Simple Steps to "Decorate" Your Marriage in Your Style Inspired by Carrie Bradshaw's Middle East epiphany, here are five steps to "decorate" the tradition of marriage to fit your style. BY MARY LOYER
For no specific reason, surprise your wife with a flower and watch her light up.
Did you ever feel like your marriage had to fit in with how society said it should? Perhaps you even followed the example of marriage from your parents or your other married friends? It might seem natural to reference other examples or traditions of marriage to know how you and your spouse’s life together should be. Depending on the example, you might have decided that after a few years of marriage, you should have a house, enjoy spending all your time together, have at least two children, then a dog and have big family vacations every year.
Recently, I went and watched "Sex and The City 2," which showed its main character, Carrie Bradshaw experimenting with traditions in her own marriage with her husband, Mr. Big. During their journey throughout the movie, she seems to realize that as adults, we can decide how we want our marriage to be. After experiencing the culture of the Middle East, she is inspired by some of the women there who seem to "decorate" their traditional ways to fit their individual style.
At one point in the movie, it appears that Carrie has a light-bulb moment and realizes that her worries about her own marriage were merely triggered by her feeling the pressure to fit into the traditional marriage with children, nannies, and cooking dinner every night. She seems to be lifted up when she discovers the freedom that she and her husband have to create their marriage to fit their style of happiness. While her friends had children and nannies, she and her husband could decide if that was for them. While some couples might watch television together and not say a word to each other, she and her husband could watch old movies and enjoy it as a true bonding experience. They could both have their time apart with friends or their time together—because they created their relationship to fit what they needed to be happy and fulfilled.
Take these five steps to decorate your tradition of marriage—to fit your style of happiness for you and your spouse:
1. Acknowledge the primary traditions/examples of marriage you both have observed in your life. Share with each other your idea of marriage based on what you observed from your parents, your friends or even from movies. According to your examples, how should a husband and wife behave?
2. Share your own ideas and style of what married life should look like with each other. Find out what you and your spouse expect of each other. Should she be cooking dinner every night? Should he forgo his football games on Sunday so that he can fix things around the house? How often do you want to have date-night?
3. Encourage each other to do the things that re-charge and create joy in your life. If your husband enjoys playing golf and you want to have a more joyful husband, you might remind him to go play, even if you haven’t seen him all week. If your wife likes to paint, encourage her to take some painting lessons one night a week while you cook your own dinner that night. Help each other fulfill your own needs!
4. Decide how you like to create joy in your life together regardless of criticism from others. If you ever hear someone say, "I wouldn’t like it if my husband did that!" or "Does your wife make you do that?," remember that these are the criticisms from people who have their own tradition or way of thinking within their marriage. You are married to one person, and the only opinion that matters is that of you and your spouse. You don’t need to create your life with your whole community.
5. Be spontaneous. Spontaneity is the easiest way to decorate the tradition of marriage. Sometimes the smallest moment of unplanned spontaneity can create a feeling of closeness that can begin your own tradition of fun in your marriage. I’ll never forget the face of my good friend who beamed with joy when she told me about the moment her husband paused on a crowded sidewalk and twirled her in a salsa-like dance move. She giggled with delight, as she recalled the moment of spontaneity that lifted her spirit in just five seconds. Do you ever twirl in your marriage? Perhaps you might look for moments to surprise each other and decorate your traditional marriage with sprinkles of joy, happiness, and your own individual style of love.
Mary Loyer is the Founder of Red Lipstick Inc.www.redlipstickinc.com. For more than 10 years, Mary has passionately led women to find their true feminine power, understand men and create amazing relationships. Inspired by her career in the beauty industry and her dedication to personal growth, Mary continues to search for ways that women can have harmony with men. Today, Mary speaks, lectures and writes about many issues that can cause frustration in relationships. She finds the humor and brings lightness to all of it. She is noted as an inspiring coach who inspires women to be confident, celebrate life and be as bold as red lipstick.