Posted by on 4th August 2020

Ten Lessons I’ve Learned over Twenty Years Happily Married

If you’d told me when I was 25-years old that a few years later I’d meet the man of my dreams—and that I’d eventually, happily, celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary—I would’ve said you were high. Except here I am, freshly turned 50, and doing exactly that this week.

Mind you, I never wanted to get married at all. When you grow up around shitty marriages like I did, it’s easy to wonder why anybody would ever volunteer for that special kind of hell. In fact, I turned my hubby down the first time he asked me to marry him because I didn’t want to marry anybody. Ever.

I’m so glad I finally gave in. Being married has been one of the most wonderful adventures, and its made all my other adventures that much more special. It’s also made me a healthier, stronger, happier person.

Given this is a helluva big milestone year, and I’m a writer romance, I’ve been doing a fair amount of reflecting on my life and marriage. And I decided to share some of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the course of my relationship.

The Ten Most Important Lessons I’ve Learned from My Very Happy Marriage

  • Marriage is a team sport. One person is not more important, or more deserving, than the other. Also known as, “it takes two to tango”.
  • You know you’re in a good, healthy relationship when you both inspire and support each other to be better versions of yourselves.
  • Make sure you always share at least one common activity, interest, hobby, or pursuit (other than your children). You don’t have to do everything together, but you need to be able to share something: card games, antiquing, dancing, reading, a love of heavy metal or obscure poets of the 16th It helps you create excitement and make new, fun memories together.
  • Marriage shouldn’t be work, but it does take work. Once you’re married you can’t just go on about your life expecting your relationship will be fine. You each have to put focus and energy into spending quality time together on the regular, and making sure your partner is happy. If it’s a constant struggle to be happy together, maybe you’re with the wrong person.
  • If you don’t like and respect someone, and enjoy their company, don’t marry them. It’s a recipe for unhappiness, depression, and divorce.
  • If you don’t like, love, and respect yourself you can’t expect anyone else to, either. However, you deserve both. Make the first one happen, and the second will follow.
  • You shouldn’t have to change yourself, or hide parts of yourself, to find a partner. Instead, find someone who not only accepts you, but embraces and appreciates you, for everything that makes you weird and unique.
  • Communication and vulnerability are key. If you can’t share your wants and needs and fears and thoughts with your partner, your marriage is likely to be more cage than safe space.
  • Shared backgrounds are nice, but shared goals are more important. If you and your partner have entirely different life goals you are always going to be at odds. If you’re both trying to achieve the same goals, you’ll be far more likely to get there and enjoy the journey.
  • You can never say please, thank you, or I love you too often.

Got any more sage words of advice for a happy marriage?


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