Thursday, June 23, 2016

On our anniversary...

     7 years of knowing each other. 4 married. Seems like the longest time, yet in my memory it passed in the blink of an eye... A chain of beautiful memories, laughter, love, happiness, luck, growth, movement, challenges, good times and stressful ones. But mostly good. Great, actually!

     Here I am before you today, not sure of how I should celebrate and mark this moment best. Do I tell you 'the secret' of what makes our wheel keep on turning?

     Am I supposed to share some more privacies that make up US?

     I am quite good at giving advice, though not sure my life experience qualifies me in this department. But here's what I do know...

     Life has a way of taking the young, careless, wild at heart people and in today's society, turn them into fitted, aged, boring, 'responsible' adults. Now, this exact same thing can happen in a relationship just as easy. If you allow it. One day you are cuddled up in a 1,40m bed, sweetest sleep, next you can feel that 2m of sheet space in-between is not enough to give you the 'comfort' you think you need.

    The regularities of every day life, the routine, the muffled wishes, the stresses, the insufficiencies, lack of patience and misunderstandings can creep in and before you know it frustrations are born. From there it's only one step to the land of reproach, disappointment, criticism, anger, injury... And it's not the kind of lesion that can be fixed up with a little sterile bandage...

     Once the couple gets harmed in such way it takes a whole lot of work, persistence and willingness on both sides, to become one again...

     I wish I could say that we escaped unharmed so far, but that would not be the truth. We have experienced hurt, criticism, abandonment, stress and boredom, just like everyone else. So far, so good. But here are a few things we are trying to keep in mind. Things to go back to every now and again. Things that keep us US and help us be together.

     I can't begin to stress the importance of keeping in mind that we are a couple. That before anything else there is me and him. Before starting to build up, WE are the foundation. If we are not well, happy and satisfied everything else will crack and crumble.
     Here's what else I got down in this whole marriage thing:

     We are playing for the same side. Rowing the same boat. Going the same direction.

     A happy couple is a couple who talks. To each other. About anything and everything. Always. No matter if it can be uncomfortable. When this stops there is a problem. A big one.

     No matter what, we are better together.

     Listen. Don't interrupt. I have a major issue with this point... I have a few big flaws and this is one of them, the one thing that I think I do, that turns things from amicable to critical. I am working on it. All the time.

     Don't make assumptions! Simply ask. Yes, you know each other better than anyone else, but you can't possibly know what the other person is thinking every minute, why they are moody one day or how they might react in certain circumstances. 8 out of 10 times the assumption is way off to what the other person actually feels/thinks...

    Show your appreciation and love. Yes, these feelings are always there, might even get stronger with time, but you need to show it! Say it!!

     Don't let the small stuff keep you up at night... Like...those things that bug us, but are really not relevant enough to remember in your old age. The things not worth discussing are a waste of your time. Just let them go!

     Having similar interests is great, but what makes a relationship grow, is the way you can support each other in your differences. It's ok to listen to different music,  like different foods, have different hobbies, meet different people,  follow different passions. We are not copy-paste versions of our partners, we are our own persons forever.  Doing separate thing sometimes will keep you healthy and happy!

     As much as I said it's ok to do things on your own and have different interests, it's just as important to nourish and keep developing the ones you share as a couple. Dance! Hike! Write poems! Cook! Work out! Open a bottle of wine! Whatever makes the both of you happy and connected... Do it!

     In the world of continuous online presence where we are bombarded with everyone's perfect pictures of life events and travels and the media is constantly telling us how to be, it's so difficult not to compare.  And it's just so wrong. Every relationship is different, has different grounds, different experiences and rhythm... And though it may not seem so or it might be different than yours, every relationship has issues.

     Travel. Make memories together. It's one of the best investments you will ever make. This world is full of wonders and there is nothing better than discovering it all together.  Each such experience can only bring you closer together and make you happy!

     Never give up on each other. I believe when we enter a relationship (even more-so, a marriage) one of the things you sign up for is never giving up on your significant other. It is our duty to continue showing love, interest, devotion, to continue trying to fulfil the needs of our partner and the ones of our relationship.

     I once read somewhere (it may have been cosmopolitan magazine) that in order to have a happy relationship you need to spend at least 10 minutes a day kissing your partner. Now this may seem silly, but I promise there is some truth in there! I mean, kissing releases oxytocin, which reduces stress and makes you feel more connected, for one. Give yourself time for a little smooch-fest throughout the day and then you try staying mad at each other! Ha! Plus...kissing usually leads to... Ya' know what I'm saying... ahem!

     Of course we can carry on this conversation forever and maybe we will pick it up again sometimes. It tends to be the kind of topic that keeps on evolving as you are and the experiences you bring to the conversation. So let's just do that...


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