In July, my husband and I celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary. We got married back in 2008 following my college graduation. I was only 22 at the time and him? Well, he was all good-looking at the prime age of 30.

There were may vocal skeptics who chimed in, unasked of course, to share with us their belief that we would “never last” and that it would “never work”.

To them, I say, “You were wrong! Na-na, na-na, boo-boo!”

Just kidding, of course; I don’t talk like that. I am a respectable mother, not a four-year-old child and thank goodness for my being so well-mannered and respectful because those are the characteristics that have helped me to keep our marriage afloat.

Because I am such an apparent expert on how to avoid separation and divorce within your first 10 years of marriage, I am going to share my top tips for keeping a spouse for a decade.

Here we go:

1. Drop out of law school or quit any stress-inducing career you may have. Yep, it worked for me. Nobody enjoys being around someone who is always anxious and bogged down by pressure. How can you adequately fulfill his needs and his bucket if you are always stressed about the 10 million things overflowing out of your own bucket? You can’t. So let some of it go.

2. Have kids and lots of them. Most good men won’t leave you out of fear it would hurt their children, whom they so immensely love even more than you. While most would frown upon having a baby to keep a man, I’m just saying I’ve had three, and he hasn’t left me yet.

3. Be moody and change your appearance often. Oh my goodness, this one is so fun. Change the color of your hair monthly and your style of dress and be sure to switch up your personality to follow suit. He will be so intrigued by your chameleon-like behavior, it will make him feel like he is dating multiple women and this, my friend, will keep him from doing just that.

4. Engage in some hanky panky at least twice a year—or more, if you want, but one good worth-writing-home-about birthday suit romp is sure to keep him around for another six months.

5. Be a pain and then don’t be and then be a pain again. What? Let me explain: be challenging and needy and heck, if you want to, be nagging. He will voice that you are frustrating him, but let me tell you from experience, men miss how annoying you are when you suddenly stop irritating them. For real, try it; for one whole day be your normal over-bearing, over-analyzing and over-communicating self. Then, the next day, don’t be any of that. He will be so bewildered; he will miss his annoying wife and want her back.

6. Have at least one date night a year; a date night where the kids sleep at Grandma’s house and you get tanked. It may surprise you how one night out together like when you were youngsters can bring up positive memories of the good ol’ days.

What do you think of these? Think they will work for you? Maybe, or more likely perhaps not.

Guess what till work, though?

CARVING HUMOR OUT OF EVERY CHALLENGING MARRIAGE MOMENT FOR 10 YEARS.

That is the key!

That is your key to unlocking another 10 years with the one you so dearly love or merely put up with because he’s pretty hot.

It’s the repetitive lyric on the soundtrack of life, but marriage and parenthood are really freaking hard and trying to stay married while raising kids can often feel like an insurmountable feat. But, if you choose to approach your relationship with humor and attempt to remedy any obstacle or challenge the two of you come across with jokes and laughter, you have a way better chance at hitting the 10-year mark with your chosen partner by your side.

Originally published on Sammiches and Psych Meds

Nicole Merritt

Nicole Merritt is a mother of three and the Owner and Founder of jthreeNMe, an imperfectly authentic peek at real-life marriage, parenting, and self-improvement. jthreeNMe is raw, honest, empowering, inspiring, and entertaining; it’s like chicken soup for those that are exhausted, over-stressed and under-inebriated, yet still utterly happy. Nicole's work has been featured by Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, BLUNTmoms, Thought Catalog, Everyday Family, Motherly & many others. You can follow Nicole at jthreeNMe and on FacebookPinterestInstagram & Twitter!