Monday, September 10, 2007

home + food + family: 5 Simple Tips for an Extraordinary Marriage

I truly believe the world can be transformed one family at a time, not just one individual at a time. The individual can evolve leaps and bounds, but without the backbone of the family the individual (in the family) can only do so much, and realize only so much potential. In mindful homes, marriage is at the center of the system; we feed it with love and passion and friendship. It is clear that in mindful homes, marriage or partnership is a vital force always cultivated. It is understood that when it is out of balance, with it is the home. Below are 5 simple tips to help jump start a deeply connected and mindful marriage.

1-Create an unwavering commitment to keeping it magical, not simply acceptable.

Dare to be this bold, go for the extraordinary in your relationship. This means that both parties stay in acknowledgement that the goal is to have the marriage be vibrant and special and nurturing to both parties. Regardless of how far on some days you might fall from this, you must always aspire to bring it back to this starting point. This means not having it simply be "acceptable" or "non-confrontational" but actually magical, meaningful and inspired. Make this the unwavering commitment today!

2-Give up having it be perfect all the time.

A lot of marriages suffer from ”perfectionitis.” This means that either one or both parties hold an expectation that the marriage must work smoothly all the time, and the party falls into despair when it isn’t (bringing added havoc to the situation). The reality is, that no marriage, certainly not an extraordinary marriage, can be perfect, peaceful, and in harmony at all times. What can be peaceful at all times is comfort in having the knowledge that you have the commitment ( and inside of you the tools ) to heal it, regardless of the difficulty.

3-Remember to date you spouse on a regular basis.

Sometimes marriages begin to get stagnant because partners no longer spend time courting each other. Keep it fresh, and alive by taking time to date each other. If you do not have time to go out without the kids too often, then make date nights at home after the kids are in bed. Buy a good bottle of wine, build a fire, rent a special film, or better yet turn on some music lightly and sit an talk about non-marriage related issues. It is critical that couples have couple time, and continue to enjoy the relationship as a couple separate of their kids.

4-Take time for those 1,2,3’s

If sex is a number 10 on the scale of intimacy, holding hands would be a 2. You can not get to 10 comfortably without a whole lot of 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s. Hug, touch, hold hands, play with each other’s hair, make contact! If you don’t do this now, then start with simply glancing at your spouse periodically during the day and just saying “I love you” for starters. Physical intimacy is not created in the bedroom – it is only consummated there – don’t forget that.

5-Do something special for your partner regularly.

Everyday one or both partners should think about some big or small way that they can show their partner they are thinking about them and want to make their life either more easy or joyful. For some it can be doing the laundry to get it off your partner’s hands. For another it could be planning a surprise picnic in the yard, sending flowers for no reason, or simply bringing a cup of coffee to bed to wake you partner up. Be active in giving special moments to your partners. Courtship does not end the day your marriage begins, it actually begins.

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