I decided I would write about our secret to a happy marriage. I thought it would be even more fun to ask him to do the same. We each wrote our own response without consulting one another. You can read what we each thought. I was actually amazed that on paper he was logical and organized and I was emotional. In real life we are totally different. I am more logical, organized, and concise and my husband is more emotional. I still believe 14 years later that he is the “one” and this is why.
He said, ”
I would like to think that my wife and I have a successful marriage. We spend every free moment together both as a couple and a family and I can truly say that my wife is my best friend. Nonetheless, I do remind myself from time to time that marriage is a full time job, no 9-5 and most of the lesson’s learned in matrimony come from trial and error.
Here are several lessons from our 14 year journey:
- Constructive tension is a good thing. In marriage, both parties do not always agree. What is important is to respect each other’s opinion, even if it differs from your own. Respect is the cornerstone that will allow a couple to overcome challenges as they arise.
- Stereotypical roles are a thing of the past – Men can cook and clean, bring kids to school, and help with the everyday chores in life. Women can earn a strong salary and be a financial provider for the household. What works in one household as far as role playing and duty sharing may not work in others, but the main point here is do not get bogged downed in bias and outside environmental peer pressure – do what works right for your marriage and family.
- Attitudes need to stay positive – I personally have a tendency to worry and contemplate on the future quite frequently. My wife is just the opposite; she is an optimist and thrives on challenges and the unknown. Nonetheless – we both strive to have positive attitudes in all walks of marriage as I can tell you from personal experience – it only takes one bad attitude to bring down the fort….
- If you do not like an aspect of your marriage, discuss it – There will always be several key attributes of a marriage you wish were slightly different – more free time together; difference in opinion on religion, faith; perspective on how to raise kids….There will need to be compromises, but the takeaway here is do not let a challenge fester – discuss it with your spouse. Both parties may not necessarily agree, but sometimes hearing a different perspective can open doors for discussion and different perspectives.
- Changing your partner may not be possible – Have you ever tried to change someone’s habits? Not an easy goal. However, I can tell you an easier goal is changing yourself. I have experienced several transformations in my marriage and I can guarantee you there will be more to come.
- You both have imperfections – My spouse and I are huge competitors in everything we do – we do not ever want to lose. Whether it is an argument, performance outcomes, or self-discipline – we both like to think we are tough to beat. The fact of the matter is, however, we both have our fair share of imperfections. I believe what keeps us strong is we accept each other’s imperfections, and will work as a team to fill the voids where needed.
- Love for better or worse – The daily grind can beat a couple down and add chaos and stress to even the strongest marriages. But how a couple thrives under the stress and rebounds will only strengthen an indestructible bond called marriage. I know that my spouse has my back and will be there when I fall, and I believe that she feels the same reciprocity is there for her as well.”
” The secret to a happy marriage is adoration.” Mat and I have been together for almost half our lives. It seems like yesterday that we met but unfortunately the gray hair tells a whole different tale. I often wonder what is it that keeps us together when so many people get divorced. I would like to say it is our love for one another but that isn’t tangible and I’m a tangible person. I would say it is that Mat always holds my hand. I mean literally. I remember a time when we first got married. I was literally “done” being married. Mat took my hand and told me I was not leaving the car until I could convince him that breaking up was a good idea. I remember the moment he took my hand that all the reasons I had were in fact not at all “reasonable”.
I think back to the very thing that happens after you are pronounced man and wife your hand is placed in the hand of your spouse. That is symbolic of the partnership you have now formed. I know my husband doesn’t even know or think about the fact that after 17 years together that his holding of my hand is still one of the most significant actions that he takes everyday. He always grabs my hand and holds it. He does so to be close to me and possibly to keep me from shopping.
I know when he holds my hand he is taking care of my heart. He held my hand as we had each of our children. He held my hand right before he held each child. He held my hand when I had tests taken at the hospital and when we watched our son in the NICU. He held my hand on the car rides back and forth to see him and then again on our way home.
He has held my hand during every school performance that our children have given. He holds my hand at every sporting event. He holds my hand every time we go out to dinner. He insists on sitting next to me because being across from me is “far away”. He holds my hand before bed and kisses my fingers before saying goodnight. He even holds my hand when I am in a “mood”. He doesn’t care. He just accepts that I am perfectly imperfect. I know that no matter what he will always be there for me. I would say that the reason we are still together and will remain so is because my husband doesn’t take the little things for granted and he just adores me. I appreciate all that he does and who he is and I love him and trust him. I know that he will always fight for our love and remain committed to our lives together and that no matter what he will hold my hand so we are ready for whatever life has in store for us. We both believe in Love, Laughter, and Forever After.”
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