I had the honour of attending a wedding banquet of a dear friend of mine recently. Those that know me know I shy away from weddings because 1) I’m not a social butterfly though I can in some situations 2) I find weddings overly done to the point that many brides rather live just for that day than focus on the elements of what makes a good marriage. Having said that, I don’t attend a lot of weddings. This one however warmed my heart.

I have known the bride for a very long time; we are undergrad buddies and I have seen her go through ups and downs. Being in the presence of her big day, her vowing to be there for her husband and vice versa through thick and thin but also witnessing them together for the first time and seeing love in their eyes got me teary.

I could not have been happier for my friend that she has an amazing man by her side to share her life with. As beautiful as her wedding was, her life together with him is what matters and I know she will have a great life ahead.

Marriage is beyond the wedding day. That day is special as everyone we love is celebrating it with us. The vows that we take are what we need to remember. The love that we have is what we need to hold in our hearts especially in moments of arguments and differences. We need to always remember that our partner is our best friend and not our enemy even when things aren’t rosy.

Because I didn’t have an elaborate wedding, I had it easier by not getting carried away by the wedding and I could focus on the life ahead of us which is what really matters. Nevertheless, those married or getting married it is essential to keep the love alive in whichever way one can. Here are some of the ways we keep our love strong:

I get up earlier on work days to spend time with my husband over breakfast. He always makes sure I have more than enough books to read, he will download them on my kindle and make sure it is charged. He always gives me advise about Buddhism and introduces me to new writers whether it is on Zen, Mahayana, Chan, Amitabha or Kadampa Buddhism. We listen to each other. He gives me his full attention. There will be no background distraction as in no TV or being on the phone, etc. He will always say how much he appreciates my cooking after every meal I’ve made!

It is very easy to go back into old habits of our single days as in prior to living together or being married. What I mean by that is how a girl takes care of a house is different from how a guy does. This is where as a woman we can choose to accept or be annoyed. But expecting someone else to change just because you like it a certain way is going to drive a man crazy or away.

Always focus on the love, the good stuff and keep creating more of it and that way you will have a happy marriage! It’s that simple. 🙂

Marriage is a mosaic that you built with your spouse. Millions of tiny memories that create a love story. — Jennifer Smith