My husband has always been my best friend. However, things began to grow a bit stale after 27 years of marriage. I wanted to make what remained of our life together as vibrant as possible. I knew that I was a "good wife," but I wanted to be more than that. I wanted to be a super mate. So last fall I set out on a path to turn my so-so marriage into a super marriage. Here are a few of the secrets to getting there:
1. Put your mate first
Putting my husband first in my life was the most necessary part of the process. I learned that if I tried to please him, he would respond by doing the same for me. My friends started asking me, "Why are you so happy?" By putting my husband first, I have made him happy and he in return has made me happy. Happiness comes from loved ones, rather than being the result of our own doing. As a spouse, you are in the unique position to make your mate's life joyous. It gives me immense pleasure to see the delight on my husband's face when I do something for him.
2. Frequent sex
It is true that frequent sex leads to a happier marriage. Whether it is the result of skin-on-skin contact, being vulnerable, or the "bonding hormone" oxytocin that gets released during sex, frequent sexual activity will join your lives together into one whole. Even if you do not have time for extended love making, there is always time for a passing kiss and the promise of more to come.
3. Put away the score card
Building an ideal or super marriage requires one hundred percent commitment from each person. If you are bickering over whose turn it is to walk the dog or take the kids to soccer, neither of you will give anything to your marriage. Do what you can when you can, and your spouse will do the same. We all want to be a good partner, not a shirker. Don't wait for the other person to do his or her share before you give. There are ebbs and flows to your marriage, and over time you will each give equally.
4. Get rid of your "to do" list
Well, at least don't obsess over your list. Time together is more important than getting things done around the house. Your spouse will know how much you love him or her when you prioritize time together.
5. Utilize your maturity
Remember that this is your second chance at a vibrant and fulfilling marriage. Don't neglect that opportunity. It may not come around again. Take advantage of the security and resources that come with maturity. Your children are more independent. Your career is more established. Now you can concentrate on your marriage and the person with whom you chose to spend your life. Enjoy the riches called middle age.