So many people ask how Chris and I keep our spark with him traveling most of the year (75 % of the time to be exact). That is SUCH a great question and is one I often ask myself!
One of the hardest parts of my marriage is being away from the person I love and respect more than any other grown human being (my kids are loved and respected very differently, of course). It’s HARD knowing how great life is with my best friend in it, and then accepting that most of the time he won’t physically be around. It’s hard raising a family together with him sometimes thousands of miles away. It’s hard showing him how much I love him, and for him, showing me how much he loves me when I am in Arizona and he is in Canada, New York, Florida, or Peru (to name a few).
But we do it…and doggone it, I think we do it pretty well, considering our circumstances. We have our rough days (mostly when he is away), but I sure do rest my head on my pillow every single night knowing that my best friend (who happens to be my husband) loves and respects me more than anyone else in the world, and I know he feels the same way. I also know that when he comes home after 2 or 3 weeks away, life always does resume as if he was never gone.
Our lives were meant to be lived together – they were. He is the yin to my yang, my partner in crime, my soul mate and my best friend. Like any other couple though, we have to work at this. Here is one of our biggest secrets of all (that we even tattooed on our ring fingers, as a reminder) to long-lasting romance:
Remember we are BEST FRIENDS before husband and wife – ALWAYS.
Chris and I were attracted to each other for so many reasons. Physically, of course, but at the point in our lives that we met, neither of us was interested in physical attraction. His kindness, compassion, love, brilliance, and uniqueness are what drew me to him. I guess I had a trait or two that he liked as well (wink wink), so our friendship very quickly blossomed into one I had never experienced before. Within mere weeks, Chris and I were convinced we were meant to be life partners. We thought that maybe we were meant to marry different people, but we were CERTAIN that our friendship (built on trust and respect) was irreplaceable. We went on to realize that the mother/father of our future kids was right there in front of each of us the whole time, so we tied the knot!Having seen some failed marriages, and having experienced one myself, I knew that so easily there could come a destructive comfort with marriage. Some of you might know what I’m talking about: when we get so close to someone, it’s easy to make them our punching bag when we’re mad. It’s also easy to soon fall into the stereotypical “nagging wife” and “lazy husband” roles – or vice-versa. You’re smiling because you KNOW it’s true! We begin to forget why we found our husband so endearing after a while, and TRUST me, they begin to forget what it was like when you didn’t nag them!
Solution (and this works like a charm for Chris and I!) – ALWAYS treat your man or woman like a best friend! Forget for just one second that you are spouses, and think of them like the best friend they used to be…and still are!
Next time your significant other leaves the toilet seat up or the lid off of the toothpaste, think “how would I approach my best friend”? When they pass gas if front of you when THEY KNOW YOU HATE IT (I love you, Chris!) or, when they tell you the truth about how a certain dress makes you look (which can hurt sometimes!), just try-oh-try to respond, react, respect, and love them like you would your best friend.
There’s a good chance that once you start treating them like a best friend, they’ll return the favor, and the romance will follow and blossom!