For BRIDES, by Jillian Kramer.
You’re madly in love now, with your wedding on the horizon and your whole life together in front of you. But, after years of marriage, it can be tough to remember those head-over-heels feelings you once had. With these secrets from couples who’ve been married for more than a decade though, you can stay madly in love for years (and years) to come.
“We keep our love alive by wanting to keep our love alive. We are conscious of what doesn’t align with our goal of a loving, happy and drama-free marriage, and we eliminate that as much as possible.” — Tiya, married 18 years
“Our secret to staying in love after all these years is knowing what we have in each other — knowing the value that we bring to each other’s lives and that we would be less without it. We have so many years of history that talking about old times and doing things from the past brings back fond memories.” — Jenny, married 27 years
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“It’s going to sound silly, but the secret to staying madly in love over time is staying married, no matter what. That is easier said than done. The early years can be quite difficult and many couples don’t make it through. If you stick with it, you’ll find the love grows. You learn to pick and choose your issues. You learn that not putting the seat down is not a reason for divorce, even if he doesn’t learn after five years. You learn that we aren’t our mistakes, we are our intentions. And most of all, over time, you become family, as much as giving birth to a child makes you a mother or a father. It’s a lasting, tight bond. But you’ve got to be committed and see it through to get to that place.” — Varda, married 37 years
“We keep love alive in our marriage by sharing intimate time every day. We have a daily 10-minute date for what we call peaceful passion, and we mark it in both of our calendars.” — Diana, married 37 years
“Our secret to staying in love all these years is that we have been enjoying a continuous honeymoon, by which I mean we consistently go on dates and vacations, spend lots of quality time together, and most importantly, we keep things fresh by embarking upon new experiences whenever possible.” — Damon, married 18-and-a-half years
“We know we have a responsibility to take care of one another and our commitment pushes beyond our differences. Then you realize there’s no point in arguing about anything , that person is likely not going to change so why stress? The summary is, we stay committed to making the marriage work.” — Shannon, married 21 years
“I took the time to find a man who saw the world the way I do. We found there wasn’t enough time in the day to finish one conversation. We talk ourselves to sleep at night with so many different topics. We respect our individual interests and take time to hear all about what the other is excited about. We push each other to learn, and I honestly can’t imagine my day without him.” — Carrie, married 12 years
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“Being purposeful about being grateful. It seems obvious, but I have to remind myself to look for the things that my wife is doing for our family and me that I could easily ‘chalk up’ to part of her ‘role’ in the relationship. By being intentional about acknowledging my gratitude to her, I find that love comes easily.” — Jordan, married 10 years
“Neither of us would ever let the other down. We put the other’s interests first, and because of that, we always feel loved and appreciated by each other. Plus, we go out of our way to make things special. Last night after work, I packed a picnic of all his favorite foods and we went to one of our favorite beaches and walked along the pier and along the ocean, and then enjoyed our picnic!” — Ann, married 35 years
“I think the secret that has helped us to keep our love alive over the years has been working toward a common goal. Those goals have changed through our marriage. Determining what was important to each of us individually became an important way for us to work together on reaching those goals. Simply put, we are a tight team, still in love 33 years after we first met as members of a wedding party for mutual friends.” — Jeff, married 28 years
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