Our top ten list of how to stay happily married for 25 years, and plan to stay that way another 50………….
1. Marry the right person. Sounds obvious, but we knew without a doubt that God intended us to be together. We had no doubts when we got married, and we have no doubts now that we married the right person. Real love doesn’t stop or quit.
2. Put God first. We can’t imagine the highs and lows of marriage (and these are inevitable) without God as the reason for our existence, our finding each other, and our purpose here on earth.
3. Be nice. This just says it all. Just be nice. Your husband/wife is your partner for life, your best friend, your soulmate, and the love of your life. Treat him/her better than you would treat the most important person on earth.
4. Don’t expect them to meet all your needs. Even though your spouse is all those things (or should be) in number 3, that doesn’t mean their sole purpose is to meet every one of your needs. Have your own friends, hobbies, interests, and activities. These are all good and it’s okay to pursue them.
5. Accept each other for the person they are, just as you expect them to accept you. As you grow older, you change a bit and things that were endearing when you first dated, now seem to be utterly annoying. 🙂 (It’s funny how that happens.) Talk about it, decide what’s worth worrying about together, and accept the rest. We were opposites when we married and those differences have balanced our relationship, so don’t upset that balance. Give each other room for growth.
6. Push the cart. My husband likes going to the grocery store, but hates pushing the cart. I hate going to the grocery store, the only part I like is pushing the cart. (See above, opposites attract!) So we go together, and I push the cart. Pick up the slack for each other, if there’s something you hate doing, ask for help, and vice versa. Compromise can be fun if you are willing to put forth the effort.
7. Laugh. Find the funny. With four kids, there is always funny. Find it. This is SO important. Do silly things to make each other laugh.
8. Let them know that they are, and always will be, the only one. And remind them often. There is no room in a marriage for flirtations with the opposite sex, and we don’t feel that there is such a thing as “harmless flirtation.” Have only eyes for each other. This is really easy when you marry the right person. 🙂
9. Once in awhile, do something you hate just to make them happy. Yes, this includes the grocery store, but what sticks in my mind is dragging my husband to Broadway musicals. This is my favorite activity and he started out hating it. I remember seeing Riverdance, which neither of us was too thrilled about it, actually. We got home and when the kids asked “How was it?” my husband performed his very own little Irish dance recital in the kitchen -straight arms, rapid kicks, – the works! I laughed so hard (see #7) that I fell to the floor. The lesson? He did something he didn’t want to do to please me, made me laugh hysterically with his instant replay at home, and that is what I’ll always remember about that night, even though the show itself is a distant memory. P.S. He actually likes most of the musicals now!
10. Love each other out loud. Say “I love you.” Give compliments and mean them. Pull them up when they need it. Brag about them in public. Let them know, and remind them often, that they are the love of your life. Be grateful every day for each other!
**I am so grateful for all of the GREAT marriage advice offered to all of Bubbly’s upcoming brides** Keep the top ten lists coming!!