Twenty years ago on June 6th I married my best friend, Mike! I’ve always been a woman who values research and I laugh out loud when I think back to the time I purchased John Gray’s book, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”. You can’t fault me for seeking a better understanding of the opposite sex. Here are the 20 lessons learned in 20 years of marriage. This is not a sappy list of love stories. Wrong blog, wrong person! It is, however, a list of honest lessons that were most likely learned the hard way.
The only “D” word that should ever be allowed in your home is “donuts”. The word “divorce” can be gently used when talking about juicy celebrity gossip like Jen and Brad, or Brad and Angelina. Oh, how about Brittany and Kevin Federline. That’s a good one, too!
Small signs of love yields pounds and pounds of gratitude! Mike makes my coffee for me every morning and he hates coffee! It’s such a sweet little extra gesture that I find myself going out of my way to reciprocate. (okay- that was somewhat sappy).
The only acceptable time to lie in a marriage is when answering the question, “Do these pants make me look fat?”.
Each new year of marriage brings wisdom and maturity. Most of our earlier
fights arguments were more about immaturity. We have maturely determined that we are both just too tired to argue.
There’s no such thing as a fairytale happily-ever-afters…unless you are Meghan Markle. Not everything will go as you envisioned or as you planned. Being flexible makes room for you to accept plan B.
A happy marriage is balanced with compromise. As you celebrate each new year of marriage you find that you’re more willing to compromise. Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s a waste of time. (wow- that was like 3 lessons in 1)
The word “squabble” sounds a lot like “gobble”. If you’re a repeat “squabbler” your spouse may only hear “gobble”, “gobble”, “gobble”. Give up the squabble and focus on being understood when it matters most. Believe me, not everything is “squabble worthy”.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T is not just an Aretha Franklin song! The people you love the most are the ones who deserve your respect. Say “please” and “thank you”.
You don’t always need to agree on everything, but you do need to have common goals and values. There are a few couples who can prove this lesson to be incorrect because of their differing political views. I don’t really know how they do it! I guess that means they talk about weather and puppies.
Building traditions isn’t something you just do for your kids. Just like everyone gets excited about eating a turkey for thanksgiving or wearing green on St. Patricks Day, Mike and I have little traditions and rituals that we share and look forward to.
Being right all the time is as helpful to your marriage as washing your car on a rainy day!
Keep up the excitement! Remember those days when you were super excited to see your boyfriend/girlfriend. Big smiles and kisses, right! Those “hellos” and “goodbyes” were measured with feelings. Being celebrated evokes happiness! Don’t lose the clebration. Giving the extra effort to express your excitement can change your entire day.
Compliments go a L O N G way and name calling is never acceptable…unless it’s something like “hot mama”.
Laughter is the best medicine! Don’t take everything so darn serious. Unless you’re Squidward, no one ever said they hate laughing. Studies show that people in general are drawn to those who laugh a lot. Laughing with your partner creates moments of comical solidarity that can’t be taken away. Laugh hard, laugh often and laugh together!
Get rid of the external negativity in your marriage. Recognizing early on that you have the freedom to choose the amount of time you spend with toxic family and friends is liberating. Do what is best for the two of you!
“Hangry” is a real thing! No serious conversations, besides what your about to eat, should take place when you or your spouse is hangry!
Adventures aren’t just for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Find journeys you can take together, even if it’s right in your own backyard. Go on a hike, take a walk, plant a garden together, or visit a new restaraunt. Plan a trip to somewhere both of you have never been and explore together.
Listening is more important than talking…unless you have a British accent! Then you can talk all you want because you sound super cool!
There will be lots of bumps in the road. It’s not about how many bumps you have, it’s about how you navigate together around them and over them.
Quite Possibly the Most Important Lesson…
The grass is never greener on the other side. As a matter of fact, the grass on the other side is spray painted! It’s just for looks! That crap will wash off, and before you know it you have dead grass. TRUEST FACT OF THEM ALL: The grass is greener where you water it! Forget climbing the fence, stay in your own backyard and invest in fertilizer!
So, this is it my friends! If you walk away connecting to at least one of these lessons my job is done!
Cheers to another 20, babe, I love you!