So This is Marriage

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Image via Galit Breen

It's my twelfth wedding anniversary this week. So basically, we're in the tween years now. Our personality is defined, but we still have some growing up to do. I'll take that, it sounds about right.

Because of all the things I've learned about marriage–be kind, remember you're on the same team, have hobbies and interests together and apart–the most important lessons (to me) have been that both of us and our relationship are always changing and growing, to go with those changes gracefully, and to do so together.

April Masini writes the critically acclaimed “Ask April” advice column. She distills her best marriage advice to five important things:

  1. Your husband doesn't have to be everything to you.
  2. The more you understand what and who he is, the less likely you are to pressure him to be someone he isn't.
  3. Sex is important.
  4. Learn to be a united front.
  5. Keep working on it.

Marriage is hard work and requires your attention no matter how long you've been together. Five women share how they do just that with their best marriage advice.

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Image via Rob Fadtke

Tonya D. Wertman is an OC mom to her 5-year-old son and infant daughter, a reluctant dog owner, a lover of Dave Matthews, and an obsessive picture taker.

After seven years of marriage, Tonya's best marriage advice is “Marriage is not 50/50, it's 100/100, so show up, do your part, and have fun along the way!”

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Image via Angela Amman

Angela Amman is a freelance writer and essayist who works on her latest short-story collection when she should be sleeping.

After nine years of marriage, Angela's best marriage advice is “Our marriage is a lot like our first dance as a married couple repackaged each day. We have different favorite songs, different ways of looking at and experiencing life. So we focus on each other, figure out a song both of us love, and always find a way to make each other laugh. No matter what we're going through–positive or negative–if we take a few minutes to concentrate on each other, things are a lot less complicated and a lot more enjoyable.”

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Image via Kristin Nilsen

Kristin Nilsen is a Minneapolis writer, a children's librarian, and the co-creator of the Babygarten Curriculum–a program planning tool for infant specialists in schools and libraries.

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After 20 years of marriage, Kristin's best marriage advice is “I'm an extrovert, and my husband is an introvert, a seemingly unlikely combo but surprisingly common. Extroverts get all the glory in our culture, and introverted traits are often seen as something to be fixed, like a weakness of some kind. My marriage improved dramatically when I stopped viewing my husband's way of being as a defect and, instead, honored it as just that: another way of being. He is just as likely to impact the world as I am, he just does it in a different way. I no longer expect him to get excited about parades and festivals, and I appreciate his desire to stay home. Forcing him to do otherwise not only creates conflict, it is also hugely disrespectful. So now I make sure he gets what he needs, he makes sure I get what I need, and we find each other somewhere in the middle.”

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Image via Joel Schwartz

Keiko Zoll is a writer and mom living in the greater Boston area.

After six years of marriage, Keiko's best marriage advice is “The toilet seat will never stay down. There is always going to be hair in the drain. But at the end of every day, remember you married your best friend, and that's what matters. That's what gets you through the crises and the crazies. That's what keeps you afloat. That's what makes spending every day for the rest of your life with this person matter. That's what makes the sex so good, the adventures so much fun, and the bad times all the more bearable. Talk. Fight. Make up. Be spontaneous. Have fun and be there for each other.”

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Image via Alexandra Rosas

Alexandra Rosas is an overwhelmed, overanalyzing mother of three living life in a small town. The internet helps her make sense of it all.

After 20 years of marriage, Alexandra's best marriage advice is, “I'm not going to say that couples who say, ‘We never fight!” aren't telling the truth, but what I will say is that my husband and I are not one of these couples. We've had our disagreements over 20 years of marriage. Most over child rearing. With two headstrong personalities who believe in only making an issue when something needs to be an issue, the waters get choppy. What do I do when the feeling of wanting to slam the door on the minivan and peel out of the driveway at 85 mph, our children with me, seems far too tempting? I imagine my life without my husband. It brings me to my knees every time. My eyes well up with tears, and there's a lump in my throat. I don't want a life without him, and mere seconds thinking about that work like a bucket of ice-cold water on out-of-control flames.”

{ MORE: Cousins Could Be the Best Gift We Can Give Our Kids }

What's your best marriage advice?

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So This is Marriage

Galit Breen is the bestselling author of Kindness Wins, a simple guide to teaching your child to be kind online; the TEDx Talk, “Raising a digital kid without having been one”; the online course Raise Your Digital Kid™; and the Facebook group The Savvy Parents Club. She believes you can get your child a phone and still create a grass-beneath-their-bare-feet childhood for them. Galit’s writing has been featured on The Huffington Post; The Washington Post; Buzzfeed; TIME; and more. She liv ... More

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2 comments

  1. me says:

    congratulations

  2. mommy nhoj says:

    Happy anniversary! Cheers to more years of togetherness!

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