Today is my third wedding anniversary to Charlie. Over the last three years we’ve not just blended our families, but have created a loving, accepting and cohesive home. Plus, we’ve built a company, spending time together 24/7, launched my book, dealt with three teenaged girls and their high school drama and failed romances, and have all worked through deep emotional issues from the death of our children’s parents. My late hubby died from a heart attack and Charlie’s wife committed suicide. But in spite of it all, my marriage is the best I could have ever imagined.
People warned me that I was rushing into my relationship with Charlie. We started dating just months after my late husband passed four-and-a-half years ago. But my heart told me different. I felt an intense connection to this man. Others told me that the passion and romance would soon wear off. I knew from past experience that they could possibly be right. But I knew I had to trust my heart.
Charlie and I have a relationship that is magical! I have never laughed so hard in my life. And when we touch each other, we both feel tingles down our spines.
I often hear people say to me, “I want a relationship just like yours and Charlie’s.” They see the laughter and playfulness we share, but most importantly, they see our heart connection. Our intimacy and deep commitment to one another is evident to anyone who spends time with us.
So on this special day of our wedding anniversary, I would like to share a gift with you. Here are the five steps we’ve used to create a loving, joyous, and truly intimate relationship.
1. Make a commitment to put God first. Most people believe this is about going to church, synagogue, or mosque, or doing service work, and yes, these things can be part of the equation. However, what Charlie and I have both been shown is that the greatest gift we can give to our relationship is to honor and love the way God created each of us as individuals. That means to follow the messages in our hearts, being fully authentic with one another.
You honor God as you honor and love the way you were created.
THIS is putting God first!
2. Take full responsibility for your OWN happiness and stop performing for love. As you honor and love the way you were created, you commune with God. This is where joy and abundance are found. However, most people believe that it is up to their spouses to “make” them feel loved. They look for love outside of themselves. So they perform, trying to do everything right, believing this is what will keep their marriage intact. It is this performance, however, that causes the resentment, frustration and blame you feel towards your spouse. To put a stop to this pain, you must stop performing for love. You have to get to know yourself and follow YOUR heart, not what your spouse or anyone else says. By taking full responsibility for your own happiness, you create abundance from the inside out.
3. See your spouse as a gift. Due to the societal belief that we must perform to be loved, walls are eventually built between our spouses and us. The loving feeling that we once felt is soon mired in darkness and negativity. To prevent this wall or to tear it down if it’s already been created, see your spouse as a gift. Every time you find yourself feeling angry, resentful and filled with blame towards this person, know that this is an opportunity to grow. Your pain is a sign that you’re disconnected from your heart and God, and you are now being given an avenue to heal. The disconnect comes from living by a false belief that tells you who you think you must be to feel loved, or a belief that comes from a place of lack and what you believe you deserve. It is up to you to go within and get in touch with this belief. And as you do, giving yourself permission to let it go and be the real you, you’ll see the wonderful gift your spouse has given you! No longer will there be a wall between the two of you. Instead, you will be filled with gratitude for the gifts that your relationship has revealed.
4. Have the courage to be vulnerable. We shut down our hearts to love and intimacy as we shut down to vulnerability. Whether it’s our need to be right or strong, we often won’t share who we really are due to a belief that if we show this about ourselves, we will lose our spouse’s love. Opening your heart is the pathway to God. Be willing to admit when you are wrong. Let go of the belief that if you are wrong, you are bad. You’re not. By opening your heart, you become an example of love for your spouse.
5. Communicate your heart. The avenue to a great relationship is great communication. We’ve heard this for a long time. However, so often people think that communicating is telling the spouse what he or she is doing wrong or trying to fix the other person. When I invite you to communicate, it begins with communicating with yourself first, giving yourself permission to stop performing and finding your truth, putting God first. THEN you communicate what you’ve learned with your spouse. There is no blame in this. There is no resentment. There is only love. Share what you’ve learned about yourself. Then share what you’ve learned about your relationship.
Being intimate with yourself first, then fully communicating your heart, creates intimacy with your spouse.
So there you have it in a nutshell: Charlie’s and my secrets to our fantastic relationship. These little nuggets tend to go against the grain as to what society has taught us. But if you’re like us, and make a decision to step out of society’s conforming box, putting God first, you will create a loving, dynamic relationship!
Cleaning up your false beliefs about yourself and what you deserve is the key to a loving relationship. It begins with loving yourself first! To learn the tools that healed my life and taught me how to truly love and mother myself so that I could create loving relationships with Charlie and my whole family, please check out my book, The Enlightened Mom, and it’s 25 companion meditations. This isn’t a book about how to parent your children; it’s a book about how to finally love and nurture who you were created to be, putting God first in your life! Click here to learn more.