The dictionary defines love as an intense feeling of deep affection, but then there is an expression known as true love. As if there is another kind of love, like a fake love, or a mistaken love…
Last Saturday was my 24th marriage anniversary (more than half of my life!!), and as I woke up that morning I thought that I want to spend the rest of my life more than ever with my husband. We met back in Armenia during the Nagorno Karabakh war, had our first son during those years, immigrated to the U.S. with $240 in our pockets, settled, took loans, went to school, had another child, worked hard, and published children’s books along the way. Then he fought with me agains my severe depression for two dark years, and we fought hard against our son’s Autism. Life was never easy, but he always, somehow, managed to make me laugh… always! If you really think about it, we truly lived through better and worse and sickness and health! I must say that we’ve found true love between us.
Then I was thinking, when we got married, many people were very skeptical whether we were going to survive even a year… True, we did not follow the local traditions of newlyweds ~ we came from somewhat different families, we did not have a big wedding, and I was already pregnant when we took our marriage vows (to our nosy neighbors delight). But, somehow, miraculously, we figured out the formula for a successful marriage.
True Love is About Respecting Each Other
Without great respect for each other there can’t be a happy marriage. It does not mean you have to have the same opinion about everything, not at all! Differences in opinion are healthy and can coexist in the same household as long as there is a mutual understanding and respect for each other’s opinion.
Find a Mutual (Balanced) Compromise
Luckily, while my man and I came from different backgrounds, we had similar general values in regards to how we wanted to live our lives and raise our children. But we still have to make compromises and sacrifices every day. It is not too hard, though, because we always put each other’s interests before ours.
Show a Great Appreciation
A lot of us have trouble with this one – while it may seem that we are doing most of the work, the chances are that they do just as much. Think about everything your partner does, really, and show appreciation and gratitude in as many ways as possible. Say something nice a few times a day.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Every time I fold my man’s laundry, I get aggravated ~ every single t-shirt is inside out! I am tired and I am stressed, so the urge is to confront him. If I do, there may be a fight, because he too is tired and stressed. You see my point? These are little things. And I just save ourselves an upsetting night. I can only imagine how many times he stops himself from pointing out the things he thinks I do wrong.
Grow With Each Other
As we go through life, we learn a lot and change. Sometimes we don’t grow at the same speed and sometimes we grow apart. That does not mean, though, that the marriage is over. Be patient and get through the tough times. Don’t let resentment grow. Everyone adapts to life changes differently. With time and hard work you will be on the same page again. Just try.
Keep the Romance and Laugh Laugh Laugh
We all get stuck in the same day-in and day-out patterns, but we should always keep romance alive. Plan romantic getaways, dinner dates, but, most importantly laugh together. Laughter always paves the way for romance.
So here we are, these are my thoughts about true love and keys to a happy marriage. Please share yours!!