1. Always communicate. When you are going through hard times that’s when you have to communicate the most. Even when it’s painful. Talking to each other will save you so many times. Promise to never call each other names. Make sure you talk about money early and often – don’t let things get swept under the rug.
2. Think about marriage differently than most people. Being married is actually a huge responsibility because you have such a big impact on your partner in each and every way. Be gentle with the other being you are with, you hold their heart in your hands. As a couple you are stronger together than you are apart, and you can kind of see potential in your partner others might not see. So you push each other to be better. If that makes sense.
3. Remember that you control how your family and friends see your partner. You choose how you represent them to your family. Go out of your way to make them look good, tell your mom about the nice things they do, not the crap that you get annoyed by. Tell your friends how great he/she is. Now, if your partner does something dumb in front of them…you can’t control that, but for god’s sake don’t say things that devalue them in your family’s eyes.
4. Pick one person you really trust and get counsel and advice about your marriage if you are going through hard times. Ask long married friends for advice.
Never do anything you can’t tell your partner about. And conversely if someone tries to flirt with you at work/ restaurant/ store don’t flirt back and make sure you tell your partner about what happened. This will keep you honest. Don’t share emotional things with members of the same sex…that’s how you fall in love with someone over time, by sharing things. So make sure you mainly share really emotional things w/ your wife or husband.
Don’t cheat. If you want to leave then leave, but don’t betray your SO.
5. Share housework. Many women today feel pretty shitty about their partners because they never even try to clean anything. Ever. So don’t be that person. Split it, even if you have to write it on a big white board so you can remember.
6. Don’t expect him to read your mind. If you really want flowers on Valentine’s day then ask him for them. Again circle back to communication.
7. Help your partner stay connected with his/her family. Most guys aren’t the best at this so you can subtly help. Make sure your husband takes his mom out to lunch alone every month or so. She probably loves you, but he’s her son and let them connect and spend time together without you. I also buy my guy cards for family events, holidays, bdays. It’s not that he doesn’t care he just hates finding cards like that.
8. Over time the small things will bother you less, but don’t let that make you complacent about your SO. Never be so arrogant as to think that you know them completely. They change over time, so you have to get to know them over and over again. Reconnect with them often.
9. Never use sex as a tool to get what you want. That’s immature (instead communicate! and then have sex). Have sex often and learn how to do it well! It’s not rocket science. I actually went off the pill (after talking about it) and everything changed. I had some crappy effects of the pill, just FYI. Have sex regularly, it will keep you connected, and it’s fun. If sex isn’t good, talk about it!
10. In your marriage you’ll go from enemies, friends to lovers over and over again. You’ll always come back around to lovers if you communicate and keep having sex.
11. Don’t let your parents or friends fuck with/ meddle in your marriage. If they need to butt out then you need to have the balls to tell them so.
12. Have fun together. Do thoughtful things for your SO. Be silly, tease each other.