When my marriage hit the 21 year mark, I was so happy. Here I was, with the man of my dreams, which was something I never thought would happen.
My marriage isn’t perfect, but we have been hanging in there for a pretty long time (and we have six kids), so we must be doing something right!
I realize everyone has their own “methods” to their “madness,” but I wanted to share my 21 do’s and don’ts for how we keep our marriage alive and kicking.
I know these aren’t perfect guidlines for everyone or every marriage. These are purely what has worked for us, and I would tell anyone who asked.
- Do make one another a priority.
- Don’t ignore each other’s feelings. Talk, communicate, be transparent.
- Do ask how each other’s day was. (Such a simple thing that has a huge impact.)
- Do show affection, especially around your kids. They need to see the closeness that you have together.
- Do show a united front when issues arise.
- Don’t put yourself in compromising positions. Protect yourself and your marriage. I have been there. It isn’t worth it.
- Don’t keep secrets (surprise parties are an exception.) If you find yourself having to cover up or hide things, stop. Full stop.
- Do show each other acts of kindness, whether it be taking out the trash, or washing the car. Like I said, it’s the little things.
- Do let the kids see you spending time together. It’s important they see that their parents interact. Which leads me to the next one…
- Do express your feelings for one another in front of your kids. I truly believe hearing this gives kids a sense of security in their home life.
- Do turn off the electronics when you go to bed. Read a book, interact, snuggle, cuddle, whatever.
- Do have sex, lots of it. Trust me on this one.
- Do be willing to meet in the middle. Compromise. Bend.
- Do have date nights. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Go get an ice cream, rent a movie and sit on the couch with Chinese food.
- Don’t forget birthdays or other special occasions. I can speak from experience, it doesn’t bode well for the person who forgot! (my husband! LOL)
- Don’t talk negatively about your spouse’s family. It can cause resentment.
- Do be supportive of your spouse’s occupation. This one can be hard! My husband works a lot of hours, and it isn’t always easy for our large family. I just have to remember he is working this hard FOR us.
- Don’t forget yourself. Self care is so important for not only you, but your spouse and your entire family. Get your nails done, get a coffee with a friend. When Mama is happy, everyone is happy!
- Do give your spouse freedom. Let him hang with the guys, go get a beer, watch sports at a bar. They’ll thank you for it later!
- Do pick your battles. Toilet seat up? Put it down. Cabinet door open? Close it.
- Don’t give up! Marriage is HARD work, but in the end, when the kids are gone, and the house is quiet… you will still have each other’s hands to hold.