What makes a marriage work?

My husband and I just shared our 10 year wedding anniversary. It just so happens that we also got married on our anniversary of being together. We count that date more than our wedding anniversary, since we were practically married before we made it official. That means we have been together for 19 years. We were kids when we got together. I was 14 years old. 14!!!!!

19 years later: 2 kids, 1 short sale on a town home, and a butt load of trips to DisneyLand later, and we are still going strong. When I say going strong, I mean, no one has ever called the cops, we can tolerate each other, and still enjoy an evening snuggle.

I always said that I would probably kill my husband before leaving him. And so far, so good. But what makes it so we want to keep trucking forward in this life together? That is a very hard question. There is a P!ink song that best describes my love for my husband, “True Love”. And I quote her lyrics here:

“Sometimes I hate every single stupid word you say
Sometimes I wanna slap you in your whole face
There’s no one quite like you
You push all my buttons down
I know life would suck without you

True love, true love
It must be true love
Nothing else can break my heart like
True love, true love,
It must be true love
No one else can break my heart like you”

Both my husband and I come from broken homes. We have seen divorce over and over. We have seen disfunction and negativity from our parents divorce. To us, divorce is just not an option.

But I have to say, there are a couple of things we have learned over the years that has helped keep our relationship going:

  1. Once engaged in an argument with your spouse, that is particularly not going anywhere, it is best to break out in a quote from your favorite movie that you both share interest in. For example, anything from a Vince Vaughn movie works great. The key is to chose a movie quote that can ease the tension in the argument. (Example, “You motor boating son of a bitch”. Wedding Crashers)
  2. Go to the bathroom with the door open. If you can do this, there are no secrets in a marriage.
  3. Have a solid 3 TV shows you like to watch together. And if they can be a little raunchy, even better. Just choose shows where the kids have to go to bed first. Re-runs of Roseanne does not count. But Survivor or Big Brother are great, cause you can talk about them through out the week and come up with theories of how each week’s show will pan out. We have boring lives, can you tell?
  4. Separate bank accounts!!! I have to say, this is probably the one thing that has saved our marriage over and over. We have a joint checking and savings that pay for all the joint bills, groceries, kids clothing, kids ¬†activities, and trip money. Then we each have our own personal checking and savings. This pays for all our individual bills, work lunches, movie tickets, clothes, video games, etc. We can’t give each other shit for how we want to spend our personal money, as long as no one is touching the joint money for personal reasons. It is fabulous! I wouldn’t change it for the world.
  5. Have at least 1-2 sets of couple friends, where you can double date. When you have been with someone forever, and have kids, I have to say, it is hard to get out on dates. Quite frankly, I would rather stay home and shop on Amazon in my PJS, then go out on dates. But it is important to do. Adult time, outside of the house, without kids, reminds us that we can still have fun together and enjoy each others company outside of day to day life. Now, if you have another set of friends, who are also a couple, then all the better. They can motivate you to go out with them. And they can offer a different set of conversation topics besides kindergarten and the baby’s frequency of pooping.

Marriage is hard work!!!! We have had our ups and downs. Our relationship is always challenged when there is transition going on, or a change in finances, or baby sleep patterns. But in the end, I love him with all my heart. And we are a united team, just planning our next DisneyLand trip.

2 thoughts on “What makes a marriage work?

  1. This is a great post. My husband and I do #1 a lot. I do #2…even when doing #2, but my husband won’t. We need to watch more tv together. He watches sport and I Twitter. We used to watch The Office together a few years ago and that was fun because, like you said, we’d talk about it later. We don’t really date and have few couple friends either. They’re hard to find. This is great advice. Wish I had read it sooner, I would have begged you to link it up with our Finish the Sentence Friday. It’s perfect.

    • Thanks so much Kate. I absolutely love your blog. I love your writing style. We seem to have a similar mind set. Please keep coming back. I would be more than happy to contribute to your blog at anytime. I just started blogging, so still feeling out the ropes.

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