I often pondered what it takes to have a successful marriage. I’ve asked people for their advice and I’ve heard things like, “you have to be best friends”, “don’t go to bed angry”, and “respect each other”. I agree with each of these. Now, with my own experiences and through trial and error, I’ve created a list of 7 tips plus 1 for good luck that leads to a happy, lifelong marriage.
1. Be Teammates
This is our motto. We are teammates first. David Beckham was once asked, “How have you remained a one woman man?” He replied, “She is my best friend. Would you want to hurt your best friend?” My husband shared this with me and it has become our marriage mantra. We always treat each other as best friends because that is what we are.
Ask yourself, “How would I treat my best friend in this situation?”
2. Intimacy and Sex are Key
My husband and I share a chemistry I can’t explain in words. The energy we can feel from one another is electric. Focusing on affection and sex are priorities to us. We enjoy pleasing one another. The benefits of a healthy sex life and the oxytocin boost are so worth it.
Throw on some lingerie and sexy heels, get frisky and reap the rewards.
3. Enjoy Communication
Being a verbal processor, I used to feel guilty for having to talk things out so much. But my husband always tells me, “you’re not bothering me or talking too much, in fact, you’re helping me as much as this is helping you.” Phew. What a relief it is knowing my need to verbally process things is not only accepted but appreciated.
Don’t be afraid to talk it out and more importantly, listen.
4. Laughter is the Best Medicine
This one can be hard for me, even though I love laughing! At times I can be wound up so tight, I forget to ease up and laugh. My husband helps me to laugh more with his sense of humor and quick wit.
Take a deep breath, don’t take yourself so seriously, and laugh it up.
5. Acceptance: Quirks and All
My husband and I share many idiosyncrasies. I mean, our wedding favors were hand sanitizers because my husband is a germaphobe. He likes the dishes loaded in the dishwasher a certain way. I set 5 alarms in the morning and hit snooze 10 times. I let my gas tank run down to empty, whereas he needs it always 1/4 full. We have our quirks. The best part is, we accept and appreciate each other’s quirks. We tease each other about our quirks almost on a daily basis, but only in a playful way.
Appreciate the quirks. Life would be pretty boring without them.
6. Spend time Hanging Out
Spending time together is how my love tank gets refilled. It can be having breakfast together, going for a walk with the dogs, watching a movie, laughing at YouTube videos, riding our motorcycles, cuddling, or going bowling. No matter what we do, we are happy just spending time together.
Carve out some time to spend with your honey and enjoy each other’s company.
7. It’s the Little Things
My husband wakes up every day and takes care of the girls, the dogs, and makes me coffee, while I get ready for work. I try to have dinner cooked for him when he gets home from a hard day’s work. He lets me sleep in on Sundays. I give him shoulder massages in hopes of relieving his migraines. He’ll stop at the store to buy me one single red rose. I’ll stop to buy him cheesecake. He’ll send me sweet texts. I’ll leave him little notes. We take turns taking the dogs out, doing the girl’s laundry, and running errands.
The littlest things mean the most. Don’t take them for granted.
Appreciate all the little things because the little things are really the big things.
8. Faith & Honor
Back when I was a bartender, an older man came in that inspired me and gave me hope. He was by himself. He opened up to me about his wife. He spoke so highly of her, talking about her with such love and honor. After 40 some years of marriage, I could see the sparkle in his eyes. He was surrounded by drunk men who complained about their “nagging wives,” but he refused to speak of her in that way. He stood out. I thought to myself, I hope I can find a man like that someday.
Fast forward a few years, and I found a man of that class and character.
No matter who I am with or what setting I’m in, I always honor my husband and he does the same.
Always honor your love, no matter what.
Nicole DiLorenzo is an educator, mentor, wife, and stepmom of two girls. Her passion for teaching has spilt into the stepfamily dynamic, wanting to help others navigate their role. She runs a blog which helps her therapeutically deal with the many blessings and challenges within the stepfamily dynamic. She enjoys yoga, dog walks, riding motorcycles, vacations, and living a balanced life. Visit www.stepmomwarrior.com for more information.