My friend's daughter is getting married this week. With that in mind, my thoughts were turned to the advice I received when I was getting married. Today I'll share some of the best advice I got. My next post will be about the worst advice I received. You'll be surprised at how common the worst advice is. In fact, I'll bet most, if not all of you, received the same advice. But I'm getting ahead of myself...
At my bridal shower, a notebook was sent around the room and guests were asked to write down a piece of advice for the newlyweds. The notebook of marriage tips was solemnly handed to me at the end of the shower, as if adherence to the words of wisdom contained inside would assure me and my husband of many years of wedded bliss.
I took the notebook and with my future husband, read each piece of advice, determined that we were going to benefit from the life experiences of each contributor.
Now, twenty years later, I'm going to share with you two of the best pieces of advice we received. These two pieces of advice go hand in hand, although at first glance they might seem at odds.
1. Continue to date.
2. Allow each other to have time apart.
These have proven to be important parts of our marriage. I wish I could say we go on a weekly date. We don't. We try to date several times a year--birthdays, our anniversary and Valentine's Day, provide us with four sure dates a year. We manage to throw in a few others as well--dinner while Christmas shopping and lunch after a trip to the temple. We probably average about a date a month. It's good to be together, just the two of us, talking about our family, laughing together and enjoying each other's company.
I believe the second part is also very important. Allow each other time apart. I know this can be taken to the extreme, but I think it's good for a husband to go to a game with the guys or skiing with a buddy, just as it's good for the girls to go to lunch or get together to scrapbook or see a movie or whatever. It allows us to enjoy the things we enjoy without inflicting a miserable experience on our spouse.
These need to go hand in hand, however. If you're only doing the second part of the equation, and not dating, your relationship is unbalanced. When done together, we are well-rounded, balanced and appreciative of each other.
Now go plan a date and have fun.