1. Marriage doesn’t get any easier. If you are still in the first decade of marriage (or the 2nd decade, for that matter), and keep waiting for marriage to get easier, forget it. You and your spouse will continue to change; you will each age; you may have health or physical problems develop that were not there in the early years; family members will die; family members will aggravate you; children will get older. With every new day there is another adjustment to make.
2. Find something you like to do together. Shared time is what creates a sense of bonding. Even if the “thing you do together” is eat dinner while watching “Jeopardy,” it’s the time you spend with each other, shutting everything else out that is important.
3. Create space for separateness. A good marriage should celebrate the phrase, “Vive la difference!” Being with your clone is no fun, and it’s no
4. Don’t expect the arguments to stop – just expect the topics to be different. There is absolutely no way that two people are always going to agree on everything, and sometimes one of you feels more passionately about something than the other and insists on getting his/her way. There are also the sore, unresolved issues from years and years that resurface – and when they do, they are crying for a resolution. Look for resolve, and then resolve to move on.
5. Compromise can be overrated. Sometimes compromise is damaging rather than conciliatory. On certain matters – where you live, how money is
spent, the size house you have, whether or not you take a vacation – someone may have to give in. But the one who gained the concession(s) needs to acknowledge the yielding made by the other.
6. Stay physical. It’s one of the primary perks of putting up with the foibles of another human being in the same bed/bedroom/house.
7. And remember, love is not a feeling, it’s a decision. Ditto for forgiveness. No comment necessary.