, offer yourself, your spouse, and your children as much patience, and grace under pressure that you can muster. It will heal both your heart and theirs.