There is a very controversial saying out there that says ” you should always love you children and spouse, but you should love your spouse a little bit more”.
I understand why some people have a problem with this saying, but do feel there is truth in the saying. The quote is saying that if you spend 99% of your focus and energy on your kids and neglect your spouse and marriage, you will one day have regrets.
Why? Because time goes by fast and soon your kids will be all grown up and out of the house starting their own lives and families. And where will you and your spouse be? Stuck with each other.
This can be a great thing, but this can be awkward if you are suddenly living with a spouse that you have nothing in common with.
I’m lucky because I have a kind, loyal, funny spouse that I love, want to hang out with, and whom I feel we have lots in common with.
Years ago before we were engaged or married I made Dave a special gift. I typed up hundreds of things I wanted to do with him. These were things like get married, have a child together, travel to Japan, buy a new car together, share our 50th wedding anniversary together, etc.
Every once in a while we take the papers out and see which ones we have accomplished thus far. It was neat doing this with the the girls. It turns out we have accomplished about 50 % of the items on the list and placed them in a box. This list was created about 9- 10 years ago.
Another interesting activity we did was filling out a book called All About Us. I bought the book when I was dating Dave (before we were engaged or married). I filled it out in Oklahoma City (Dave was working there) on a trip to visit him. He filled it out after.
A few days ago I was in Barnes and Nobles and saw the same book! I decided to buy one for each of us to fill out and compare our answers all these years later.
What did we find by comparing our first book (young, naive, in that new love), to the one years later (kids, home purchases, career changes)? We found that many of our answers were similar and in fact it seems that we have grown towards each other rather than away.
Funniest answer- for the question, “what did you want to be when you grew up?”, Dave had the same answer- World Leader. Too funny.
I recommend couples buy one or two of these books as a date night activity. After all these years, it costs the same- $12.95. It was fun to answer the questions separately and then compare answers.
So my question is. what are your tips for making sure you keep your marriage (or relationship) number one?