People always ask me about mai relationship. “How do you keep it fun?” “How are you guys so happy?” “You have sex, HOW MANY times a week?” I’ll admit, Freddy and I are pretty damn lucky to have found each other and have been happily married for almost 8 years. Let's keep it real dot com: it's DEF not a cake walk.
But, I would be crazy not to admit that marriage is hard. Like, really hard. Freddy and I bicker like any normal couple. (Because bickering over how many food pics I keep taking while he's starving is norm.)
Ten years ago, a friend introduced me to this seriously LIFE CHANGING book and I’ve sworn by it ever since. If the bible can’t answer my tough questions, I turn to this. I travel with it. It’s on mai bedside table. And Freddy and I even read it together sometimes. It’s called The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to a Love That Lasts and it was written by relationship and marriage expert, Dr. Gary Chapman.
I never thought that I was the type of person who would take relationship advice in the form of a book written by a total stranger but once I let mai guard down and opened mai mind to it, I was so thankful for what it tought me and continues to teach me about love and marriage.
Here’s a breakdown of those five love languages and how they’ve each played a role in mai relationship:
Now, you would normally think that material items should not play a big role in a relationships, but I’m BIG on surprises, it shows that your partner is taking the time to think about you without your input. These gifts don’t by any means have to be over the top. Hell, I get excited when Freddy comes home with a bag of peanut M&Ms or a magazine with mai #girlcrush on the cover.
2. Quality Time
Quality time is BIG for me and Freddy because we have such crazy schedules. Sometimes we don’t see each other for weeks at a time. As much as “absence makes the heart grow fonder” - the time we spend apart is always really hard on us. We make sure to always pencil in a date night no matter how many interviews or appearances we have to cancel to make it happen. If you have kids, this can be especially hard. But make it happen.
3. Words of Affirmation
When things are stressing you out in life - work, finances, family drama - it can be easy to be a negative nancy all the time. Make a habit of saying something positive to your partner, even if it’s just once a day. “You look really nice today, babe.” “This fish is the BEST fish you’ve ever made.” “Thank you for being you.”
4. Acts of Service
There is an old Chinese proverb that Mama Mai has always told me “If you always give, you will always have.” The Act of Service love language is about just that, selfless giving without the expectation that you should get something in return. This is so important in a relationship and nothing reassures me of the love Freddy has for me more than him showing me rather than telling me. Actions speak louder than words.
5. Physical Touch
Intimacy is probably one of the strongest means of connection to your partner at the start of a relationship, but it’s usually the thing that is lost the quickest. Practice intimacy as much as you can. And no, I’m not telling you to go get it on in the Trader Joe's bathroom just because. Hold hands when you can, cuddle when you’re watching tv, kiss each other goodbye. I once read one of those weird Uber Facts that said on average, couples who hug each other for at least 30 seconds each day have longer, happier marriages than those who don’t. It’s just a hug, but it goes a long way.
So I encourage you guys to take the quiz.
I encourage everyone in a relationship, happy or not happy, to read The 5 Love Languages. It's helpful in ALL aspects of life with people, not just your boo. And tell me, what’s your number one piece of relationship advice for a happy marriage? Leave a comment or send me a message on Twitter. God knows I need it.