The divorce rate is going up and the amount of people getting married is going down. What a tragedy! So many people are missing out on what can be the most exciting reasons for living. When a husband and a wife realize just how awesome their relationship can be, they will take the steps to make it into the fairytale they always dreamed of. Instead sitting around your house going through the motions and wasting precious time bickering about insignificant things, take the next 3 minutes of your life and read about 4 surefire ways to make your marriage rock!
1. The “15 Second Kiss”
I read about this from a really cool marriage blog that I’ll share right here. Let me give you the jist and tell you how it works for me. The story in the blog talked about an old couple that had a long and successful marriage. The blogger asked the old man what the key to their marital success was. The man summed it up in one small sentence; “The 15 Second Kiss”.
Think about it. If you commit yourselves to kissing your spouse for 15 seconds straight every day, it will have to mean something. No more going through the motions with a quick kiss goodbye or goodnight. No…this is a serious kiss…and 15 seconds is just long enough to make you mean it. That kiss…that one kiss everyday will change everything. It will be impossible for you not to feel closer…and it will no doubt conjure up memories of when and why you fell in love with this person.
No matter how bad your day was or how mad you might be at your spouse, if you will walk through that door and beeline it straight into a nice smushy kiss, by second 10… you’ll forget all about what you were mad at and all of the sudden a minute goes by in a blink. Who know’s where that will lead…but one thing is certain; you will be closer because of it!
2. Use the “Platinum Rule” Instead of the Golden Rule
Isn’t the golden rule the end all be all of having a great relationship? I thought so…until I heard of the “platinum rule”. Credit goes to a guy named Steve Beaulieu. I’m not sure if he made it up, but he’s where I first heard it. He talked about his own marriage and how “treating others how you want to be treated” isn’t always the best thing. Two spouses that grew up in totally different atmospheres may have totally different ideas of the right way to be treated. You may be really vocal in praising your wife and naturally think your doing her a great service. Have you considered that maybe that is not what satisfies her? You say all of those things to her because that is how you’d like to be treated. You want her to praise you and vocally reinforce her love for you. That is how YOU want to be treated. But maybe less words and more actions is what makes her happy.
The “Platinum Rule” turns the “Golden Rule” on it’s head and does it one better. Don’t focus on how you would like to be treated, but tune in to how she would like to be treated. If both parties apply the Platinum Rule, both parties will be treated how they would like to be treated and both of you become happier.
3. Fantasy Date Once a Month
Put down your fantasy football and fantasy baseball for just one second and figure out how to go on a fantasy date at least once a month. You don’t need to be rich to do this…you just need to be creative.
Every month, one of you should plan a fantasy date night. The person planning it should plan something that they want to do with no consideration for the other person. (I know this sounds counterintuitive…but just try it) If I want to go to a baseball game and then to get ice cream sandwiches after the game, it is my month. I get to do what I want. Kristyn can get me back next month when she plans an exciting night at the ballet or opera. The point of this exercise is two fold. First it eliminates the “what do you wanna do? No what do you wanna do?” saga… and second, because there is an understanding of the arrangement, it forces you to get interested in what the other person likes to do most. Because both of you are aware and you’ve accepted the arrangement, your perspective changes on the events that take place during that person’s fantasy date night and you just might start to enjoy some of the things your spouse enjoys.
4. Don’t try to change the other person.
We spend our lives trying to get everyone else to think and act like we do. We want to mold everyone to our way of thinking…and who do you think gets the brunt of that natural tendency. Ya…you got it. Your spouse. You are individuals and should be free to enjoy all of the things you enjoy. Some spouses get ultra controlling and give new meaning to the phrase “ball and chain”. The more supportive you are of the things that the other person likes to do, the more your spouse is going to want to be around you. Never discourage each other from pursuing each other’s passions. To do so is to engender a feeling of spite and that is a horrible thing to have in a relationship.
Here’s a hypothetical. Jeff loves Monday night football but Molly hates Monday night football. Instead of Molly bagging on Jeff and beating him up for it every time Monday night rolls around, Molly says…”Hey Jeff, Monday night football stinks…but that’s ok. Tell your buddies to come over and I’ll cook you guys some dinner.” Jeff can’t believe how cool of a wife he has and Jeff’s friends are jealous beyond belief.
Now the tables are turned… and this Friday, Molly wants to have a Pride and Prejudice marathon. That’s right guys… 6 plus hours of your worst nightmare. So Jeff…being the smart dude that he is…recognized Molly’s effort on Monday…and says, “Molly…that’s great! I’ll pick up some take out and we’ll have a marathon on Friday night.” Molly is blown away by Jeff and all of the sudden Mr. Darcy doesn’t have anything on Jeff. Jeff starts to like Pride and Prejudice because now he’s racking up the “15 second kisses”.
If you apply these 4 principles to your marriage, you will be taken to a world that few have ever gone to. Don’t waste anymore time!