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When Shelley, Alison and I discussed wanting another ’stay in love’ post we all said at about the same time, “the Haskells!” These two have a special bond that is so sweet, it is noticed by everyone. I know what you’re thinking, Yuck – get a room! It is not like that at ALL! I wish I could describe it to you, but you kinda have to just know them. And lucky are those that do know them - they are AMAZING! And not just at their wonderful relationship – their happiness and zest for life is contagious…you are just happy when you are around them. I can’t think of two more positive people.
Since you all can’t witness this for yourselves, I asked them to give us their TOP TEN ways to ‘stay in love’ – and they graciously obliged. I have to say I was in tears after reading their super hero powers wanted – I’m pretty sure they have to do with fun fact #4 – so I am leaving that for the end of the post.
In recent years, we have received a number of compliments on our marriage and relationship. We’ve been asked many times what our “secret” is. While no marriage is perfect, we have discovered a few things that help us feel connected and in love.
We still consider ourselves in the “honeymoon stage” of marriage as we have only just entered our 18th year as man and wife. It hasn’t all been rainbows and unicorns, but we know that a successful marriage takes work and are enjoying the journey together. We are privileged to have 4 mostly sweet children who are all now in school and able to babysit themselves! It’s a whole new world! We are one of those strange couples who enjoy being together as much as possible and have recently discovered our perfect date: Cycling to a specific destination to eat yummy food, and if it’s not too late, watching a movie before riding home! (to a spotless house, of course! There are some sacrifices we accept to date.)
Staying madly in love is easy, we simply never stopped courting one another. Post-marriage courting is our key.
We have a habit of trying to surprise one another. These can be physical gifts, a special something that one of us needs or wants but didn’t ask for like new underwear (the functional kind, not recreational). They can also be of the service or activity type like the time my husband surprised me with a Glass Blowing class, or washed, folded and put away all of the backed up laundry while I was away. Unexpected gifts are fun to give and serve as a reminder that the other is thinking of us.
As much as we love each other, we love to eat. Why not combine the two? We make food together, wait to eat together, and love trying new or favorite restaurants. Eating and sharing foods bring us closer together. Sometimes we’ll plan a picnic or lunch nearby his work. It feels like a stolen date and makes the day go faster.
While many people would describe this as PDA (or a public display of affection), we consider it part of being in a room together. Whether riding in the car, working in the kitchen, or sitting in church, holding hands, tangling feet, or sweetly caressing one another is standard. It keeps us feeling close.
After being shoved into the pantry by grossed-out children who didn’t want to see their parents kiss, regular “meet me in the closet” rendezvous became a regular in our courting. Sneaking away and hiding out is fun and sweet.
Are they looking…
We slow dance in a crowded kitchen, in the frozen food aisle, in the church foyer, or anywhere the mood strikes us. Sometimes these tangos last only a few seconds but each one gives us the opportunity to look into each other’s eyes, smile, and feel close.
A date a week minimum, no exceptions! These dates may include movies, food, activities, riding bikes, hiking, or anything that we both consider fun. They do not include shopping for groceries, tuning the car, or things that might cause a certain husband to whine like a puppy at night. Dates should be fun for both.
Extended dates have taken us to Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, or even our own home minus kids. They can be long or as short as overnight. The key is that the kids are being otherwise cared for and time is only devoted to each other. Nothing resets a romance like a short escape.
Winning is not important. This is not something I knew anything about before we were married and it’s a good thing my husband is a patient man. Chances are, one of you is better at this and can teach the other. Remember that marriage is not 50/50, it’s more like 90/90, or at least should feel that way if it is working correctly.
Things that would not be appropriate to list here. This is a family-friendly site, after all. But for a married couple in love, it is important to find time to share intimate time. Everything in the world will try and prevent this from happening. For that reason, it is important to make it a priority, even schedule it. In fact, sometimes the hunt is more fun than the kill, so to speak. Stolen glances, a suggestive touch as you walk by, or a flirtatious text message can build anticipation for “special time.”
“Yeah – I was looking:)” – Missy
These are the things that work for us. Perhaps reading them you think to yourself, “we do that.” That’s good. But what ever you do to make time for one another is good too. It’s all about making the other feel special, loved, and appreciated. That’s the secret.
1. Chris and Ali were both cheerleaders at Boise State in the 90′s. Chris proposed to Ali as the school mascot, Buster Bronco, at a Boise State basketball game.
2. Ali was a gymnast and can still flip and tumble.
3. Chris gained 100 lbs after they got married and then lost it.
4. Two of the the Haskell’s four children suffer from Cystic Fibrosis.
5. Contrary to popular belief, Chris believes it HAS been all “rainbows and unicorns.”
Ali would like to slow or stop time and Chris would like to be able to heal people with a touch.
We are linking up to these fabulous link parties. Thanks for hosting gals!