Yesterday was the 27th year of my marriage. Here’s a few things I’ve learned.
1. Marriage is hard work. No, it’s not like being on the chain gang, but there’s a lot of labor involved You can’t sit back and hope that it will survive. That’s just what a long term relationship takes. Fact.
2. You will fall in and out of love a million times. Yeah, even while you’re married, you can have rough patches where you think the thing won’t survive and you’re sure you’re no longer in love, but then the wind shifts, and you’re right back in it.
3. You gotta compromise. That’s the deal. You can’t always have your way. This is as true in a friendship as it is in a marriage.
4. You need date nights. Don’t scrimp on these. I’m telling you, you’ll pay for it.
5. Do stuff with friends. Friends are nourishing to a marriage.
6. The honeymoon does indeed end, but the sum of what you’ve seen, experienced, built and made together replaces it.
7. Compassion is essential. Your partner will hit the skids, and so will you. Stand by.
8. Note to men: Jewelry and flowers always help. Especially for absolutely no reason.
9. Fight. Some people say it’s bad to fight, but I say it’s just what happens in a long term relationship. Say your thing, get it out. Start again.
10. Laugh. Together, apart, at yourselves. This is maybe the most important thing I’ve learned.