For a happy marriage, make your life an adventure
As I look back on 42 years of togetherness, one word describes our life: adventure. From the moment we met, we shared kindred spirits of curiosity, adventurousness, and a willingness to take calculated risks. Finding someone with a similar outlook on life was magical. Though we shared different backgrounds and experiences, we immediately recognized in each other a determination to live a rich and full life, a positive outlook, and a passion for experiencing whatever life might throw our way.
Living a life of adventure does not mean you have to elope, live off the grid in a log cabin, or backpack on ancient European routes or primitive wilderness trails. It is a state of mind in which you actively endeavor to live life fully.
As you develop this mindset, you will be able to see your job, your children, even setbacks as adventures—not excuses—for leading a fulfilling life. It’s amazing how much more grand life can be when you seek adventure.
By your example, your children can learn to be bold and venturesome and lead full lives. As you introduce them to something new, they learn not to fear the unknown. If you do something that frightens you a bit, they will see your thrill that comes from leaving your comfort zone. As they see your joy in recalling past adventures, they can see the value of making plans and achieving goals.
We incorporated our philosophy on life with our child-rearing techniques. For us, there was no way to separate the two. We backpacked the infants on hikes. When they were toddlers, we chose low altitude mountains for them to hike. Not only did they grow to enjoy the outdoors, they learned the value of perseverance (having to walk the distance on their own), the pride of accomplishing something difficult, and a self-awareness that belied their age.
Each night at the evening meal we discussed what new thing we had learned that day and talked about the plans we were making. As parents, we did not set out to teach the kids how to live fully. It happened as a result of who we were as individuals and the way our sense of adventure bound us in marriage.
For us, the spirit of adventure has made our marriage strong. We seasoned our romance with living a life of purpose and with the excitement and richness of exploration and lived the life of our dreams.
“Love, like everything else in life, should be a discovery, an adventure, and like most adventures, you don’t know you’re having one until you’re right in the middle of it.”
~ E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly
Tips to get adventure in your marriage
Stop sleep-walking through life. Get out of the rut. Don’t do the same things over and over without being conscious of what you’re doing. Be mindful.
- Look at life as a shared adventure. View each difficulty as a challenge that you tackle together.
- Imagine what you want or would like to do, and then make it happen. This is different from goal setting which implies a certainty. Using your imagination means anything is possible. How much fun is that?
- Experience something new each day. Try a food. Listen to a different radio station. Read a book. This doesn’t have to be major undergoing, it can be something fun like learning a card trick. Tell each other about the new venture. Sharing is enjoyable and strengthens the bond between the two of you.
- Do something together for the first time. Walk down a different street. Swap chores. Join a dance or an improv class.
- If you’re bored, do something thrilling. Take scuba lessons, learn Amateur Radio, or whatever calls to you.
- Make plans. Have an overflowing bucket list. Always have something to look forward to.
Tips to keep the spark in your marriage
It takes an effort to keep the love flames going. Just as with life, you must work hard to keep the adventure in your relationship vibrant.
- View your mate as your life’s partner, the person with whom you most want to share your life-long adventure.
- Let your mate have his/her own adventures as well as your shared ones.
- Be spontaneous. Dance in the kitchen.
- Experience the joy of nature together. Embracing nature leads to a sense of well-being that can enhance your relationship.
- Record your adventures—good or bad. Looking back at photos or reading journals is affirming. All those little moments add up to a lifetime of memories.
- Be physical. Touch and kiss each other often. Tell each other how you feel. Make it a priority to have romantic times.
About the Author
Jane V. Blanchard is the author of the Woman on Her Way series. In her first book, “Women of the Way: Embracing the Camino,” Jane mingles her personal story with conversations she had with modern- day female pilgrims who also trekked the Camino. In “Hadrian’s Wall Path: Walking into History,” Jane shares her discoveries along the 84- mile path across northern England. This book was a finalist for the prestigious 2015 President’s Award from the Florida Authors & Publisher’s Association.
Jane has always been adventuresome, building a log cabin with her husband and living off the grid, working a gentleman’s farm, hiking the peaks of New England, and racing mountain bikes in her 50s. Since retiring in 2011, she has visited sixteen countries by foot and by bicycle and written two books about her wanderings. In addition to traveling, writing and publishing, Jane enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
As a sexagenarian, Jane continues to plan backpacking trips and writing books.
Series Website: http://WomanOnHerWay.com
Author Website: http://janevblanchard.com
Hadrian’s Wall Path: Walking into History Website: http://WakingIntoHistory.com
Women of the Way: Embracing the Camino Website: http//WomenOfTheWay2011.com
Author Google+: https://plus.google.com/+JaneVBlanchard1
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Guest posts are the opinion of that author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Gilda Evans or others posted here.