Well, after the "Honeymoon Phase" wasn't always the best. But, we're a few months from our 10th Anniversary and we both feel our marriage is better than it was in the beginning.
I mean, we're not completely infatuated with each other anymore. But, our love is deeper and more meaningful than we could have ever imagined.
We've seen each other through ups and downs. We've shared experiences that deepen our lives that no one will ever be able to experience with us again. And, both good and bad, we've weathered quite a bit.
I truly believe the following has helped us to grow a deeper more permanent love:
- Communication - we've learned effective communication techniques that get our points across without causing fights (or at least not making them bigger than they should be).
- We have routines - aside from routines that kids bring, we have routine activities that we look forward to (ours is a nightly shower where we can talk uninterrupted and sometimes spurs intimate time).
- Support - we support not only the things we understand, but the things we may not. We're there to help each other grow as individuals, as a couple, and there to care for each other when our health may be failing us. Support isn't only for the things we totally agree with, either.
- We take time for ourselves - whether it's a weekly date night in, or a monthly activity away from the kids, we are sure to make time to consistently remind us that before kids, we were an awesome couple ... even if we aren't as awesome as we used to be (yeah, choosing movies based on early start times makes us your average couple with kids).
- Have a hobby together- We found it extremely satisfying to continue to pursue our shared hobby together. It's the reason we found each other in the first place and makes our marriage exciting, even after 9 years!
- We try to remain a united front while raising kids. There's almost nothing worse for our marriage than when we argue about a disciplinary tactic. But, most of all, we aim never to question each other's judgment in front of the kids. Heading back to communication, we bring up our differences (if there are any) when the kids aren't in the room.