Tuesday, February 11, 2020

2 secrets for rekindling love in your marriage at any stage!

Have you ever wanted a secret formula for rekindling love in your marriage?
Has your spouse or someone you know ever asked you what your perfect day would look like and you struggled to even know the answer the that question?
Are you surrounded by opportunities to help others so much that you forget about your own needs? 

skip to the end to read the secrets or read my journey of how I discovered them for myself!
A few years ago we decided to expand our family. It was exciting and also scary since we had planned to be done having kids quite a few years before that. After much pondering, prayer and consideration We decided to have one more baby. Then we discovered that the one baby we were planning for was actually a set of twins! Both twins were boys joining their 4 other brothers and 1 sister. In a last attempt to get a sister for our single daughter (now with 6 brothers!) we tried one more time and had another sweet son. So we went from a family of 7 to a family of 10 in a matter of months! This period was one of the sweetest of my life! 

I was giving everything I had for those 3 babies. Then I started to realize that days and days would go by without my getting dressed or even taking a brush to my hair. 
One day I asked my husband if there was anything I could do to make his life happier. His answer shocked me. He wanted me to love myself enough to invest some time into me. 

How could loving myself help me love my husband more? This has been a question I have been on a journey to discover. I’ve still got a long way to go but what powerful lessons I’m learning about myself, my husband and our partnership. 
About a year ago I realized that 2019 would mark 20 years of marriage for us. Being owners of a wedding venue, we get to work with couples and families and watch them in the beautiful process making the most important decision of their lives. We get to meet people when they are full of life and full of love; taking on a new adventure with faith in God, faith in their companion and faith in a future that is unknown and uncertain. 

20 years of marriage for us has seen the most incomprehensible joy as well as plenty of heartache and sorrow. We supported each other through 5 combined university degrees, living in various homes in 3 states. We’ve had 8 beautiful children together and I am constantly amazed by them! Together we’ve both laughed and cried bitter tears. We’ve rejoiced over births, unions and successes and mourned over the loss of dear ones and other devastating trials. 

As a way to honor all that 20 years has meant to me I longed to do something different, something, bold and amazing. My idea was a little quirky but as soon as I thought of it I couldn’t let it go. I was going to set up a photoshoot that would mirror our wedding of 20 years before. I would need to revive my outdated dress, do my hair, and of course make a bridal bouquet (no problem since I do that for other brides right?) the idea was beautiful, but I soon encountered all sorts of roadblocks....

Trying to run a household of 10 people and run a family business takes up most of my energy. When there’s not much time or energy left in the day it feels really uncomfortable to take any time for myself. When my dress was taking longer to update and my hair and makeup helpers became unavailable, I had to take time out of my day for a solid week to focus on getting ready for this photoshoot. I felt pangs of guilt. My negative self talk was pulling me down: “you’ve got more important matters to attend to than working on this old dress....why would you care about this shoot when you’ve got so many other things going on at home?”....and on and on. 
I called my sister for moral support. She said the most profoundly beautiful thing to me that changed my perspective completely. She said: “Derek can only love you as much as you love yourself”. Wow. I began to remember his request all those months before to take time for myself. This was all he had wanted!. That week I did take time for myself. I colored my hair, I fixed that dated dress and made it photo worthy and I made myself a bridal bouquet.

We would do the shoot in our brand new venue location that we had worked with our own hands to renovate from top to bottom. 
This venue to me symbolized our family and all the work we had put into loving and shaping our precious children. When we first purchased the building, it was old and dated and needed a ton of love, but with consistent hard work and care we were able to make something beautiful out of it. Isn’t that just how it is in a family? Everyone has great potential for good wrapped up in weakness and difficulty. It’s the persistent work that makes a family beautiful. 
Finally the day came for the shoot. It was magical. I seriously felt as though we were getting married for the first time. The photographers were incredible and knew just how to pose us to make us feel amazing about the whole presses. I seriously felt butterflies standing there with my husband of 20 years as though we were just starting out.

Why am I sharing all of this? Because having that experience taught me that it is not just OK but it is vital to take time to love yourself. Yes, we all have demands placed upon us by our busy lives. The people we love and care for (little and big) are of such great importance to us that we fear to take our focus from them, even for a moment, but as we take time for self care we magically become more capable of caring for others! 

The other valuable lesson I want to share is that by doing something a little crazy and out of the ordinary with your spouse you can rekindle your love in ways you never knew possible! Maybe a wedding photoshoot isn’t your thing, that’s ok! Think of something crazy that would unite you with your husband! What did you both love doing together when you were first dating? Maybe you’ve only been married 5 years or even 1 year, perfect! 

Good things take time! 
Nothing worth anything ever comes easy!
So let’s review those 2 secrets one more time.
1-You can’t love your spouse fully until you take time to love yourself.
2-Do something every so often that is so out of the ordinary that makes you fall in love with your spouse all over again.

Even the strongest marriages need a boost now and then. So, after taking care to love yourself, do something with your companion that says: I love you even more than I did the day we were married! Go on, do it! I challenge you! You won’t regret it!

Photo credit: Brooks Mcfadden Photography brooksmcfaddenphotography.com
 & 3183 photofilm  3181photofilm.com

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