Remember the days when every little thing your spouse did was adorable and romantic? Remember how you called all of your friends to gush about him and how cute he looked or how thoughtful he seemed?
Flash forward to the present, when you're more likely to focus on what she hasn't done for you lately. Sure, you're still calling your friends about her, but what you're saying now bears little resemblance to the early days. What once began as just the two of you is now a house, two cars, a dog, two kids, countless bills to pay and chores to do.
It's hard to keep everything running smoothly, but it's relatively easy to lose sight of why you chose that person in the first place. That's why anniversaries are so important. They are an annual reminder to slow down, enjoy each other, and celebrate everything you've done and where you're going.
Sarah on "celebrating no matter what":
I'll admit that I've fallen into that common trap of blowing off my anniversary if it's not a particularly big one. Fourth anniversary? Nobody really makes a big deal about that one, right? It's easy to forget about it when it's not a big one, but the truth is that it takes so little time to plan something nice for your spouse and it makes him/her feel so loved and special. It doesn't have to be big, but cooking a special meal or dragging out the wedding video can be a way to celebrate your life together. We're coming up on our 10th anniversary this year, so I'm planning a fun surprise.
Alicia on "having a reason to celebrate":
I love celebrating. I'm the type that would even throw an Arbor Day party if I thought people might come, so when it's my anniversary, I go all out. I've been known to celebrate an entire birthday week, so parties and celebrations are definitely my thing. Luckily, my husband loves celebrations, too, and he's just as willing to plan something special. Some years, we even turn it into a fun competition to see who can out-romance and out-plan the other.
Here are three other ways you can celebrate your marriage:
1. Dig Out the Photos. You probably spent a pretty penny on the photography at your wedding, so break out the album and enjoy looking through it together. A great way to celebrate each new anniversary is by making a new album each year that chronicles what you've done together and how you've grown. As the years and albums add up, it is a nice reminder of all of the things you've accomplished together. It doesn't have to be a huge one, and if all of your photos are digital, you can create a photo book in a matter of minutes.
2. Put Pen to Paper. You don't need to be Shakespeare to write a love letter. It's such a simple thing, but it can mean so much. It costs nothing but your time and energy and is such a special way to share the things you love about your spouse. One idea is to share a quality or trait that you love about that person for every year you've been married.
3. Don't Forget Friends and Family. They were there for your engagement and your wedding, so why not involve your closest friends and family in your anniversary celebrations? You don't need to be renewing your vows with an Elvis impersonator to invite them. It can be a simple backyard barbecue or night out on the town, but it's a meaningful way to involve all of those closest to you.
(The writers are co-founders of Buttoned Up, a company dedicated to helping stressed women get organized. Send ideas and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more columns, go to scrippsnews.com.)
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.scrippsnews.com)