Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happily ever after

In honor of my wedding anniversary,
I thought it apropos to share some tips to living happily ever after.

What would I know about "living happily ever after", you ask?
After all, I'm not even 30 and I've only been married for 3 years.
Well, let me tell you.

I have been with my husband for over 8.5 years.
We have never once broken up.
We lived together nearly 5 years before getting married.
My parents have been married for over 30 years,
and my grandparents well over 50 years before their passing...
I had AMAZING healthy relationship role modeling.

Thus, here are my tips to a successful marriage.

Divide chores fairly.
I take on the grocery shopping, cooking, & general house cleaning.
The huzz is maintenance and grounds crew.
Don't ask me to fix something, and I won't ask you to make dinner.
We do our own laundry and clean up after our own messes.
(Read:  I do not touch his shaving remnants in the bathroom sink.)
Yet, be able to pitch in when your help is needed!
(Bonus points if you do this without being asked.)

Keep track of spending & make fair contributions.
Keep track of monthly expenditures on, for example.
Set a budget for dining out, etc. and really try to stick to it.
When we were both working (which will, again, soon be the case),
we each contributed the same percentage to the joint account.
For example, 60% from each of our bi-monthly paychecks goes directly to joint expenditures.  The rest goes into our own personal checking accounts.
While realistically, what is mine is his (and vice versa),
having a "personal" fund allows for us to treat ourselves without feeling guilty.
(Hello, mani/pedi's!  Oh, how I miss you.)

Date nights.
(And general personal up-keep.)
Gots to keep it sexy, y'all.

Say "thank you."
And really mean it.
For a meal, a surprise gift, running an errand, cleaning a dirty diaper st 5am, etc.
Be sure to return the favor every now and then.
Cultivate an environment of give-and-take that's based on genuine kindness.

Laugh every single day.
If my husband were to describe me in three words,
while I hope for a second he'd say "hot-sex-kitten",
I am more happy (and turned on!) that he'd more likely say "funny-best-friend".
It is most certainly how I also feel about him!

Being married to your best friend is what will get you through each day,
the good and the bad,
and what will sustain your relationship in the long run.
(Long run = well into your 80's (hopefully), a.k.a. when you'd need more Viagra and lube than you could ever imagine possible if your relationship was not  based on a foundation of friendship.)

Stay healthy.
Not only will you look and feel better,
but with a growing family,
you need to do everything in your power to make sure you'll be there...
not only for each other, but also for your children, well  into the future.
So get on each other for those annual physicals, dentist appointments,
vaccine updates, dermatology screenings, etc.
Because let's face it:  You'd be LOST without your life partner.

General courtesy.
Call if you're going to be late.
If you use the last sheet of toilet paper, replace the roll.
Apologize when you're in the wrong.
Be a partner who puts their happiness on the same level as your own.
And so on...

It's okay to argue.
But do so with respect.  No name-calling or swearing, etc. (if you can help it!)
In order to communicate your feelings and break bad habits,
you need to have open, honest communication.
And sometimes, that will result in a spat.
It's okay.
Your relationship is growing and evolving for the better.

Respect each other.
It's not only the right thing to do for each other,
but perhaps more importantly...

How you treat one another is rubbing off on your offspring.
You are role modeling what a relationship means.
Make sure you're doing a good job!

Say "I love you".
Every. Single. Day.
The more often the better.
Combine this with lots of hugs and kisses.
We are never guaranteed tomorrow,
so be sure your spouse knows how much you love them today.

Cheers to many more years of wedded bliss,
for us, as well as any other married folks out there!
And to those who are happily betrothed,
what are your  "happily ever after" tips??

~image via pinterest / photos by Gregory Bleck Photography (2009)~

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