What Is Marriage?

When we think of marriage, most of us think of the Disney-like prince and princess gliding down the spiral staircase to their guests to celebrate their wedding day. That fantasy we are brought up on paints a wonderful picture of exactly what reality is not. Please don’t let this thought scare you though. Marriage, by definition, is actually a legal term but very few of us, if any, think of it that way. Most of us realize it is a partnership created between two people with similar life goals and values in mind. Marriage is messy. Like the organized chaos in a house with small children, it is never neat but usually full of love. And finally, marriage has a life of its own.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many magazines, website and television shows about dresses, parties, and flowers and almost none about what happens when the guests go home? Some people believe this is when the party ends. For a fairy godmother like me, it is where the party really begins. In fact, is really less of a party and more of a journey with many, many happy celebrations along the way.

Here are six simple steps to keep the celebratory spirit alive and your marriage exciting, while remembering why you fell in love in the first place. First, never take each other for granted. Remember, it is the little things that count. Just paying close attention to what the other is saying means you are truly interested in what they have to say.

Second, put away your cell phone. Yes, your fairy godmother said that. Your electronic IV can come out at a later time. Set a specific amount of time each day that neither of you will be on your cell phones. Pay attention to each other and have a “date,” whether it is at home or out somewhere.

Talk about your dreams, hopes, goals and aspirations with each other. Remember, your spouse is your partner-in-crime and cheerleading squad. Turn on some music and dance. Find a way to increase your intimacy by creating special shared moments. Plan your future together and in doing so, bring back all the reasons you fell in love in the first place.

Plan a staycation. Staycations come in all shapes and sizes. You can have one at home or go to a hotel nearby. You don’t have to travel far to feel like you are on a vacation together. Taking this time means everything when life gets crazy, and it will. Your staycation could even be at home with takeout and binge movie watching. Regardless of what you do, make it about the two of you.

Fifth, surprise your spouse by showing him/her you were listening. Cook their favorite dinner on a whim or get tickets to a show or sporting event your partner has been dying to see. Showing that you were listening creates gratitude and mindfulness of how much you do care. It is one thing to say you love someone but showing it takes it to a whole new level – for both of you.

And finally, keep the romance alive. When children come or work gets in the way, schedule in time for romance. Surprise your spouse with dinner where you went on your first date or plant rose petals throughout the house. Light the house with candles and play soft music for a relaxing evening or simply make a homemade card for him/her telling your partner how much you love and appreciate him/her. Regardless of what way you keep the romance alive, make sure you do it. If you follow my tips and keep your romance alive, know that I plan to see you again for anniversaries, baby naming’s, bar/bat mitzvahs, graduations and lifecycle events as they come alive.