Banning gay marriage does not protect "the sanctity" of marriage. Making a divorce more difficult to obtain does not save a marriage. Your sexual orientation, gender, skin color, or heritage don't define or make a marriage. What makes a marriage is the discipline to do the work it takes to make a marriage successful. These seven steps are what sustain a marriage and make it something special:
1. Kiss your wife or husband every day, several times a day. Make sure some of those kisses are the passionate, "I can't wait to get my hands on you" kinds of kisses. Think back to when you first started dating and how you smooched then. Good kissing can lead to sex and sex is very important in a love relationship.
2. Hold hands with your wife or husband. Such a simple gesture is also a very intimate gesture. Hold hands everywhere you go. It connects you to each other.
3. Never leave each other or come back together throughout the day without a kiss and saying "I love you." That reminds both of you, sometimes several times a day (if not more), you are in this together. Even if you are just running to the store, do it. You never know what may happen.
4. Do something special for each other every day -- some small gesture that is just between the two of you. My husband makes the coffee each evening and sets the timer for my very early waking habit. I, in turn, have his coffee cup and two scoops of sweetener ready to go with a spoon. It doesn't have to be something grand, just something thoughtful every day.
5. Talk to each other. Find a time each day to talk about life, love, finances, the kids, family, friends, the news, a funny joke you saw on Facebook, politics, anything. Look each other in the eye and have a conversation.
6. Remember you are partners yet still individuals, and individuals have different opinions. Respect the opinions of your significant other. My husband and I often have differing political points of view yet we can have civilized conversations. We allow each other to explain our position, we ask each other questions, and we never, ever criticize the differing opinion.
7. When speaking to others about your wife or husband, only speak highly of the person you chose to spend your life with. Speaking negatively of your significant other makes you look bad and sets a poor foundation for any relationship.
March 7, 2014 marks the 22nd anniversary of the day I said "I do" to Charles Justiz, aka Wonder Husband. We have had our ups and downs. We have had our rough spots. We have had times neither of us thought we would recover from. These are the seven things we have learned to do to get beyond those bad times to grow a strong and loving relationship that has only gotten better with time. It takes work and it takes doing all seven of the above every day.
This is not a blog post. This is a love letter to my husband. Happy anniversary Wonder Husband. I love you and am proud to say I adore you more every day.
Dayna Steele is a business speaker and author. She speaks customer service, growing a business, and improved individual performance - all based on what she learned from working with the world's greatest rock stars. She met her husband Charlie through David Crosby.