5 years ago, I was doing this:
Yes, staring at Mo with googly eyes.
It’s a favorite pastime of mine.
So. 5 years isn’t really that long of a marriage. But on this, the day of our anniversary, I wanted to share a little bit of what makes our marriage work and what advice I’d give to someone about to hop onto the marriage-wagon.
Surprise them. I’m not talking about bringing home a puppy kind of surprise (unless, of course, that’s what they’re into), but little surprises: peanut M&Ms after a bad day, love notes, etc. Make sure they realize you don’t take them for granted.
Dream together. Games of what-would-you-do-if-you-had-a-million-dollars or discussions on where you see yourselves in the future… those are the best.
(see what I did there?)
Stay close. Physically, mentally, emotionally, whatever. Distance yourself and you might as well just be living with a roommate. Be open and honest and listen to them when they do the same. If something good happens in your life, they should be the first person you want to share it with. Same goes for the bad. And I can’t emphasize enough the importance of couple-time. We’ve been lucky to enjoy a lot of that, but if you’re getting marriage and starting a family right off, don’t neglect the husband/wife relationship.
Be supportive. It’s really nice when you find someone who will change your flat tires, work hard to provide for your family, encourage you to pursue all sorts of different hobbies, and who will go to the store twice in a 24-hour period for more baking supplies so you don’t have to leave your project. True story.
Expect good days and bad days and days that are neither. Because that’s life and marriage is part of life.
Be proud of your spouse. Brag about them and their accomplishments. At some point, word will get back to them about all the nice things you say about them.
Be open to change. Both of you will grow up and change over time. Neither of us are the same people as that 5 year old picture at the top of this post. Just realize that change will happen and be open to it. Because a lot of the time, change is a good thing and most likely, you’ll both end up as better people in the end.