Marriage is work. You guys have read that on here before! But when you think about it, anything and everything worth having is work.
And while I strongly believe in love, communication, trust, honesty, etc, those are givens. You won’t happily survive the crazy adventure of marriage without these building blocks.
And even with these major elements present, there’s no guarantee your marriage will be full of growth – mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. It’s a little scary to be honest
So how do you grow your marriage and ensure that the two of you grow together as a couple?*
Well, some people live for the big marriage moments – the engagement, the wedding, the honeymoon, the baby, the first home, etc. Sounds a little nuts, but I know couples that are constantly looking forward to the next “big” thing…to the point that it’s all they talk about. The next big trip, the next car they’re going to buy, the next expensive restaurant they’re going to try. They seek growth in these things.
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s fun and exciting to talk about these big moments, dream about them even. I mean, Vishnu and I have our future children’s names picked out (well if we have girls that is). And we are definitely planning to eat our way through Italy next year.
However, while I am no marriage expert, I can say with 100% certainty that these big things do not bring growth. They bring excitement, they give you something to look forward to, they are milestones, but they will not help grow your marriage on a daily basis.
If you take a moment and pay attention, you’ll realize, much like I did, that the kind of growth that will sustain you and your significant other for the years to come is wrapped up in the small, every day, seemingly simple things.
These “things” most likely look and feel different depending on the couple. For us, I find that our marriage grows steadily when we laugh together about silly things, when we teach other something new, when we argue and then discuss our lessons learned, when we overcome obstacles as a team, etc. Call me cheesy but I also think growth also occurs in the silent moments – as you’re falling asleep next to the person you love, as you sit and watch your favorite TV show together, as walk hand in hand during a post-dinner walk, etc.
I think we can all agree that we live in a day and age where most people assume bigger is better. But when it comes to relationships, I truly believe that by thinking about, focusing/working on, and relishing in the seemingly small things, you not only grow your marriage but also the amount of love and happiness you feel on a daily basis.
And because I love finding quotes that capture my thoughts in a concise way, I have to share one that pretty much summarizes this entire blog post…
Maybe a marriage, like a life, isn’t only about the Big Moments, whether they be bad or good. Maybe it’s all the small things–like being guided slowly forward, surely, day after day– that stretch out to strengthen even the most tenuous bond.”
― Sarah Dessen, This Lullaby
*For the sake of this post, I wrote about marriage. However, I believe the idea of growth and focusing on the small things applies to all relationships!