Us holding a glass

Ruthie and Asher Abraham

 Happy Anniversary! My wife Ruthie, and I, are celebrating 5 incredible married years on February 7th, 2013!

I’m truly blessed to be married to my best friend. And although 5 years is not a very long time, it’s not just about the number of years of this journey, but about how far we’ve come in growing our relationship together during that time.

MY HUGE WIN!

It’s also a very special win for me, since as a child I had no one to model a marriage after. My parents divorced when I was very young, and both sets of grandparents were also divorced! That was not what I wanted for my life… I had no idea what a successful, loving, and intimate marriage looks like – it simply was not present in my life as a child.

So I had to create it for myself and shift my paradigm. As a child, I learned what I didn’t want to experience in my life, and that triggered me to be extra motivated and sensitive to figure out how to create a marriage that isn’t ordinary, but is one that magical, romantic, and luscious! The “to-die-for” kind of marriage.

“In life, it’s not about what you do or have, but who you become in

the process, and who’s with you along the journey.”

Now, I haven’t figured it all out quite yet, but hey, it’s only been 5 years…

WHAT I DID LEARN

My limited experience of being married for 5 years – along with lessons from books I’ve read and seminars I’ve attended, have taught me that the old saying “a happy wife equals happy life” is absolutely true.

So here are a 6 lessons I do know make a huge difference in taking your relationship to the next level – the “passionate, loving, luscious, to-die-for” relationship!

1. Take 100% responsibility for your relationship. It’s not a 50/50 split, it’s 100/100. If each person sees the relationship as fully theirs to create, it allows for a space where magic can occur. Even if you know you’re right in an argument, realize that you have two options – be “Right” or “Happy” –  the choice is yours.

2. Focus on giving unconditionally. There’s a famous cycle that occurs in marriage: men need respect and women need love – and when a women respects her man, he loves her. But if one stops giving for some reason, the cycle is reversed: no love equals no respect, and the same goes for the women – if she stops respecting her man, she gets no love…

The key to break the cycle is to give unconditionally even when you feel that you don’t want to – even when you don’t get the respect or love you need. Give unconditionally! It’s the only way to reveres the cycle.

3. Establish a weekly Date Night – have fun, and create Magic Moments. John Maxwell calls special memories in life “Magic Moments“. Those are the memories you create with people you love and visit them often – you reminisce about them. It often sounds like this: “Remember when….” – like the time you met, or had a really good time together at a show, party, or a concert. Most people wait for life to make it happen to them randomly, why not create a Magic Moment intentionally?

4.  Discuss and align goals regularly. Going through the ups and downs of life create a bond, but going on a mission together to accomplish your goals make it even stronger. Be sure to set short and long term goals as a couple so that your pursuit of them together will inevitably have you both grow together in the process.

One of my mentors, Rabbi David Aaron, who spoke at our anniversary celebration, says it best:

“the best way to get to know a person is to find out what they want”

People change their goals and aspirations very frequently. People also grow and learn over time. Who I am today is very different person than who I am 5 years ago when we married. The person you met and married isn’t the same one you’re married to today – a lot has happens since… Be sure to continuously re-discover each other, and discuss values and goals. That is what your Date Night is for!

5. Recognize each other. It’s a known fact that people would rather get recognition for their hard work than a raise – and in marriage it’s no different. Recognize your spouse for what they do, who they are being in the relationship, and for their effort and support. You can’t do this enough, so stop reading this, and call your life partner to let them know how much you love and appreciate them!

What insights do you have about taking intimate relationships to the next level?