John and I have been surrounded by life long marriages. Both our parents and both sets of our grandparents stayed together till death.
Their marriages weren't perfect but I would classify them as 'happy marriages'.
These were twelve very different people, so what was their secret?
I have concluded to have a long-lasting marriage you need your own 'magic sauce'.
Say you are eating a very plain chicken breast and then you add an incredible sauce and suddenly that plain chicken turns into the tastiest meal you have eaten.
Everybody's marriage magic sauce has different combinations of ingredients but the base of the magic sauce seems to have some key similar ingredients.
Here are just 3 base ingredients that I have observed in successful marriage magic sauces.
#1 Making the choice every day
I listen to how my mother-in-law still talks about my father-in-law. She talks about him in the way that you know she still feels like the luckiest girl in the world that she picked him to be married to. She has been in love with him for over sixty years and she still lights up when she talks about him.
To have a long-lasting marriage you need to keep choosing your choice consciously every day. She is still choosing to be delighted that she married him even in his passing.
These means you need to examine how you are thinking about your spouse, how you are talking about them to others and how you talk to each other. Are you being diligent in liking your choice and looking for evidence of how you are the luckiest because you get to be married to this person?
#2 Time Invested
My parents raised 10 kids and my father traveled with work. How did they find time to be connected? I remember my parents would go on small trips together frequently throughout the year. This time kept them connected and vested in their marriage.
Each couple has to figure this out for themselves. Your marriage will go through seasons of busy, busiest and crazy busy.
I would say this is our crazy busy time. We are raising six kids and John travels a lot and has responsibilities for our church on Sunday. So the only day that we could find where we could choose to be together consistently was Saturday. We have become very protective of this day. If there are two girls soccer games playing at the same time, we chose one to go to and get a ride for the other child.
Making Saturday our day has taught me it really isn't about quantity but quality. Even in our crazy busy time, I feel completely connected to John because of our Saturday investment.
#3 Are you still the girl/boyfriend?
I am a daughter, sister, business owner, mother, wife, these are a few of the many roles I play in my life. Any of these roles can be overwhelming at times. But you know what my most important role is, being John Hunter's girlfriend.
Choosing to make this my most important role has changed our relationship and our life. It makes a life that could be overwhelmed by the weeds of everyday stuff, a lot of fun.
If your relationship has turned more into the mother-son, or roommate dynamic it is time to examine what is wrong. You married this person because he/she was your favorite person to spend time with. You didn't think they needed to change and you found delight in who they were as a person.
Has your perspective changed about your spouse? What is your interaction with your spouse like? Is it as playful and fun as it was when you were dating? Are you still wooing each other?
This has taught us that even with six kids, busy jobs and many demands on our time, having this focus on our relationship, has made life pretty amazing and fun and we find joy in the everyday.
Take some time to examine your marriage magic sauce and ask yourself does it have the staying power to last?
Sometimes we need to come up with a new version of the sauce to create the life you want.
The great news is that everybody can have magic sauce in their marriage. You just need to learn the secret ingredients that go into it.
Sign up for a free consultation and see how in just 45 minutes can teach you how to make the perfect magic sauce for your marriage!