by Gladys Diaz
Ric and I just celebrated our 14th Wedding Anniversary!
Making it to 14 years of marriage is a pretty big deal. Making it there still feeling happy, in love, and like we are the two most blessed people in the world – well, that’s even more impressive!
I thought I’d make a list of 14 of the most important things I’ve learned over the past 14 years. There are a lot more, but these are some of my favorites, and the ones I believe have made the biggest difference in our relationship!
Many of these lessons were learned the hard way – through trial and error, mistakes, and some heartache. I hope you’ll be able to learn from my lessons and that they’ll lead you to experiencing as much, if not even more love than I am feeling today!
Here are the first 7 Secrets to Making Love Last:
- Love is a choice: I’ve come to realize that love is not something that just happens. It is not a matter of luck. It’s a matter of choice. Each and every day, I can choose to love my husband and make today the day I live my wedding vows full-out! And, guess what the great part about this is? It’s that every day, my husband chooses to love me, too!
- Forgiveness is a gift: Unfortunately, for many years I believed that forgiveness was something that needed to be earned. That, somehow, the other person had to do something to prove that he was worthy of my forgiveness. Thankfully, I’ve grown to learn that forgiveness is a gift that is granted. No matter what the other person does to try to apologize, make up for, or rectify what they did, in the end, I either choose to grant him forgiveness, or I don’t. It’s a gift I choose to give freely.
- Men spell “love” R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Respect is important for a woman, too, but we tend to feel respected when we feel that he makes us a priority, cherishes us, and shows us with both actions and word how he feels. For a man, few things are more important than feeling respected, admired, and appreciated by the woman he loves. If he feels respect coming from her, he’s inspired to want to treat her with love, tenderness, and affection.
- Gratitude brings more of what you want: Saying “Thank you” in a relationship is so much more than simply being polite. Letting him know that you not only noticed what he did – even if it’s simply recognizing his efforts – and then letting him know how much you appreciate inspires a man to want to do more for you. Inside of his need to provide for, protect, and please you, your gratitude makes him feel like he’s fulfilling his purpose in life (See #11).
- It’s more important to be happy than to be right: Arguments will happen, even the best of relationships. It’s insane to believe that two completely different human beings will see eye-to-eye 100% of the time. During those times when you’re not in agreement, just ask yourself what I ask myself: “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy.” Sometimes, I’ll admit it, I want to be right. But even then, I choose to express myself respectfully (See #3). Most times, however, I know that my need to be “right’ comes from my ego, not my love. So, unless it’s something that goes against my values, or something I feel would put me in emotional or physical danger, I simply choose to let it go and allow love and intimacy, rather than righteousness, to be what reigns in our home!
- He doesn’t want to sleep with his teacher or his mother: For so many years, I saw it as my role to be my husband’s instructor on how to become a better man, decision-maker, employee, and father. While my intentions were always to encourage him, I didn’t realize just how disrespectful and condescending I was being each time I tried to teach, correct, or improve him in any way. I’ve grown to learn that true love is unconditional, and that if I say I love my husband unconditionally, that means I love him just the way he is and just the way he’s not. I’ve also learned that the more respectful, appreciative, and forgiving I am (See #s 1-4), the more inspired he is to become the man he wants to be!
- Being vulnerable is a sign of strength, not weakness: For so many years I was in “survival mode,” just trying to get through this life. Inside of that view of myself and the world, I felt like I had to take care of myself, do things myself, and give off the impression that I had it all — meaning everything in and outside of my control – handled myself. When I started practicing being more vulnerable – asking for help, sharing my heart, allowing my husband to see all of who I really am (warts and all) – I learned just how much courage is involved in being vulnerable and trusting him to take care of me and my heart.
Like I said, I’ve learned so many lessons over the years, and I’ll be sharing 7 more in the next post, so make sure you’ve subscribed to our list so that you can receive them in your Inbox!
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