Every day that I spend with my husband, I love him more, and that's been true from the beginning. How is that possible? Praying together, working to overcome perfectionism and spending time with each other has made a huge difference.

Pray together

Early on, my husband and I committed to pray as a couple every night. These are some of the sweetest moments of our marriage. Praying for my spouse reinforces that I'm grateful for him and I'm aware of his needs. It also helps me feel like I'm doing something to help him, even with things that are outside of my direct influence.

I love that he does the same for me, but the best part about praying together is that we're reminded there is something much bigger than the two of us. On days when we're both overwhelmed and short-tempered, praying reminds us to be grateful for the beautiful life we have together. On days when our marriage is absolutely perfect, we remember that our happy life is a gift, and we pray to have opportunities to share our happiness with others. Prayer reminds us that we are not the center of the universe, but we do have the power to make the universe a wonderful place.

Lose the perfectionism

My husband and I come from cluttered, chaotic homes. When we got married, I knew I wanted things to be different for us. I spent hours each day scouring our apartment. It was exhausting, but I kept doing it because I wanted things to be "perfect."

It didn't take long for Chris to see it wasn't healthy. "I love that it looks nice," he said, "but it's more important to have a happy wife than a spotless house." That stuck with me, and I repeat it to myself often. I just wish I would have realized it sooner.

When we think we have to make things perfect, we wear ourselves out trying to meet an impossible expectation. This leaves very little energy for offering our spouse kindness, sincerity, and support. On the other hand, when we work toward purity, peace and progression, instead of perfection, we can devote our energy to becoming a more cheerful and loving spouse.

Make time for each other

My husband and I devote 2 nights every week to spending time together. The first is "family night." Even though, we're only a family of two, right now, we still spend Monday nights together, learning about things like unselfishness, wise financial practices, and health. Then, we usually follow that with an activity, like enjoying a story or creating a yummy snack. The goal is that once children come into our home, we will spend each Monday evening playing with them and teaching them the principles that we believe are the foundation of a happy life. Because we're creating these habits now, we will able to maintain them as our family grows.

The second night is date night. We try to get out of the house and just have fun. We talk and laugh and hold hands, allowing each other to relax after working so hard all week. This cultivates the friendship aspect of our relationship.

Two nights a week may not be practical for you, so adapt the idea to fit your needs. The important thing here is that you have a frequent, regular time to communicate with and enjoy your spouse.

How do you have a happy marriage from the very beginning? First, pray. Getting a higher being involved in our lives makes love come more naturally. Steadily, the anxious need for perfection melts away, and we are free to focus on that special person with whom we chose to spend our lives. It's all just maintaining the pattern from there.

All Family. All The Time

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