I’m certainly no expert on marriage.
However, I can say I’m celebrating my fifteenth anniversary today, and of my first marriage. I saw many friends get married, get divorced in a few years, only to marry again – and sometimes a third time, or never at all.
I decided to skip the crappy first marriage and go straight to the permanent one.
It wasn’t a conscious decision, not in so many words. However, I did vow to myself when I was in college that I wouldn’t get married without getting my degree first. Of course, the point was mostly moot. Except for when I was 16 (and a Columbian college student asked me to become his Anchor Bride), I never received any offers of marriage until well after my Bachelors AND my Masters degrees were completed.
Still, I knew life could be fulfilling and happy without a husband. My mom had proven that to me many times over. She didn’t get married for the first time until after I did! (If you want to learn more about this romantic tale, see my book Better To Have Loved).
But, as I said, today is Fifteen Years. They’ve been full of love and hate, fights and make-ups. My best advice, such as it is:
- Don’t go to bed angry.
- Make sure you each have your own space to retreat to – and then don’t invade the other person’s space. That’s their sanctuary.
- Have common interests, but also have your own. Respect the others’ interests. Support them as much as you can, but don’t try to control them.
- Have mutual friends.
- Don’t be jealous of time spent with their friends.
- Don’t be jealous. Period.
- Most fights are over money or sex. While these are important things, neither is essential to your love and respect for each other. If they are all that’s holding you together, you’re in lust/greed, not love.
- Kiss each other good night every night. Yes, every night.
- Tell the other you love them every day. Yes, every day.
- Consider the other person’s needs.
- Tell the other person your needs (don’t make them guess!)
That’s about it, really. It’s worked for us, for the most part. Hopefully it helps someone else!