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.
That key is SELF LOVE! Yes! But what does self love have to do with my marriage?
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 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!
(and if you need a place to start - check out my song "You Are Amazing", full of positive affirmations that will transform the way you think about yourself.