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Last week, I told you about the happiness project I am embarking on in 2016. Today, I want to tell you about the first focus of my project. If you don’t know what a happiness project is, let me bring you up to speed: A happiness project is a resolution to focus and change various areas of your life to make it happier, more fulfilling, and more productive. My monthly focus for January is my marriage, because I want a better relationship.
Before I share my specific resolutions, I want to open up about my marriage. Eric and I have been married for nearly 26 years. We met and married fairly quickly. We both came from families riddled with divorce and dysfunction. And, we were young when we got married. All of these things have made marriage challenging, but we’ve persevered. Overall, our marriage is very strong, and we pride ourselves on breaking the chains of dysfunction that we experienced growing up.
Still, our marriage is not perfect. We are unstoppable when we have a common focus or goal (which is much of the time), but as our teen has pointed out, we tend to argue over stupid, little things. Most of those little things really are dumb and insignificant, but added together they can turn things sour. If we start nitpicking at each other and making passive-aggressive digs, things go downhill quickly. I don’t want to act like this, but I just get annoyed and sucked in. Sometimes it’s easier to focus on the negative, but that’s toxic and unfulfilling.
While I’m ashamed for acting this way, I am not ashamed to share these truths with you. I’ve never been one to pretend my life is better than it is or that things are perfect. Yes, bloggers often put their best foot forward with amazing creations presented with wonderful photography, but life behind the lens isn’t always as it seems. I hope my candidness is helpful.
When I considered what resolutions I would take on surrounding my marriage, I thought about what I want from it. I would like my marriage to be peaceful, fun-loving, and romantic. Then I considered what I thought my husband might want, and I came up with more support and intimacy. Romance and intimacy go hand-in-hand, so I decided that I need to create a more loving atmosphere. Accordingly, my first resolution is kiss and touch more. Specifically, I make sure to kiss/greet my husband when he goes to bed and wakes up, as well as when he leaves and comes home from work or other places. This resolution is the easiest, and it’s made an immediate impact.
My second resolution is to give daily affirmations. These may come in many forms. I’m saying “I love you” more often (goes easily with all those kisses) and giving him praise. I’m trying to be cheerfully helpful and accommodating. I’m taking the time to just listen and be present when we are together. All of these things really focus on the positives and seem to make him feel more supported.
My last resolution is to change my negative thinking to positive thoughts and actions. Instead of thinking about how he’s driving me crazy with something, I focus on similar positive aspects. For example, rather than getting mad that he didn’t help make dinner, I think of all of the times he has been helpful with dinner and other tasks. When an argument seems to be brewing, I just remove myself or choose to not participate. I’m also making an effort to say more nice things about him. Instead of telling a friend that he’s driving me crazy because of XYZ, I either don’t share at all, or I say nice things about him. This third resolution is the most challenging, but it’s going to yield the biggest rewards in the long run!
My marriage is everything to me, and I’m determined to make it happier and more loving. I can’t ask or expect my husband to be happier or more loving alone. While my actions to make my marriage happier are causing him to be happier and more loving in the marriage, this is not my motivation. Heck, my husband wasn’t even aware of my happiness project until he read the blog! I’ve waited three weeks into January to post the specifics, because I didn’t declare my resolutions to my husband. I thought it would make my actions seem contrived or create an opportunity for pointing out when I mess up. Here we are on the 21st and things are going well! I did share one part of my resolution with him before the new year, and that was to kiss and touch more. He was on board with that right away. He’s already noticed the difference and looks forward to my kisses. It’s created a more passionate climate around the house which has led to more intimacy.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, I am looking for ways to enhance this intimacy. I recently picked up a new product called K-Y® TOUCH®.
How are you creating a more intimate relationship this year?
posted 21 Jan 2016