Kimanzi Constable met his wife when they were just 17 years old. They were married 5 months after meeting and have now been hitched for 16 years! Constable says that things have not been perfect, no relationship ever is, but he has some advice to share with you. As he says, it isn't enough to tell your partner you love them, you have to show them with your actions as well!
Here is Constable's advice for making your marriage feel like it did at the beginning:
1. I choose to love every day, despite how I feel.
There have been plenty of times that I haven't felt like being a loving partner — but I do it anyway. I kiss her in the morning. I over-communicate with her. I flirt with her all day via text. When you realize that love is a decision, you can overcome the feelings that sometimes make you want to throw in the towel.
2. I put looking in the same category as touching.
I realized that looking was the gateway to wanting more. I make the decision to love by not looking at other women the way I look at my wife. Attractive people are everywhere. You will naturally look, but there's a difference between noticing and looking with lust. The only lustful looks I give are to my wife.
3. I don't feed my mind unrealistic perspectives on sex and romance.
I won’t rant about porn. But, unhealthy depictions of love — such as in some forms of porn, and even a lot of popular mainstream films — can distort your perspective and confuse you. Don’t feed your mind with ideas that could hurt your love. Realize that entertainment is just that. Don't expect your relationship to mirror it.
4. I don't let my ego make my decisions.
I overreact too often, and it’s cost me. My wife has had friendships with men. I've let my ego respond with the expectation that I should be the only man in her life. I had to learn that our marriage was about more than me. Making decisions from a place of pride is always destructive.
[bctt tweet="After 16 Years With My Wife, It Still Feels Like The Honeymoon Phase. Here's Why "]
5. I listen.
This week, my aunt died. My wife was close to my aunt and talked about the funeral in Wisconsin (we live on Maui). I could hear what she needed, so I booked tickets to Wisconsin without asking.
6. I allow myself to be vulnerable.
My natural tendency is to want to keep things to myself — especially if I’m struggling. I had to learn to open up to heal our relationship, and myself. I now get honest about how I feel — no matter how scary it feels — and my wife listens and comforts me. She helps me process the emotions.
7. I stay healthy.
I was overweight for most of the time my wife and I have been together. It affected my confidence. There is nothing sexier than a confident person. More importantly, if you want to live a long life together, you have to prioritize your health.
8. We share our dreams and chase them together.
I delivered bread for 12 years and hated it. In 2011, I told my wife I wanted to chase my dream of being a writer, she has supported me through making the dream a reality. Chasing your dreams and spurring your partner on to chase theirs is an incredible way to bond.
9. I keep finding ways to surprise her.
By losing weight and educating myself on how to be a better lover, I've shown my wife how important our love is to me. Sex is crucial to the strength of your relationship. Never get complacent as a lover.
10. I never lose the excitement of the honeymoon phase.
The honeymoon phase is a fraction of your relationship, but that doesn’t mean you can’t recreate that excitement through your sex life, adventure, and communication. My wife and I set aside time to go on dates and explore each others' bodies.
11. I respect that space can help the relationship grow.
Absence, in the right circumstances, can make the heart grow fonder. My wife and I realize that we still need a little time away to be individuals. It can be quiet time, hanging out with friends, or even a multi-day business trip. A little time apart doesn’t need to end your relationship. In fact, it can strengthen it.
12. I remember the little things.
I did a lot to woo my wife — things like holding the car door and pulling out her seat. I still do those things now. Just because you've been together for a while doesn’t mean you should stop making an effort.
What actions do you take to actively show your partner you love him/her? Share your marriage tips with us!
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