How NOT To Suck At Marriage

How NOT To Suck At Marriage

Today Heidi and I celebrate our 7th anniversary of blissful marriage! (cheers and applause)

Thank you! Thank you!

I’m approaching this post from an attempted humble viewpoint and share some thoughts that have worked well for us.

I figured I’d take a stab at describing how NOT to suck at marriage.

It’s obviously impossible for me, a guy married for only 7 years, to claim to be an expert at marriage.

BUT, there are some things we’ve learned that have worked for us and will continue to work for us forever. So I figured I’d share them here.

Keep in mind, I don’t think any of this stuff is original and you’ve probably heard it before.

But when it comes to marriage (which is the most important endeavor you will ever achieve in life) it doesn’t hurt hearing some good tips again.

7 Tips to an Awesome Marriage

Seven seems to be a very lucky number for Heidi and me. This is now our 7th year of marriage. It also just so happens that as I was thinking about the key elements we live by in our marriage, it turned out to be 7!

So here we go!

#1 – Believe in Each Other

It’s powerful to have someone in your life that always believes in you no matter what. Even more than that, they push you to be great. A cheerleader if you will. It’s even better when this cheerleader is your spouse.

I’m not sure about you but nothing inspires me more than hearing a genuine compliment from my wife. Here’s a deep down secret – most of the things I do, I only do to show off for her. I think most guys are the same, whether they admit it or not.

#2 – Stand By Each Other

Closely related to believing in each other is standing by each other. This means that nothing is more important than each other. We are each other’s priorities.

Fortunately I learned this lesson very early in our marriage. I was gone for the weekend at a show for the artist I was working for at the time. Heidi had a medical problem and wanted me to come home and help her. I was too chicken to tell my boss I needed to leave the show like I should have.

That night, I tossed and turned in my hotel room. It was torture and I left early the next morning to return to Heidi and apologize. Heidi was amazingly forgiving and I’m glad to have learned early on that no job, no boss, no opportunity, nothing comes before her.

Standing by each other also means staying 100% loyal to each other – physically, emotionally, spiritually. No other person’s opinion, attitude, or whatever comes between our relationship with each other.

#3 – Communicate

This one is a no-brainer. Every marriage expert will tell you that communication is the number one most important aspect in every relationship.

To be a little more specific, the way you communicate is probably the most important. When we were first married, one of my good friends reminded me that there should never be a raised voice in the home.

That means no yelling.

It also means just plain being nice to each other when you talk. Always speak and treat each other with respect. Sometimes, this is easier said than done.

I’m fortunate to be married to a woman who would never tolerate such poor behavior on my part. Besides, since I’m always trying to impress her, speaking poorly to her is about the most opposite thing I could do. It’s just not worth it.

Talk openly. Speak nicely. Share your thoughts honestly and calmly. Yes, easier said than done but with a little effort, it can become a great new habit for you.

#4 – Make Goals and Decisions Together

This is a big one. What’s marriage if not setting out on life together with common dreams and goals? It’s about designing your ideal life together and then doing everything you can to make it come true.

When we were on our first date, I shared with Heidi a future dream I had. It was there, standing in line for Splash Mountain at Disneyland, that Heidi told me she knew she wanted to share that dream with me. Since then, we’ve worked on making that dream come true.

In case you’re wondering, it has something to do with our 40th birthday party. We’re both the same age and plan on making our 40th birthday one crazy awesome, kick-butt party. And it will be in Cozumel. Think lights on strings, warm tropical breeze, live music, and all the tacos you can handle…

#5 –Maintain a High Fun Level

Heidi says that she fell in love with me because we spent our first dates just laughing. She always wanted someone that she could laugh with and that came true when she laughed so hard her cheeks hurt!

Maintaining a high fun level is one of our highest values. Sure there’s stuff like kids throwing up, taking out the garbage, and so forth, but all of it is part of a higher, more fun-based life.

Planning activities together that are based around fun and fulfillment lead to a happy marriage.

Don’t think that fun is that big of a deal? Fine. Just spend your time arguing about money, bills, not going on dates, and generally not having any fun and see how long your marriage lasts.

It won’t.

Playing together helps you stay together.

#6 – Make Time for Each Other

Like communication, this one seems obvious. But it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day monotony. Before you know it, weeks or even months have gone past where you haven’t spent any real quality time together. This is especially true if you have kids.

Instead of being roommates, make time for each other by going on fun dates as often as you can.

Making time for each other also includes physical intimacy. Sex is a big part of marriage and is one of the best ways to connect on many important levels. This is part of what the word marriage is all about. Two separate but complimentary parts connecting. Literally.

#7 – Value Your Relationship More than Anything

Our relationship with each other is the most important thing in this life. I’m not just saying this. This is what we truly feel deep down inside both of us. This is what our marriage is built upon. It’s what we’ve seen work for every successful marriage we know.

When you strive to treat your spouse like royalty, it’s hard to lose sight of how important they are to you.

It’s my personal feeling (and Heidi’s too) that nothing will be of more lasting consequence in this life than being part of an amazing marriage.

*Strong Opinion Alert*

Nothing in this life is (or will be) more important than your relationship with your husband or wife. Not only will your life be blessed by your strong and loving marriage, but the world as a whole will benefit.

Strong couples produce strong families which produce strong communities then cities then nations. It’s pretty straightforward. Want to have world peace? Start by getting along with and loving the person right in front of you.