Whatever your favorite platform -- blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook... you get the picture -- you probably come across quotes every day. Some are inspirational, some are funny, and some are thought-provoking. We all seem to like quick quotes to help us get through the day, and it turns out that you can use them to inspire you in your marriage as well as help you get through some of the rockier times.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes pertaining to all things marriage because I think they do a really good job of helping us define what we want our marriages to be and how we plan to act within them. I hope you find them as fun and informational as I do!
"Friendship in Marriage is the spark that lights an everlasting flame." - Fawn Weaver
Laughing and having fun together is likely what brought the two of you together in the first place, and the goal is to have that carry on throughout your entire marriage. When you really enjoy spending time with your spouse, things like forgiveness, intimacy and love will follow suit. Over the course of your marriage, there will be times of stress, tension, sadness and anger, but when you can look at each other and still smile and have fun like you did at the beginning of your relationship, then you have a bond that can't easily be broken.
"The first duty of love is to listen." - Paul Tillich
Mastering the art of listening is vital to every marriage. Sometimes we get caught up in what WE have to say, what WE feel, what WE think, and fail to listen to how our partner feels. It's so easy to get wrapped up in communicating your own feelings, but it's critical that you reciprocate by being a good listener. When you actively listen, even in the heat of a disagreement, you build trust and intimacy with your partner.
Try getting better at listening through the process of "Active Listening" which requires each spouse to take turns stating their own feelings and then restating what your spouse just shared. The old "I think..." /" I hear you saying..." model allows you to sharpen those listening skills.
"A Happy Marriage is a union of two good forgivers." - Robert Quillen
Forgiveness is critical for any successful marriage. Sometimes in marriage, it can feel as if all you do is forgive. Forgive them for being late sometimes, for forgetting to take out the trash, or making you feel unimportant. Everyone will make mistakes, and there is no doubt that the closer two people are, the more likely they are to disappoint each other occasionally. Someone who is a "good forgiver" is someone who learns to forgive without expecting their partner to give them something in return. And just because you are now ready to forgive doesn't mean your partner is ready to apologize. Forgiveness doesn't have to be perfectly in sync in order to be powerful - it just has to happen consistently and over time.
"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." - Mignon McLaughlin
Friendship, listening and forgiveness are all important for a healthy marriage, and true love encompasses all these things. What your love "looks like" at the beginning is different than what it develops into over time. Love evolves and transforms over time and throughout various life circumstances. And it's up to both partners to consistently fall in love all over again with the person their spouse is today. Keep in touch with each other - emotionally and physically - as time passes. Your minds, lives and bodies will change, but your love can remain strong as long as you maintain the love connection.
In our fast-paced world, these quick, little snippets of sage advice can reinvigorate our marriages and our lives. Keep these ideas and thoughts in the back of your mind as you go through life with your partner, maybe sometimes slightly annoyed at some of the little things he or she does. Quotes can be an easy way to hold onto the big picture of your marriage, which (if you're human) includes a lot of missteps and challenges. And, hopefully, you'll fall in love many times with your partner (who sometimes forgets to take out the trash.)
Malini Bhatia is the founder and CEO of marriage.com, a website dedicated to providing value in every marriage, including resources, information and a community that supports healthy, happy marriages. Bhatia has global experience in international management and communications. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 11 years and two daughters.