What's the secert to staying in love year after year....

heather anderson photography, wedding photographer, marriage advice, date night

I create a guest book from images of the engagement session for my couples.  On of the pages in the guest book states:  What is the secret to staying in love year after year?  So I thought I would let you in on my little secret.

As a wedding photographer, I have the privilege of being part of what might be of the most important day of two people's lives.  Getting married is usually the biggest commitment two people will make.  After you throw the biggest party of your life and you promise to love each other forever in front of family and friends how do you keep that love alive? 

I have been married to my husband for 18 years!!  (That is kinda of crazy when I see it written in black an white!)  We were married young and have grown up together.  I often have people ask me how we have managed to grow together and not apart.  It has not always been easy.  We have had 3 kids, moved 5 times, and shared lots of lives ups and downs together.  

So what is the secret you ask???  I am sure it is a little different for each couple but for us it is about balance, time, giving and forgiveness.  It is learning to have balance so that you create time for each other and for the relationship.  Today I am going to focus on time.  How do you give time to each other and the relationship when life gets busy?  When your dating you are busy getting to know each other so you make time for each other, however, as you fall into the routine of life, kids, work and everything in between maybe you forget to keep dating.  

My husband and I created date night early on in our marriage.  We make sure to have a date night every week!!  It is a time we both look forward to, knowing we have that time carved out for each other is so special.  It is not always easy... life happens but we have learned to adapt our date night as needed. For example, when I was pregnant and on bed rest he would read Lord of the Rings to me and the baby.  After the baby was born and I was bot willing to leave him with a sitter we would have a backyard date night after babies were tucked in.  My husband has a light on his grill so he can grill us up a midnight snack for our backyard dates ;)  Sometimes we get away and enjoy an evening at one of the local wineries.  My favorite times are when on that rare occasion we get to make date night an overnighter and we enjoy time together at our favorite spot in Moonlight Beach.  Whatever is happening in our lives or in our relationship we make time for date night.  We have had good times, intense conversations and made lots of memories on our date nights.  

So, if you asked me the secret to staying in love year after year.... well it is a lot of things including hard work at times, but, our secret weapon is date night!

For those of you that have been married for a while do you have a secret weapon you can share with newley weds?