Wife Shares Some Surprising Truths About The 'Secrets' To A Happy Marriage

She and her husband have broken all the "rules."

Whether we're single, dating, engaged, or already married, most of us want to know the key to maintaining a successful and happy relationship. We often turn to experts, dating books, strangers on the Internet, and friends and family who appear to be in the know.

Jerry and Nikki Pennington — high school sweethearts who have been together for 13 years and married for 11 — are one couple who frequently get asked the question, "What's the secret to a successful marriage?"

In response, Nikki shared an open letter on Facebook where she got real about her "secrets." 

She begins the post by saying that when people ask, "So, what's the secret to a successful marriage?" she usually laughs. Pennington knows that old pieces of wisdom include "not going to bed angry" or saying "I love you" before a partner leaves the house. But those aren't the key pieces of advice she'd offer.  

In fact, Pennington reveals she and her husband have broken all the "rules."

"Do you know how many times in eleven years Jer has taken residency on the couch prior to us having kids because we were mad?" she asks. "Do you know how many times he has left without us saying 'I love you' because kids and life? His way of saying 'I love you' some mornings is letting me sleep in when he leaves and everyone is still asleep."

She states that there is no secret to a long-lasting marriage at all.

Pennington explains that marriage is about putting in time and effort. It's also about not giving up. "It's a get up and try again over and over every damn day. It's hanging on tight when you are young, newly married and living on frozen dinners because it's all you can afford. It's staying up all night in tears with your first newborn child because you both are overtired, overwhelmed, and scared to death, but you are in it together. It's counting pennies when you are young so that you can build a life together for your future family. It's about knowing that nothing is going to turn out perfect, that your marriage won't be a highlight reel because that's not real life," she writes.

"Just try every single day, in the trenches and on top of the mountains, don't ever stop. Because stopping, that's one thing that isn't a secret, it will make you fail."

In the end, Pennington says the biggest secret to a happy marriage, is that there isn't one. 

(H/T: Scary Mommy)

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