The fact that my husband and I will be married 25 years this May is mind-boggling. Nonetheless, I realize that I am extremely fortunate. Not only do I still love my husband, but also, I like him. Too often in marriages one, or both, of these feelings is lost. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you’re not paying attention, it can, and frequently does, happen. As a divorce attorney, I see it every single day.
When people find out I’ve been married for almost 25 years, they want to know the secret. Here’s the secret. There isn’t one. If you want a good marriage, you need to work on it and pay attention. You need to understand that the dream of marriage may be very different than the reality. Every day is not going to be sunshine and rainbows, but it doesn’t have to be thunderstorms either.
It’s essential to stay connected with your spouse, and I don’t mean exchanging texts. In this fast paced world, it is way too easy to become two ships passing in the night.
While there isn’t a secret recipe to a good marriage, in honor of my 25th wedding anniversary, I’m sharing with you the 25 ingredients that will help your marriage have more sunshine than thunderstorms.
1. The things you want, or think you want, when you get married will change over time. You need to adapt.
2. It’s not whether you will fight, it’s how you fight.
3. You may occasionally drop the F bomb, just don’t drop the D word.
4. Being a stay-at-home parent is not easier than going to work.
5. You will argue about your children.
6. If you don’t talk to each other when your kids are growing up, you won’t have anything to talk about when they are gone.
7. You can’t change someone else, including your spouse.
8. It’s important to have your own interests, but you still need to do things together.
9. Your spouse needs to take priority over your parents.
10. If you never like the gift your spouse gives you, he or she will stop giving you gifts.
11. Be careful that the characteristic you loved about your spouse when you got married does not become the very characteristic you end up hating.
12. Sex is important.
13. Intimacy is even more important than sex.
14. Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do.
15. Don’t judge your relationship based on other people’s relationships.
16. Make choices that your spouse will respect.
17. With aging parents and small children, the support of your spouse is essential.
18. You can do anything with the support of your spouse.
19. Don’t be a martyr.
20. Don’t forget to laugh, have fun, and be silly together.
21. Don’t lie.
22. It’s important to recognize the things your spouse does for you, even the little things.
23. It takes two to make a marriage work.
24. Sharing finances is important.
25. Remember to say “I love you.”