Today, my husband and I celebrate seven years of marriage. When I look at the man I married I know that he is a great partner, friend, and husband. I appreciate what he does for our family and am so thankful that we have a strong happy marriage.
We've learned a lot along the way. About ourselves. About each other. About what it takes to make a marriage (or at least our marriage) work. Sometimes it's not pretty. And sometimes it's downright beautiful.
This is what I know to be true.
1. Marriage isn't an easy road but it's an exciting one and you can hold hands while driving over the bumps together.
3. Be free with compliments.
4. Invest in your relationship. It takes two.
5. Don't wear the oversized T-shirt and sweatpants to bed EVERY night. (I think the male equivalent of this one would be not to wear underwear with holes in it. Ha. No, really.)
6. There's no shame in marriage counseling. Everyone benefits from having an impartial party help navigate you through a particularly tough argument.
9. Surround yourself with people who support your marriage and share your values.
10. Figure out each other's love language. And speak it.
12. Watch a few television shows you don't love (but your spouse does) just to spend time together.
13. Say "I'm sorry." Mean it.
14. Say "That's okay." Mean it.
15. Surprise each other.
16. Side with each other. You're a team.
17. Hold hands.
18. Be on the same page about how to parent.
19. Eat dinner together as often as possible.
20. Avoid complaining to your family or friends about your spouse. They don't always forget like you do. (This is advice my mom gave me before we got married and I think it's pretty genius.)
21. Support each other's dreams.
22. When an argument gets heated, take a break and discuss later when you both have cooler heads.
23. Fight fair. Hitting below the belt only hurts you both.