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Myth numero uno
Have regular date nights. This could be fortnightly or once a month. Get your kids a baby sitter, get your family, in laws or friends involved. The time you spend together gazing in to each other's eyes will surely help you see a whole new person in your partner.

Fact
unless your partner has a multiple personality disorder, I can guarantee you will not find a new person. You will only find migraine. If you can find a baby sitter, you will only worry about what the baby sitter is up to after watching all those horrific videos on FB. Or if you take the cheaper option, from someone who shamelessly exploited her family's generosity, let me tell you, DON'T Go There. As your date nights loom closer your family will get a sinking feeling as if it's that time of the month. Your in laws will find some excuse to not take in your terrors and your friends will avoid you like the plague. Just save yourself the embarrassment.

So how do we spend quality time together without being constantly interrupted you ask? You can't! but see, the operative word is quality, not quantity. Say Amen to small blessings. You have 10 minutes of peace before your kids declare war on each other, grab it. Incorporate your daily routines to coincide with each other's schedules so you get to spend little snippets of time together throughout the day. Take your kids to the beach or park on the weekend and let them play with sand or just run around while you two spend some time catching up, planning, dreaming...while keeping an eye on the kids of course. Go for walks, even if it's to the grocery store or to buy a loaf of bread. You can plan elaborate outings or romantic weekends once in a while. Being connected to each other on a daily basis makes those special times together much more relaxed and enjoyable

Myth Numero Dos
Make your spouse feel special. Leave little love notes where they will stumble upon and be surprised. Leave lipstick marks on the bathroom mirror. Put the little cherubs to sleep, dim the lights and illuminate your night with hundreds of candles.
Fact
No. No. and NO! well love notes are lovey dovey if you are newly weds or one of the wives of the real housewives of Beverly Hills. But if you're an average jane like moi, forget about it. Your surprise love notes to your husband ending up in the hands of a colleague and your hubby dearest being mercilessly teased will not do any good to your love life or his work life (yes, it happened to a friend. No, honestly, to a friend. Not me). You may leave lipstick marks on the bathroom mirror, but knowing husbands you might have to explain and decode the whole plot to them. And by the time you are done explaining and wiping off the lipstick from the mirror you're too exhausted to be in the mood for anything else. And hundreds of candles? Curtains? Kids? Smoke? Poster child for fire hazard. I rest my case.

Instead, study. Yes study. Study your husband. Not in a creepy, psychotic manner. Pick up little clues on things he loves and hates. Include them in to your daily life to let them know that you pay attention to their likes and dislikes. I know it's a little cliché, but understand the men are from mars and women are from venus theory. Let's face it, men and women are wired differently. Get over it and don't try to rewire them to suit your ideology of how a husband should be. Forget about the candles, why add more work to the list of chores you already have. Just cuddle. Cuddling, hugging and other third base activities releases our body's feel good chemicals called oxytocin. So even if he is watching man vs wild, extreme machines, cricket, rugger or golf, at each putt breathe in and repeat after me...oxytocin, oxytocin...you will go in to an oxytocin induced stupor and wouldn't really care what you are watching anyway.

Myth numero Tres
Learn their love language, and then use it every day.
There was lengthy explanation here, I can't even begin to summarize it. So just forget about it.

Fact
Remember you are already studying that complex human being you married. You don't need to do any more studying. Just do it. No no. not the dirty stuff. Well that too. What I mean is TALK! Talk about your life, your individual families, your kids, your pets, TV shows, work, about colleagues, your neighbors, the weather, just about anything! Most often it's us talking while they grunt. Regardless of the conversation sounding like a monologue, just talk. Dealing with the daily grind verbally lets your spouse know that he is valuable enough to be in on the decisions and emotions you go through. You might think it's a futile process, but let me tell you after more than 10 years of talking to myself, my husband replies back now. Well sometimes. But Yay!


Myth numero Cuatro
Take care of yourself
Have regular sessions at your beauty salon. A manicure, pedicure and a facial can take years off your appearance. Groom yourself. Splurge on a new wardrobe. Invest in yourself. It's all for a good cause. Your man will have eyes only for you.

Fact
Ugh. Where do I even begin. With the cost of living skyrocketing, going to the salon and getting yourself pampered is a luxury most of us cannot afford regularly. Oh no! what do we do? You ask. Have regular baths, comb your hair, scrub and keep your nails trimmed or shaped. Get your hair styled in a design which flatters your face, basically be well kempt. Don't make impulse buys when you shop for clothes, make informed decisions. (yes I know you are not investing in stocks here, but knowing what looks good on you is half the battle won). You don't have to sell your arm, a leg and your left kidney in order to look good. Make small adjustments to your life and you will feel a big difference.

With all this extra care, the fact remains that we all grow old. While you grow old together physical attraction takes the back burner. It's mutual respect and companionship that tides you through. So invest in your spiritual selves and your relationship. As the sun sets it is your experiences with each other that makes you love each other with wrinkles, warts and all.

Myth numero Cinco
Forgive and forget.
During your life together you may face many issues. Just know that you can get through them if you work as a team. Your love is stronger than any obstacle life throws your way. If life throws you lemons, make lemonade and toast each other.

Fact
This one's a classic. The longer you are in a relationship, the more likely it is you will hurt each other. This is true in any relationship. It's human nature. Understand this statistic. They say "don't go to bed angry", I say stay up and fight. Yes fight. In an average life span spent together as a couple, we deal with miscommunications and miscarriages, debt and depression, financial worries and unfaithfulness. Don't let the problem place a wedge in-between. Argue and fight with the goal of reconciliation, not to play the blame game. Fight to understand each other's point of views, not to defend your mistakes. If you are wrong own up. If he is wrong let him know, but forgive. Trust me, it doesn't go unnoticed. Once you get married, there is no his family and my family. Don't take sides. Your family is your husband and kids. They come first. Ask forgiveness often, and forgive even more. Because we are all jerks at some point in our lives.

BUT, if you are married to a narcissistic ego maniac just disregard all of the above and run, run as fast as you can.

So that's my no bullshit way of living happily ever after. Otherwise known as Getting through the first ten years.

Akeela Mariff Fayaz
Author: Akeela Mariff Fayaz

Akeela Mariff Fayaz is a writer by profession. She is a full-time mom of a son aged 7 and daughter aged 2. Prior to motherhood, she was a financial journalist, feature writer, book reviewer, and a web content writer specializing in SEO. Many moons ago while she was putting the nappies up on the line to dry, she realized she missed writing and started writing again as a freelancer.

She has always loved words. Growing up, her constant companions were books. She was always fascinated that so much could be said by combining just a few letters. And as a teenager, while she continued to talk the ears off people, she started writing too. Writing to her is therapy. She vents her frustrations, raises her voice, appreciates and values what she has, deals with her losses, reminisces, ponders, dreams and builds hope, all through the written word.

Her ultimate goal when it comes to writing is to be a published author. If she were to write a book, about the author it would read, Akeela lives in a house by the sea, with her husband, son, daughter, four fish, and a hen. She is a jack of all trades and a master of a few. She adores thoughtful people, loves a good cheesecake and forgives but doesn’t forget. When she is not writing, reading or disturbing her neighbours with her singing, she loves to cook, make sand castles and go for power walks.

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