Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sixteen things I have learned in 16 years of Marriage

This past June my husband and I celebrated sixteen years of marriage-16! I can't even believe it, honestly. I wrote this post months ago, but am just now getting around to publishing, here goes...

I thought I'd honor this milestone by creating a list of all the things I've learned in the last 16 years...these aren't solely from our marriage. These are also tidbits I've picked up from others' marriages because I see when something works.
  1. Fight fair. This means, if you are arguing with your partner don't bring up an incident that happened last week, last month, last year, or 10 years ago. Only deal with the argument at hand. Past arguments should have already been resolved. If you have issues with past arguments write them down and come back to them later, but those should have already been resolved so you can focus on the disagreement at hand.
  2. Communicate. I mean really communicate. Talk about everything. I am a talker, when my husband gets home I will chat his ear off from here to next week about what I did that day...I expect the same in return. This sort of communication allows each partner to get stressors off their chest, bounce ideas around for a problem you might be facing, or just vent or revel in the day. But, this also goes deeper and can head off any arguments that might be looming because if your partner does something to upset you you'll be more likely to speak the truth right then and there. It may hurt at first but at least you are being honest.
  3. Listen. This should be part of communicate, but I felt it needed to be listed separately. Talking is great, but if you or your partner isn't listening in return it will never work. Put your phones down, walk away from the computer; make eye contact and really listen to one another when you are talking.
  4. Know your partner's love language. I show love and expect love in a completely different way from my husband. I am an acts of service so someone taking out the trash or doing the dishes means the world to me, but my husband, he likes little gifts; like if I surprise him with his favorite snack or a new game I know he's been wanting. For years we'd been showing each other love the way we wanted to be loved instead of tuning in to what the other person wanted. This has done wonders for our relationship.
  5. Marriage is hard. You are always working at your relationship, this never stops, but it should be enjoyable.
  6. Marriage is fun. Marriage may be hard because it takes constant work, but you get to live your whole life with the person of your choosing. You get to mold your world with this one person, it is the most fantastic time of your life...thank goodness it lasts that long!
  7. Apologize. If you were wrong, apologize it. If you were right, accept that apology gracefully and don't rub it in the other person's face. Be mature and remember to fight fair.
  8. Have a sense of humor. Having a sense of humor will get you through the tough times, and if you have a husband like mine it will prevent you from taking all his ribbing seriously!
  9. Tell your partner when you are proud of them. Whether it is work related, doing something around the house, or just being an awesome human being make sure they know you are proud of them.
  10. Have confidence. Confidence is sexy, and when you don't have it and accuse your spouse of stuff you only drive them away. They are with you because they love you, accusing them of things will only drive them away.
  11. Have a scheduled cuddle session at least once a day. We cuddle for a good 15 minutes in the morning before we start our day. We told some friends this the other day and I think they thought we were kidding. We started this about 3 or 4 years ago and it has made such a difference in how we connect. Plus, it is a nice way to wake up.
  12. Never stop dating. Once a week, once every other week, basically however you can squeeze it in make sure you get dressed nicely and go out, one on one, no kids, just the two of you-maybe some friends every now and again-and connect with out distractions. We've been doing this since 2004 and it really turned our marriage around. Sometimes we stay home and make a romantic dinner or dessert and watch a movie, but we try our hardest to get out of the house. Just makes it more special.
  13. Kiss your partner. A lot. It reminds you of when you dated, plus it is relaxing and can instantly put a smile on your face. So, remember to kiss.
  14. Tell your partner you love them. I never let my husband leave the house without telling him I love him. I want him to go out in to the world knowing I love him and I will look forward to him coming back home. 
  15. Never talk ill of your partner to others. You may now commence eye rolling, but I am actually serious. It is one thing to vent to your mom or best friend about how your husband forgot to take out the trash-again...but doing nothing but talking about his faults to your girlfriends will paint a bad picture of him. If your partner is just really ticking you off-TELL THEM! Communicating is the entire basis of a marriage if you just complain that won't take care of anything.
  16. Finally, give each other some space. It is ok to have a girls night. It is ok to go to a museum while your partner stays home to play video games. You don't always have to do everything together. In fact, being yourselves and doing what you want can actually enhance your marriage and gives you more to talk about. 
I'm not saying these will work for every marriage but these are a few of the things I have discovered work for us. What is your best tip for a happy relationship?


  1. These are some valuable marriage tips that everyone can learn from. All of them are vital to keeping a marriage strong and filled with love. I also believe that having God in the center of your marriage makes a positive difference too.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful post on #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup. I hope to see you again at 8PM EST on Saturdays.

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