Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Advice for Newlyweds From an Oldly-Wed
This past weekend, I attended my godson's wedding. There were some lovely moments, touching toasts, and scads of applause for these two young people starting their lives together. What I didn't see or hear was anything worthwhile these newlyweds could carry into their future days. And so, here I am, pushy Aunt Gina, providing the words of wisdom I think these kids in love will need from someone who's been there.
1. Laugh. Not just when things are going right, but more importantly, when things are going wrong. Your Uncle Phil and I have taken photos of the auto mechanics who've fixed our car when we had trouble enroute to vacation spots (and yes, they're in our photo albums so we can still laugh about those incidents). We find humor in the long wait for doctors' appointments, traffic jams, doing the bills together, filing our taxes. Laughter eases stress, lowers blood pressure, and releases pleasure endorphins. Get in the habit of finding the humor in minor inconveniences now, and you'll be prepared for the more serious stress-filled moments later.
2. Touch. Hold hands, rub each other's shoulders, run a finger up and down your partner's arm. And not only as a prelude to sex. Touch when there's nothing else involved but touching. Touch while in a crowded room, in the car, while grocery shopping. Play footsie under the table during dinner in the middle of the week. Touching releases oxytocin, a happy chemical in our bodies.
3. Celebrate. Focus on good things, no matter how small. Compliment each other often--not on looks, but on qualities, actions, and how your partner makes you feel. It takes at least five compliments to appease the hurt of one careless remark. Reinforce the good at all times.
4. Listen. Talk often, but more importantly, listen to each other. Put down the cellphone, turn off the television and have real, meaningful conversation where you focus solely on each other.
5. Say, "I love you." I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but your goal is to say it at least five times a day. Remember that five compliments thing I mentioned? And the oxytocin and happy endorphins? Saying "I love you" releases oxytocin and happy endorphins. Saying it five times enforces the feeling when you're not together.
6. Think good things about your partner when you're apart. This way, you'll be eager to see each other again.
7. It's okay to go to bed angry. Sometimes, emotion clouds our judgment and you're both ready to see the compromise after a temporary cease-fire.
8. Share. Share your feelings, share the workload, share secrets, share yourselves.
9. Equal isn't always equal. Often, one partner will give more than the other to the relationship. As long as this giving fluctuates so it's not always one partner giving more than the other, this is actually quite fair.
10. Share common activities but also do things separately. Couples need outside interests to keep themselves from stagnating. Allow your partner to grow to enhance your relationship.
Congratulations, you two! May you rejoice in your happiness, weather your storms, and find a lifetime of love.
Gina Ardito is the award-winning international author of more
than twenty romances, a legendary singer in confined spaces (her car, the
shower, her office cubicle), and a killer of houseplants. She
hosts fun, informative workshops for writers around the country. In 2012, Gina
was named a Woman of Outstanding Leadership by the International Women’s
Leadership Association, but to her friends, she’s still just a shenanigator. A
native of Long Island, New York, she lives with her husband, two children, a
bionic dog, and their two cat overlords. For more info on Gina and her books,
you can visit her website at ginaardito.com, follow Gina on Facebook