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20 Things We’ve Learned In 20 Years Of Marriage…And Why Only One Thing Matters
By Glenn and Jennifer Spears
We’re a love story…a real, true love story…there is just no other way to describe us. Recently, we celebrated our 20 year wedding anniversary, and it made us think about all of the things we’ve learned in 20 years of marriage.
Twenty years…240 months…624 weeks…7300 days…175,200 hours… 10,512,000 minutes…that’s how long we have shared a last name, shared a bed, shared our hopes and dreams…and our fears.
During those years, things haven’t always been easy, but we can honestly say that we wouldn’t change anything. The bad days helped us appreciate the good days, and we have definitely learned a few things.
So here they are, in no particular order…20 things we’ve learned in 20 years of marriage.
1. You can go to bed angry.
Not all disagreements can be solved in one day…that’s just how it is. However, being angry about one little thing doesn’t mean that you don’t kiss each other good night and say ‘I love you.’
2. Kids will change your marriage.
Well…obviously! Children are a blessing, but learning how to parent together can be a challenge. Talk. Talk a lot. Then talk some more! When it comes to kids, you have to be on the same page, not just in the same book.
3. You can’t compare your life, or your marriage, to anyone else’s.
People naturally put the best parts of their lives out there for everyone to see. No one has a “perfect” life…or a “perfect” marriage. Be happy with what you have and who you have. A long-term, committed marriage is better than anything you could get by starting over.
4. If you can’t share your money, you shouldn’t share your bed.
Money is just a made up thing. It isn’t real! The only reason why it has any value is because we choose to believe that it has value. Put all of your earnings together, make a savings and spending plan, and enjoy the real things in life…like each other!
5. You can take turns being the strong one.
Husbands cry sometimes, and wives sometimes make more money than their husbands. Don’t keep track, don’t keep score…just love and support each other through all of the ups and downs of life. It’s a comfort to both of us to know that we have each other’s backs.
6. Be patient with each other.
Everyone is allowed to have a bad day. When your spouse is grumpy or just plain in a bad mood, don’t take it personally. Let them know that they are loved and that you are there when they need you…but then give them space.
7. Don’t kiss and tell.
What happens in the marriage…stays in the marriage. Be like Vegas.
8. A few minutes alone to talk is more important than date night.
Newsflash…date nights are not always possible. Going out to eat, or going to do something fun is great, but don’t forget to talk and stay connected between dates.
9. Only worry when you stop making each other laugh.
Marriage isn’t always hot and heavy. There are hills and valleys, ups and downs…and times when the really romantic feelings just aren’t there. Laugh your way through it. Those times don’t last long, and then you get to experience the whole “falling in love” thing all over again.
10. It’s not always easy…but it’s worth it.
We can say, without a doubt, that our lives are better now than they would have been if we had never married, or if we had given up during any of the times when our marriage got tough.
More things we’ve learned in 20 years of marriage
11. Sex gets better over time.
We laugh whenever we see recipes titled ‘Better Than Sex’ brownies…or cookies…or whatever. Don’t get us wrong…we like a brownies…but we’ve never had one better than sex. As a happily married, sexually satisfied couple…we get irritated whenever we hear stereotypes about boring “married people” sex. Seriously…single folks don’t know what they’re missing.
12. Change is good…but hard.
Over time, people change. We’re not the same people that we were when we said “I do.” It’s a choice to love the new person as your spouse grows, matures and evolves.
13. You must love each other’s families.
Another stereotype that we hate is the myth of the evil mother-in-law. When you marry, two families are joining, not just two people. Love the people that your spouse loves.
14. Making plans and dreaming about your future together keeps today’s problems in perspective.
Don’t let your lives become stagnant. Always be planning new adventures and dreaming new dreams.
15. Never keep secrets…even little ones.
This just goes without saying. Never keep anything from your spouse. And if you ever feel like you should, then those are the things you need to tell your spouse about right away.
16. Your spouses dreams must become your dreams too.
You’re doing life together! You can’t be living separate lives and expect to end up at the same destination. Talk, plan… and then reach your dreams together.
17. All the best couples have their own secret language.
Maybe we shouldn’t be telling you this…but when people have been together for decades, they communicate without words and gestures. We can have an entire conversation…around other people…without saying a word, and without the other people having a clue as to what is happening.
18. Don’t let the little things turn into big things.
Talk about things…don’t let them fester. Simple misunderstandings can turn into major disagreements if they are not talked about early on.
19. You have to choose to want each other…every day, over and over again.
Not just love each other…but want each other…need each other…desire each other. There is no other way other than to make a conscience decision that no other human on the planet is worth even considering being unfaithful to your spouse. No one is more desirable. No one is sexier or a better catch. You’ve got to be all in…all the time.
20. Guard your friendship.
Of all the things we’ve learned in 20 years of marriage, we’ve learned that friendship is the only part that really matters, because it’s on a level that some people never experience. Your friendship with each other trumps all other friendships. Having other friendships is important, but no one should ever come before your spouse.
In the end, when we are old…our sex life may have settled down, all of our dreams may have been reached, our children will have been raised, our business passed down to our children…and what will we have then?
We’ll just be two old friends…
We imagine ourselves sitting on a porch somewhere warm and sunny, holding hands…speaking in our secret language…reminiscing about our decades together…and knowing that whatever comes beyond this life…our love, our bond, and our friendship will live on.
So there you have it, some of the things we’ve learned in 20 years of marriage. We have a wonderful life together, and a great future ahead of us, and we are so grateful.
We’d love to know what marriage has taught you…leave us a comment!
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