Today, as I type this post I am feeling especially lovey dovey and nostalgic but I suppose that should be expected since today is my wedding anniversary. Superman and I have been married for four wonderful years today and I am feeling so blessed to have him to share my life with.
As I think back over the four years that we have been married and the seven years that we have been a couple, I can’t help but feel like I’ve hit some kind of cosmic lottery in the relationship realm. This is especially true considering the fact that my first marriage was so difficult and that because of my first marriage, I honestly wasn’t sure if I ever wanted to be married again.
When I think about my marriage now compared to my marriage then, It is easy for me to see why my relationship with my Superman is so so so different from my marriage to my first husband. Superman and I genuinely enjoy the time that we spend together. We have many shared interests and this means that not only do we love each other–we also really, really like each other.
There have been a lot of studies done to determine what exaclty makes some relationships successful while others fail. Do opposites truly attract or is it better to find someone with similar tastes and interests? Does the amount of time spent together matter or is it more important to focus on the quality of the time? Having experienced both the good and the bad when it comes to marriages, I have to say that I think the answer to all of these questions is a resounding YES.
Yes–opposites attract. When I met my Superman he was a Harley riding, guitar playing bad boy (even though in reality he was the most genuinely good man that I had ever met) and I, well…I liked to knit, read and snuggle my cat–not exactly the image of a wild child bad girl. Despite my nauseating good girlness, something about his wild side was incredibly appealing to me and apparently he found my knitting (???) to be endearing as well. Okay–maybe it was my cat? Regardless of what it was exactly, there was definitely something about him that drew me in and made me want to put down my needles and hop on the back of that Harley…so I did.
Despite those initial differences however; it didn’t take long for Superman and I to discover that we actually had a lot more in common than we originally suspected. Yes–we were opposites in a few ways but we also discovered that we both loved sports, going to rock concerts and being good parents to our kiddos. We also both enjoy movies, hanging out with friends and being physically active. While it might have been our apparent differences that originally attracted us to each other (I’m just sure that it was my knitting that drew him in) I believe with all of my heart that it is these shared interests and activities that keep us wanting to be together. Our mutual love of sports ensures that we always have a fun activity to look forward to (going to baseball games, playing softball on the same team, coaching a youth rec league team together etc.), our love of music has made for many wonderful concert date nights and our shared desire for physical activity has led to our evening bike rides together being one of the highlights of our day.
Because we truly enjoy so many shared activities, it is only natural that Superman and I end up spending a lot of time together. Not only are we husband and wife, we are also each other’s best friend and we truly enjoy the friendship aspect of our marriage as much as we enjoy the romance aspect (and we really enjoy the romance aspect!) This combination of quantity of time and quality of time is very important to us and we are not alone. According to Ron Deal and David Olson, authors of The Remarriage Checkup, ninety-four percent of satisfied, happily married couples say that they spend a lot of time together and that the time spent together is mutually enjoyable to both parties–quantity PLUS quality.
I guess it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out–people who genuinely like each other will naturally want to spend time together and that time together will be enjoyable if the people share similar interests and passions–and yet, as simple as it sounds–I still managed to mess it up in my first marriage. Simple doesn’t always mean easy.
In addition to quantity and quality of time, Deal and Olson outline five other key suggestions for those wishing to increase the love and friendship levels in their relationship. Those suggestions are…
1.) Include your spouse in important decisions
2.) Share leadership within the relationship. One partner should not always dominate the other
3.) Exhibit respect for each other (publicly and privately)
4.) Make the decision to be absolutely loyal and faithful to each other
5.) Try new things together. This may lead to new favorite activities to share.
Yes–I may have blown it big time in pretty much every category in my first marriage, but I am so thankful to have now found a partner who makes so much of this genuinely easy. Four years as Mrs. Superman has flown by in the wink of an eye, but I suppose that’s because it is true that time flies when you’re having fun.
Happy anniversary babe. I love you and I love US. Now…let’s crank some rock n roll and then go catch a baseball game after we go for our nightly bike ride. <3