On marriage and romance: the condensed version

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“I’m sorry I’m not more romantic,” he says. Spoken after 31 years of marriage to one woman—me.

We celebrate the remainder of our anniversary with a brisk stroll through our neighborhood; I think back to the earlier days—when he’d bring me flowers just because. Or when he’d whisk me away on a surprise outing. “I see romance differently now,” I say. “It’s the little things you do that show me your love.”

“Like what?” he says.

I ponder here a moment, bathed in a shroud of reverence. “When you clip a few miniature carnations from the backyard and present them to me in a bud vase.” I smile as I recall the delicate peach blossoms that graced our window box several mornings in a row. “When you prepare a delicious salad for me each evening for dinner.”

He smiles also, seemingly pleased. We finish our walk, hand in hand, and return home to straighten the kitchen. Three decades never looked better.

Happy anniversary to my person.

#1 way to grow in every area of your life

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At my last acupuncture appointment, my practitioner inquired about a trip my husband and I took up north to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I told her the getaway proved a magical way to usher in our 30th year of marriage. I also shared that, in retrospect, the majority of our married life had always seemed effortless. This insight struck my husband and me recently after we experienced a falling out and realized that, over the past several years, we’d stopped investing: in each other. In us. Bottom line: When we begin to pursue separate interests more and communicate less, we invite apathy. When we fail to faithfully plant seeds of kindness and love, we foster discontent. But when we afford effort to make together time a priority, we cultivate connection. Here’s the takeaway, friends: what we feed (invest in) grows—whether it’s our vocation, education, bank account, spiritual life, health or relationships. Or even an addiction. And what we starve dies.

Where do you invest the most effort?

Photo source: http://www.erinbettis.com.