I am not going to begin to proclaim that I am an expert on marriage. My wife and I are going to be celebrating our 13th anniversary this year. But our journey as spouses has been met with its own set of challenges that come in different seasons of our lives. And through it, we have discovered that marriage has its valleys and mountains. The valleys are the times when you feel more like roommates in co-habitation, than lovers. Do you ever feel like that? The mountains are the times when you feel so very close to each other, you feel connected, and are reminded why this person brushing their teeth next to you is the love of your life.
What I have gathered and what I have observed comes not only from my own first-hand experience, but also is observing other marriages around me. This leads me to start to compile a list of things or “tips” that can be used as a guide to help stay connected and nurture your marriage. While these may not be revolutionary in the realm of marriage counseling, they are good reminders for us to follow…
TIP #1 – “I Love You”
Now, this 3 words may not need explanation, but they are the three words that you should make sure that they are heard at least 3 times a day by your spouse. They are strengthening words that encourage and affirm why you either asked or agreed to spend the rest of your life with this one person.
More importantly, they need to be said with conviction… with emotion. If they are said in a mundane or routinely manner, they should rather be not said at all. Habitual proclamations of love mean nothing. Rather, remember back to when those 3 words were first expressed to that person or said by them when you were dating and what that felt like. The elation. The seriousness of the matter. Try to recapture that same intensity the next time you say it. Hold them, look into their eyes, and proclaim it.
You will be surprised the power and strengthening that can come from three simple words – from eight single letters.