Today my hubby and I are celebrating 32 years of marriage. Does that mean we have the secret to a successful marriage locked down? No. We work on our marriage and relationship every single day. Have we learned a thing or two? Absolutely and thank God for the Invaluable lessons that like glue, have bonded us together still to this day.
Like so many newlyweds, Andre and I stepped into marriage with such high expectations, we were young (20 and 23), optimistic, and so unprepared.
Both of our parents were married for a long time but they never sat down and gave us the talk, so we were virtually newbies with no experience & no tools, yet — all we knew for sure is that we were married and it was magically going to work.
Marriage turned out to be more challenging than we both bargained for by the time we reached our fifth year, many of our friends and neighbors were either exploring the idea of divorce or divorcing (scary).
Here we are 32 years later, a lot wiser, stronger, and better. We’ve learned a lot, grown a lot and, as a result of our efforts, we have much to celebrate.
Here are 32 important lessons we learned the hard way:
1. Accepting each other as you are, flaws and all is a must.
2. Placing unrealistic expectations that neither of you even desire to achieve is a waste of energy and causes unnecessary riffs between you.
3. Motivate each other every day to be the best you that you can be. You’ll be surprised how those pep talks get you through the day.
4. Set couple-goals and work together to achieve them, hold each other accountable.
5. Acknowledge your love for one another as often as you both need to hear it.
6. Talk to each other every day, the more you talk to each other the more you get to really learn one another. No topic is too deep, the deeper the better.
7. Hug each other often, showing physical affection is important.
8. Disagreements are common, just because you’re married doesn’t mean you’ll agree about everything. Respect your differences, it’s what makes your marriage unique.
9. Fighting about dirty dishes and an untidy home when you’re tired is just unwise, save your preserve your energy and clean when you both have the energy. It will get done b/c it’s important to you both.
10. Apologize when you know you’re wrong. It’s the right thing to do.
11. Married folks don’t fight, they learn that they are two individuals who love one another and are learning to live together. You are two different people and you have to be willing to work through the hiccups of marriage It really does get easier.
12. If you married each other for your sexiness, know that your definitions of sexy will change over time. New definitions will surely come.
13. Never assume that your spouse knows something, tell them or be direct and ask for what you want or need.
14. Create an openness and unjudgemental platform in your marriage early on to talk about any and everything that is important to either of you.
15. When your spouse is yelling, stay quiet and listen. Rage doesn’t create calm but calm can minimize rage.
16. Disappointment in marriage is inevitable, it happens. The sooner you learn to deal with disappointments, the easier it gets.
17. Broken trust happens, say what needs to be said respectfully, find it in your heart to forgive and allow yourselves time to heal. If you both feel like you need counseling, get it, this is your marriage you’re fighting for.
18. Loving your spouse in sickness and in health is real and your spouse is really going to need you more than you imagined.
19. There may be times when you do more in the marriage than your spouse, is it really worth whining about? Probably not.
20. Love each other as much as you want, it’s important for you both to know how much you are loved by each other.
21. Talk to each other about concerns in your marriage, leave friends and family out of your business.
22. Sometimes, you need to listen to what each other is saying.
23. Silence really can be golden.
24. Eventually, you realize that you don’t have all the time in the world and you learn to focus on what matters most.
25. You learn eventually that you two are stronger together.
26. Quality time together matters.
27. There is no magical happily ever after, you work hard together to create your own happily ever after.
28. It’s ok to admit that you screwed up or made a mistake. What matters is the lesson it taught you.
29. Life is unpredictable but together you have what you need to grow through it.
30. Believe for each other when no one else believes.
32. Financial Wellness is Important in a marriage, address it early in your marriage, set a goal, work towards it together, hold each other accountable.
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