How to Stay Married for 15 Years…Part Last

Continued from Part 2

  • Find a Mentor, be a Mentor

As I mentioned in Part 2, a more experienced couple came alongside us during a difficult time in our marriage. They recognized our struggle, having experienced dark times of their own. Without them, we might not be together now. (And insanely happy, I might add.)

In the last few years, we’ve been able to “pay it forward” by helping several other young couples through difficulties. We don’t spout wisdom or platitudes. We don’t give advice unless it’s welcomed. You might be surprised, though, how often people just want to know they’re not alone.

Reach out. You’re not alone. 

  • Do EVERYTHING Together

I’m totally kidding. Mutual hobbies are fun, as is time snuggling up for a movie, but everyone needs a little time to themselves.

When we were first married, I used to hang out with Hubby’s car-restoration buddies. I migrated from sitting on a greasy office chair in a big garage, to reading in the friend’s house and finally to waving goodbye as he headed off for some guy time.

Don’t get me wrong; we love to be together, but he needs time with the guys and I need time with the girls. We each need time alone without kids.

This weekend, Hubby took the kids to an event by himself because I was invited to a friend’s house. Another weekend, I took the kids to my aunt’s house.

Plan time for what YOU love. You’ll enjoy “together” time even more. 

  • Do the Taxes

Do you remember Full House?

In my favorite episode, toddler Michelle is upset because her best buddy, Uncle Jesse, wants to spend more time with his new wife. When Michelle asks her Uncle Joey why Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky are unavailable, Joey says the newlyweds are doing their taxes.

Michelle asks, “Will they be doing taxes every night?”

Joey answers, “For the first couple of months…”

Several of the cards we received at our wedding referenced “doing taxes.” I love our friends.

Intimacy—in all its forms—is crucial for marriage survival. This article on ForeverFamilies should be required reading. (Read it.) Physical intimacy—SEX—(oh my gosh she said that) within marriage is important.

And yes, I said within marriage. Sure, the “fun” doesn’t disappear if you don’t have a ring on your finger, but the absolute trust and bonding that should happen is missing. Can you really give yourself completely to someone if they might walk away tomorrow? Great sex makes a healthy, happy marriage healthier, happier and more fulfilling. And it’s fun.

If you’re not regularly “doing taxes”…try it. Trust me. 

  • Guard Your Health

Taking care of ourselves while we have some ability to sway the balance in our favor is paramount. Of course, we don’t have real control over what happens in the end.

My uncle, in his 80’s, told me,

If I’d had any idea I’d live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.

In early marriage, we were in pretty good shape. In 2005, a doctor informed me I have Lupus. I freaked out for a while, took medication as prescribed, wore SPFLatexPaint and stayed out of the sun.

Our jobs required more time. Eating habits suffered. Gym time became obsolete. We both gained weight, a little at a time. The kids came to live with us and suddenly we ate more fast food in a month than we’d eaten in previous whole years. Pounds of candy and chocolate appeared for the children at every holiday, and we helped them eat it.

Then we had a bit of a scare as Hubby was diagnosed with Diabetes. In the last two weeks we’ve done everything we have been “planning to do” for the last several years…eat right, join (and go to) a gym, get better sleep.

We feel better, smile more and feel less stressed.

Don’t wait until you have a reason. Take care of yourself NOW.

  • Don’t Die

Sort of a no-brainer, I know.

We’ve had a couple near-death scares this year. First, our unintentional stunt-driving incident.

The last two years, we’ve remodeled most of the house; taking out walls, repairing bathrooms and completely restoring the kitchen. Most of these tasks were precipitated by leaks. The previous owner—let’s just say he made some…mistakes…while building the house. Like using less-than-stellar pipe connectors. And wiring the house in unexpected ways.

The second near-death scare happened last week. Hubby turned off the appropriate breakers to install new receptacles in the kitchen, bringing us to project completion. I turned away for a moment.

*FLASH* *POW*

The kitchen exploded in light and noise. I turned back to see Hubby, fingers blackened, holding the receptacle piece and panting.

Also, he was grinning. What a weirdo.

“Did you see that? I almost DIED!” he laughed.

I was not amused. If I ever see the previous owner again, I will kick him where it hurts. The receptacle was wired into another breaker marked for upstairs.

We start getting the diabetes under control, and he gets electrocuted. Super.

So yes, this may seem elementary, but here’s my final piece of advice: if you want to stay married for 15 years, try not to die. 

If you missed the earlier advice, you can find it here: Part 1 and Part 2.

Ok, your turn! Give us the best advice you’ve got.

 

About Casey

Adoption = my life. I'll give it to you straight. Success, failure, truth.

Posted on February 21, 2016, in Marriage, relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. This is awesome! Your great humor with very true points! Congrats on 15 years! I agree with it all and perhaps that is why we celebrated our 20th in December 🙂 The only thing I would add which I know you already obviously do is LAUGH TOGETHER!! A sense of humor really helps to make it through all those road bumps

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great series, Casey – you raise some brilliant points.
    I
    ‘ve been married 23 years this year and my advice would be – keep a sense of humour (about everything) and of you live with someone who can still make you laugh after decades, you’re doing brilliantly. Be patient and forgiving of other people’s quirks and idiosyncrasies – they may do stuff that’s irritating, but you are irritating too sometimes. Don’t expect a fairy tale because staying married can be hard work at times, but sticking around is worth it.

    And love – if you still, truly love someone years down the line, then you’ll be able to do all of the above and you really won’t want to walk away, no matter what life flings at you.
    Health and happiness to you and yours

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. Advice? I’m probably too young to give it from my own experience. I’ve only been with my husband 9 years. But my parents divorced after 25, and I sure know what went wrong there – when the relationship is no longer comfortable (in your comfort zone, no matter the few fights here and there, everybody has them), when you’re sick to open your door, then you know you’re in trouble. Also very important – admiring the other person; I think this is key. True admiration. Just my spontaneous two cents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, 9 years is nothing to sneeze at! 🙂 And you make a good point; a fight isn’t the end of the world as long as we don’t allow it to drive us apart. I like the bit about honest admiration; that’s also very true.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great advice! 🙂 Bookmarked it! And sending the link to friends!

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: How to Stay Married for 15 Years…Part 2 | Hypervigilant.org

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