Falling in love is exciting. It's an adrenaline rush. It's believing that you've finally found your soul mate. Popular songs even tell us that real love is beyond our control: "Can't help falling in love with you." "Can't help lovin' that man."
We spend so much time fantasizing about falling in love that we forget to pay attention to what it takes to stay in love. How can you stay in love and help your marriage go the distance?
Here are 7 key ways to stay in love with your husband:
1. Tell him what you need and how best to give it to you
You can't expect him to just "get you" the way your close girlfriends do. Don't set him up for failure by making him guess what you need. Men and women are often mysteries to each other. Give him a clue.
2. Understand your own needs for intimacy
Share who you are with each other. While women and men both want intimacy, women generally like to communicate verbally to feel both heard and understood before they're ready for sex. Men typically need to be touched and have sex first to feel close. Understand and appreciate the differences.
3. Work through conflicts and then forgive and forget
Keep talking, even when it's tough, and you don't want to. Robert Fulghum said, "Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it." Don't keep secrets from each other. Trust is the basis of a good marriage.
4. Don't put other people ahead of your husband
Don't put your mom, your friends, or even your kids before your husband. Put each other first, and spend quality time together just enjoying each other.
5. Show up every day
Loving one person both long and well is very hard to do. Life is messy. If your life isn't messy now, it will be at some point.
Take one day at a time and just hold on. Don't get off the marital roller coaster in an effort to avoid natural ups and downs. Keep showing up in your marriage, every day. And never, ever look elsewhere for the support you need from your husband.
6. Learn to laugh at yourself and with each other
Don't take yourself too seriously. People who are secure with who they are can laugh at themselves and with others. There's nothing like a good laugh to ease the tension and break down emotional walls.
7. Love him for who he is and hope that he is doing the same for you
Marry who you want in the first place, and then don't try to change him after you're married. It's very demoralizing to feel like you're just not enough for your wife. There's great power in unconditional love.
Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is the hard part. Love that lasts takes time and commitment. Believe that there is such a thing as love that lasts forever.