Married for ten years, together almost 19 years (we started dating in 1993!!) I think I am qualified to put together a post about the secrets to a happy marriage. Actually, it’s no secret – marriage is hard work! It requires commitment and dedication, but it’s totally worth it to see a future path of happiness and marital bliss ahead.
Sorry for the photo quality! Back in 2002 when I got married, photographers still used FILM! I used my digital camera to take photos of the photos today!
2. A long lasting relationship takes PATIENCE – an insane amount of patience. Don’t kid yourself. No matter how much you love your spouse, there will be days (weeks) where your spouse will drive you crazy! It is important to be patient, work through the insanity and bring yourselves back to the path of true happiness.
3. Talk it out – you need COMMUNICATION to succeed together. Hopefully the person you married is your best friend – I know my husband is mine! We can talk about anything, anytime. Some days it’s remembering to sit and go over the schedule for the week, other days its long debates about serious topics. What’s most important is knowing that you always have a shoulder to cry on if you need it and someone to listen to you vent when you need!
4. You can’t hear each other unless you LISTEN. This one seems pretty self-explanatory, but it bears mentioning. You have to listen to more than just the everyday conversations that occur between you and your spouse. You need to hear what they are saying to truly understand what they are thinking and feeling. This goes hand in hand with communication, but more so because you need to hear what’s going on in his heart to succeed as a couple.
5. You gotta keep the FAITH. I am going to be honest – I took seriously my marriage vows. We stood in a church before God, our family and friends and promised to love, honor and cherish my husband. And I will, til death do us part. I know that not everyone believes in God, or goes to church – and that’s fine. As long as you have faith in your life – faith in yourself, faith in each other, you will succeed. For me, I just love knowing that God is in our corner, helping us to succeed in our marriage. OK, enough preaching, onto the next topic.
6. Don’t sweat the SMALL STUFF. I may be a schedule-crazy, menu planning, taxi driving mama, but if you let one little hiccup in your day ruin the rest of your day, you are bound to fail. Same thing in your marriage – if you let one of your spouse’s traits get to you, or if you nitpick each other over every little thing, you’ll never be happy. Make sure you take a few minutes to yourself each day if you feel like you’re going crazy. That 20 minute break from life can put those small things into perspective.
8. Make your own FAMILY TRADITIONS. We are lucky. Like REALLY lucky. Our families always manage to split the holidays and important days easily. The hubs’ family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve, my family does Christmas Day. We do Thanksgiving with the hubs’ family on Saturday, and mine on Sunday. It works out great for us. We have created a wonderful, dynamic experience for our kids that works out famously. We know that on Family Holiday weekends that the kids will be sleep deprived, over sugared and showered with gifts by pretty much everyone we see, and that’s ok. We’ll catch up on sleep later, right now, we’re making memories!
9. LAUGH. EVERY DAY. I am so blessed to be married to a crazy, hilarious, wonderful man. He makes me laugh every single day. Even when I’m feeling down, or when I am sad, he can manage to sing/dance/act like a fool to make me smile, even when I don’t think it’s possible. It gives me great joy to know that when we are old and gray, he will still be making me laugh.
10. HARD WORK. DEDICATION. This was a mantra from one of the fitness trainers on the TV show the Biggest Loser a couple of years ago, and I LOVE it. It holds true in so many facets of our lives, but especially so in marriage. Marriage takes hard work – it takes getting up every day and being willing to put your spouse and their happiness above everything else in the world. It takes dedication – you have to be there through all of it – the good, the bad and the ugly, and no matter how hard it gets, you have to dedicate yourself to getting through it. Together.
I think this may be the longest post I’ve ever written! I hope you enjoyed the photos from our big day so many years ago – look how young we look! I was skinny! Brett had hair! So much has changed, almost all of it for the better.
We have two gorgeous red headed crazy children who keep us on our toes and give us lots of reasons to laugh together, and challenge us. After ten wonderful years together, I can only hope we have 60 more ahead of us!
I will be linking this recipe up on Serenity Now, A Bowl Full of Lemons andDelightful Order.