My husband Kyle and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage on New Year’s Eve. It’s a milestone to recognize although I won’t try to pretend we know it all. We have much to learn in the years ahead. God willing, we’ll be here to celebrate 20, 40 maybe even 60 years of wedded bliss.
Here’s what we’ve learned over the past 10 years. What would you add to your own suggestion list for a happy marriage? I would love to hear from you.
- The moment I knew Kyle was the one, I felt nervous and giddy and full of excitement. I still feel that way. Some days the flutter turns into a slow flap, especially during those years when our girls were screaming infants. But it’s still there. It’s always been there. Make sure you keep the flutter.
- I often hear people say marriage is work. I suppose that’s one way to describe it. Although truthfully, I’ve never felt that way. If you’re going to use work as a descriptive term for your marriage, at least make it be a casual Friday. Or better yet, the Friday before a long holiday weekend. My marriage always feels like the Friday before a three day break. Relaxed, exciting and full of new discoveries.
- It’s OK to disagree. We’ve had arguments. Only one bothered me longer than a few hours. And even that one was over by morning. Disagreements will happen. But make sure they don’t last too long. Grudges don’t look good on anyone.
- It’s OK to let the guy lead. I’m actually surprised I wrote that sentence, especially in 2014. But when I look back on our 10 years, I recognize something about myself that I’ve known all along. I like Kyle to lead our family. We make decisions together but he is our protector. He protects the girls and he protects me. I like that. I want that. It works for us.
- Just because my guy leads, it doesn’t mean he makes all the decisions. We make those together. Sometimes his idea is the way we roll; sometimes it’s mine. It’s more important to listen to each other and make the best choice for the entire family.
- Never talk badly about your spouse. This should go without saying but I’ve seen it. Don’t do that. Be proud of him. Be proud of her. Talk them up.
- Make sacrifices for each other. Kyle left an incredible job after our first year of marriage to come back to Nebraska for my job. He supports me on a daily basis even though I have crazy dreams and ideas. The only reason I am able to dream is because I have his support. And because of that support, I truly believe anything is possible.
- Learn how to find adventure in the small moments. In our 10 years of marriage we have moved, worked jobs with strange hours and had two little girls less than two years apart. Vacations and date nights have been very slim for us. And that’s OK. We watch movies when the girls go to bed or sneak away for lunch during our workday. We have fun during the day to day routine.
- Help each other with house work and the kids. I wash the laundry, he folds. If I cook, he puts the kids to bed. If he cooks, I put the kids to bed. Raising children and keeping a home clean takes effort from both sides. I can’t imagine doing all of the housework without his help. Plus, the kids would eat a lot of burned food and the laundry would never be folded without him.
- I genuinely like the guy. It’s a choice to like him. It’s an honor to love him. I’m a girl who wears sweatpants way too often and likely doesn’t deserve a man as wonderful as Kyle. When you find someone incredible, don’t mess it up. I’ll spend the rest of my life making sure I remember just how lucky I am.