1. Keep your beliefs central to your marriage.
Whether you believe in God, Odin, the whispers of trees or nothing at all, hold on to your beliefs and faith together and always come back to it.
2. Open communication is critical.
I know this is obvious, but for someone like me, who just never felt safe speaking openly about things or letting people in, communicating was a very difficult thing. However, I have come to learn the significance of being open and expressing what I want or don’t like etc.
3. Everyone makes mistakes.
This is something we have learned from a very young age and yet it’s still so easy to give someone grief about a huge mistake or even worse, beating yourself up about a mistake. Throughout your life and your marriage, you will need to forgive over and over again. Your partner, others and yourself.
4. Having your own separate lives is so important to maintain a healthy relationship.
As much as doing things together is a lot of fun, doing things apart with your own friends and/or people with similar interests can actually be more fun. You can talk about your separate experiences when you get home and it will give you the chance to miss each other because, to be honest, as much as you love someone, we all need a break from them often to prevent us from going insane.
5. Having a sense of humor is everything.
I cannot imagine life without constant trolling, pranks and teasing. Laughing every day is really good for your immune system.
6. Choose to be happy, rather than right.
This is something I have always struggled with. Doing the right thing, being right. Even if it meant destroying friendships or family ties. It has caused me so much unnecessary stress over the years. I have learned that smiling, saying nothing and letting it go is so much more satisfying and yes, I feel happier. Thanks, Celeste and Jesse, after all this time I have finally gotten off my damn high horse.
7. Never bring up the D word.
No, not that D. Bring that up a lot. I am talking about Divorce. Just. Don’t. Go. There. No matter how pissed you are. Don’t utter it. Don’t think it.
8. Never go to bed separately.
I took this bit of advice from Ms. Tamar Braxton before I got married. Even if you are mad when you go to bed, always sleep in the same bed. You’ll wake up fine in the morning. When you sleep apart, you’re allowing for petty fights to prolong and fester.
9. Never bring up the past.
I’ve made this mistake. He’s made this mistake. Just leave the dirty laundry under the bed where they belong and nobody will get hurt.
10. Always say thank you.
It’s so important to let someone know you appreciate what they do, no matter how small. Thank you truly is one of the magic words
11. Always say sorry.
Even when you’re not at fault, even when you’re not really sorry. Being a stubborn ass is going to make your life very unpleasant, true story.
12. You must learn to love each other’s families.
These people are going to be a part of your life forever. Be friends with them, get to know them and enjoy the people your partner loves.
13. Hold hands often.
There is something so powerful about holding someone’s hand. It’s a tiny gesture that has an entire language of its own and meaning only the two whose hands are being held will understand.
14. Take interest in their interests.
Even if it’s boring. Listen to them talk about work, their hobbies, their conspiracy theories, a book they read, their passion. It’s cool knowing that someone will attentively listen to you rambling on for hours about the things you love.
15. Farting in someone’s face is never okay.
Never. Marriage can be real ugly, you will experience the worst, most disgusting things with your partner, but you’ll soon learn that farting in their face is never okay.
16. The tough times are the times that bind you even closer.
We learned this the hard way, numerous times over the course of two years, which is a bit much, but I am so happy we came out the other side closer and more connected each time.
17. Be each other’s safe place.
Your partner’s arms should be the most comforting place on Earth. You have to be able to trust and confide in each other.
18. Don’t fix each other’s problems, face them together.
Sometimes you’re going to be the strong one. Sometimes you won’t be. And that’s okay. Facing a problem together makes you both stronger.
19. Be friends first.
It’s awesome being buddies. So crucial to not only love each other but like each other too.
20. Have the same or similar goals.
You need to know where you both are going, and if you are even headed in the same direction so you can help one another get there and work together to reach these goals. Slay together.
21. Don’t compare yourself or your marriage to others.
It’s so easy to look at other couples and wonder why things are going downhill for you or why good things only happen to them. Trust the universe or God to have a greater plan and also, just don’t compare yourselves, man. Everyone has their own set of tests, everyone has their own blessings. Look at that. ALWAYS. Then just carry on doing your best, boo boo.
22. Patience Patience Patience.
Before marriage, I didn’t have any patience. Living with someone has a way of loosening you up a bit (a fucking lot). I never knew I was able to tolerate all the things I had and still do and I surprise myself daily with all the patience I have now.
23. The best way to start your day is with morning cuddles.
There is a level of intimacy you get from morning cuddles that you’ll never experience any kind of sex. Wrapping your arms around someone you love with your whole heart, seeing their first smile of the day with their morning breath and sweat in your face, thinking of how grateful you are to have them next to you right now and that you have all this precious time in their presence is incomparable.
24. Your marriage and your partner is your priority.
Remember this. Consider your partner and your marriage first in all that you do. Of course, you should love God first and your parents too, but don’t ever do things at the expense of your marriage. I have learned to work on it every single day and try to work on my own weaknesses continuously for the sake of our marriage. Always be willing to fight for them and try your best. Give your partner nothing less than YOUR BEST.