Here’s a few thoughts about navigating life and love after 20 years with my husband.
- Live your life with a purpose that is bigger than yourselves, your relationship and your family.
- You are a work in progress. Take responsibility to keep investing in yourself to become a better you. Everybody wins, especially you and the people you influence.
- Honour the other person in the way you treat them and speak of them. This is especially difficult when you’ve had a hard day. Time reveals a generational return on this investment.
- Remember the rugged terrain of your journey together and appreciate the miles you have walked. No one can appreciate the road you have travelled better than you and your partner.
- You can’t change the other person but never underestimate the privilege and opportunity you have to positively influence their life. Use your influence to their advantage…always.
- The qualities you love about your partner are also the ones that have the potential to irritate you the most so focus on the positive and be gracious. You’re no picnic to live with either.
- There is never a perfect time to start a family. Sometimes you just have to jump in and trust that things will work out…and somehow they do.
- Every relationship has challenges and work areas. Don’t let the ‘perfection illusion’ that social media can conjure, fool you into believing otherwise.
- Saying sorry is easy…controlling your response the next time is where the work is done.
- Celebrate your moments. Life will hand you highs and lows…don’t miss an opportunity to celebrate along the journey. Whether it’s your child bringing home an A+, paying off the Visa card or your 20th Anniversary…celebrate the moments whatever they are for you.
- Learn how to be happy in the everyday. Life is punctuated with drama and grief but for the most part life is lived page by page. If you can find joy in the ordinary hum drum of life…you will be happy.
- Pain and suffering are part of being alive. Society teaches us how to medicate and avoid pain BUT if you want to do relationships well you have to learn how to process your own pain and help those around you process theirs by walking with them.
- Pain and suffering can make you a better person, it’s really up to you if the hard times are what strengthen your relationship or smashes it into fragments.
- Pray. Pray about everything and anything no matter how big or small.
- Love languages are a great framework for understanding your partner but at the end of the day a little bit of everything is important.
- Listen. Listen to what your partner is saying and isn’t saying. The spoken and the unspoken will tell you what they need you to hear.
- Listen to the other person’s heart. Words can be an inconvenient limitation; know your partner so well that they don’t have to explain everything.
- Assume the best motives in the other person. Your partner should feel safe in the knowledge that whatever words they use to explain a thought will be interpreted through the best intentions.
- If you allow small things to hijack your relationship, they will run wild with the privilege.
- Life is a long time and life is a blip, let this reality influence the weight of importance you place on what happens in a day.