We hear people say that respect, communication, honesty, and doing activities together are the keys to a happy romantic relationship. And while I wholeheartedly agree, there's one key that I want to bring up today that isn't talked about quite as much - and it's made a huge difference in my marriage.
If you've read my posts before, you may have guessed that the key is SELF LOVE! Yes! What does self love have to do with my marriage? Let me tell you.
For a long time I thought my husband Nuni didn't like certain things about me: my silly jokes, dancing to music in the car, and endless ideas. I subconsciously decided to tone things down - to stop doing those quirky things because "Nuni doesn't like them." But the thing was - Nuni never actually told me he didn't like them, nor did he ever ask me to "tone it down." That choice came from me, because I thought it would make him happier(which I don't think it did). Over time, I forgot about those fun little parts of myself. And I didn't realize it, but it majorly affected our relationship and my happiness.
DON'T YOU KNOW HOW AMAZING I AM?!
A year or so ago I remember thinking to myself, "Nuni doesn't appreciate me enough. He doesn't compliment me and tell me how amazing I am. Doesn't he know how amazing I am?!" I felt annoyed about it for a while, but then I decided that it wasn't his job to build me up. It was actually my job. I started to love and appreciate myself. I decided to do what I loved and be myself in all my glory, no matter what anyone else thought, including my husband. And I had no idea this would happen, but I felt a HUGE shift. It was like I saw my husband fall in love with me again. I realized that he loved me for ME.
When we love ourselves - when we choose to embrace our quirks, value our opinions above the opinions of others, when we believe in ourselves and follow our dreams, it's just natural that we become a happier person. And most of us want to live alongside a happy partner. Am I right?
Our relationship today is so much more connected, loving, warm, and fun. We have frequent conversations about how we've changed, and how we're growing and learning together. It's pretty great.
I share this to encourage anyone who has hidden away pieces of themselves because it didn't appear they were being celebrated by someone else. No matter who it is - your parent, your spouse, your friend - BE YOURSELF IN ALL YOUR GLORY!