There was a time in my marriage that was downright HARD. Every day felt like we were forcing ourselves to act like we liked each other. I remember thinking this is not how my marriage is supposed to look. How come nobody told me it would be THIS HARD? The thing is marriage doesn't have to be miserably hard. It doesn't. It does require hard work. Lots of work from BOTH partners, as it cannot be a one-way street. But marriage is only hard when one or both of you stop working at it. Then it STOPS being good and starts being HARD. Really hard.

My experience with marriage being hard is because we were playing the "Blame Game." You know the one I am talking about. The one where you point fingers and say things like "If you did this, I wouldn't do that." Or maybe this one - "You are not giving me what I want, so I am not going to give you what you need. That's only fair." From there it just escalates into harsh voices and deep cutting words that only make the gap wider and the wounds deeper.

Just as with anything in this life, when we start focusing on the negatives we forget all the awesome and in marriage that is the perfect formula for disaster. Looking back I realize I was focusing on all the things my husband was not doing, instead of all the things he was. Life gets soooooo unbelievably loud and distracting, and in that loudness the small things start going unnoticed. Then one day you wake up and realize, that by not paying attention to the small things has created a HUGE problem and you're stumped on how you got in THIS place.

I am going to share a little secret of mine that has changed my WORLD and my marriage. It's nothing HUGE and you might even laugh, but I PROMISE that it will make a difference in your marriage and how you view your spouse. We all know that I am a journal junkie " I am guilty of having a few. It will come as no surprise that I also have one just about my husband.

It is called my "Why I love Brian today" journal.

Each night before I go to bed I write at least one thing that I love about him that day. Sometimes it is just one thing " wink. wink. And other times it is a few things. It doesn't have to be anything big like he bought me a huge bouquet of flowers. It's the simple things like I love how he looks at me from across the room or I adore his laugh. The simple things are who he is and those are the reasons I fell in love with him in the first place. Those are the things I try to focus on each day instead of the hair he just shaved off his beard, and is now scattered about my freshly cleaned sink. (Cringing over here just talking about it. haha)

When life gets loud or I am having one of those days, I pull out my journal and there in black and white is written the words of my heart and the true reasons behind the love I feel for my spouse. When I choose to focus on the things that he is, I fall in love with him more each day. It is something so simple and doesn't require a lot of time but the impact it has had on marriage and my relationship with my husband is endless.

This year for Christmas I want to print it in a book and give it to him. I want to make it a tradition each year to give him a book full of reasons why I love him today because he deserves to know exactly why he is the best part of me. I think this would be fun as a couple to have your own "Why I LOVE my Spouse" Journal and exchange them at Christmas each year.

I'm going to say it again my friends - LOVE ALWAYS WINS.

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