10 things I’ve learned in 10 years of marriage

Last month, Kyle and I went away for a week to celebrate ten years of marriage. TEN YEARS. Not long in the big picture, but you know, long for certain animal species. We feel blessed and bewildered and in awe of it all, really—I remember on our first anniversary feeling like we had already been married forever, but then I blinked, and years two through ten whooshed by.

Ten years does not a marital expert make, certainly, but when I think back on those children that said “I do” ten years ago this Friday, I’m rather floored by how much we’ve learned. Here are ten of those things.

1. It’s hard.

Anyone who says marriage is always easy has never been married, I’d wager. Staying committed to one other person for all your live-long days requires rolling up your sleeves and making it work.

Choosing to listen and hold your tongue; asking questions when you’re dying to share your brilliant advice. Sharing frustrations instead of letting them fester. Rubbing his back when you’d rather have yours rubbed first. And of course, the many, many things so much bigger than that, along with the million tiny little things that make up a day and a year and a lifetime.

2. …But it can be easy sometimes.

It’s also been a sweet surprise that a decade later, it’s still fun to be together. When we’re doing well, we’re doing well. Kyle and I both still enjoy each other’s company, and we have a long shared history full of stories that don’t require detailed explanation. Our marriage is work, but that work often makes it easy to live life. We’re grateful to keep short lists and delight in the crazy of our like-mindedness.

10 things I've learned in 10 years of marriage

3. We are still our own people.

Marriage didn’t change the fact that Kyle prefers snow and crampons and I prefer flip-flops and shorts. For the life of me, I still can’t get it through his head that zucchini and squash are some of the most delectable vegetables ever created, and that parmesan only makes them better.

I need more friend time than Kyle, and though I appreciate the high-quality craftsmanship of The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, I don’t agree that they’re the best movies ever made. And he has a hard time keeping weight on, the jerk.

4. Focus on improving yourself, not your spouse.

I spent the first few years of our marriage occasionally reminding Kyle how he can better himself. I don’t really do that any more, unless he asks or it’s a major issue affecting our relationship. I can tell you 20 ways I’d like to be more the way I want to be, but I don’t think Kyle has ever come to me with a laundry list of his requests for improving me. In fact, he squirms if I ask his opinion on one of my amoral personality quirks or preferences.

I was not put on earth to be Kyle’s personal Holy Spirit, I vowed to be his life mate. And to grow and learn and get wisdom as best I can, hopefully as he does the same.

5. Love the way they hear it, not how you want to show it.

It’s so much easier for Kyle to give me a hug or rub my back than it is to ask me what’s on my mind, or to tell me what’s on his. And I plain-old sometimes forget to sit close to him when we watch a movie or to rub his neck when he’s in the driver’s seat. That’s because my primary love language is words of affirmation, and Kyle’s is physical touch. (Ironically enough, switch those two and you’ll find both of our least important love languages—words for Kyle and touch for me. Thanks, God.)

Learn each other’s primary love languages, and remember to express love the way the other person best feels it, not the way you’d prefer to show it. In my experience, it gets the message across so much better.

6. Intimacy is a learning process that never ends.

Being really, really close to someone can be awkward and uncomfortable and awfully revealing, but the rewards outweigh the risks with your spouse. He or she is the one person on earth you should be able to bare it all, physically and otherwise, because well, they’re your life mate. They’re going to be the one who watches you get wrinkly and grey, and according to how it’s divinely set up, he or she should still choose to love you and find you marvelous.

Sex takes time to work well, too, so don’t give up on that learning curve either. You’ve gotta talk about it a lot to make it work well (well, with each other, not in general), and if I’m already being honest here, that adage seems to be proving true—it gets better with age. If you’re a newlywed and you don’t love it, that’s normal. But don’t give up—work on it. It’s really important.

7. Kids will change your marriage. It’s up to you whether that’s a good change or a bad one.

Parenting refines you as a person. In fact, I sit in the school of thought that being a parent is just as much about maturing you as it is about raising another person.

Kyle wasn’t a dad when we first married, but I was there when he was christened one. He’s a great dad, and it’s transformed him into a different guy than the 24-year-old I married. I’m different, too. So is our living situation. We have more gray hair, and the noise in our car is palpable. Heck, said car is a MINIVAN, which I never thought I’d see the day.

This has changed our marriage. Our one-on-one time is gold, and our investment in each other has multiplied eternally because of those little people we made together. There are also a lot of diapers and sticky hands and late nights and Diego, and we can choose to make those things tools for refinement or nails in the coffin with our sanity inside. If we go with the former, I hear it can be really quite beautiful.

8. Your spouse is your home.

You can live in Portland or Austin or Paris or Azerbaijan, as far away as you can get from your passport country or mere blocks from where you both grew up, and home is always the soil under the shoes of the other person.

Moving to a new place helps you align your loyalties to the person to whom you’ve committed, because it’s not easy, and because those apron strings tend to run long.

9. Keep dating.

In our myriad pins labeled home on our map, Kyle and I have had a variety of babysitting set-ups. Our favorites have always been where we’ve had regular childcare. In the first year of our married life overseas, we could count on one hand our number of dates—that wasn’t so good. Not a recommended strategy there.

So to solve the issue, we started having regular “balcony dates”—Kyle would run to our neighborhood bakery for a slice of cake to share, we’d crack open a bottle of wine, and we’d sit on our balcony that overlooked the city lights with the bay waving below. Sometimes we’d play a game, or sometimes we’d talk.

We’ve learned the hard way that it’s worth the money to go on a weekly date, even if tight funds mean balcony dates.

10. I haven’t learned it all. At ALL.

I’m still growing and learning how to best love Kyle, and I’m pretty sure I still will in 40 years. He’ll change, I’ll change, and hopefully our trajectory moves towards wisdom and grace with each other.

I also just learned (as in, ten minutes ago) that he used to love an obscure Rod Stewart song as a child, and was mortified later when he learned it was sung by him. Things like that? I love learning about him. I think I know most everything, and he’ll lob one out of left field in my direction. Thankfully, they usually make me laugh. And I hope in 20 years he tells me of a song he loved in 2012 but was too embarrassed to tell me at the time.

Clink clink, Kyle—here’s to us. The past ten years have been outstanding, and I think it has something to do with you.

Lots of you are married, so now it’s your turn—what’s one thing you’ve learned in your married years?

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. I just LOVE this!! I agree with every point. I’ve been married 20 years and I can only say that it gets better…harder in some ways but so much easier to just BE with your best friend every day. It is a comfort that cannot be expressed adequately in words.

  2. Thank you for a great post! Marriage is so worth celebrating! I have been married for thirteen years, and am so thankful for this wonderful gift! I very much agree and relate to your point that our spouse is our home.
    I will also take the opportunity to thank you for a fantastic blog that I have been following for years already. Now I have just entered the blogging world in a more active way, with my own blog. I would be honored if you would take the time to visit it. Blessings to you!

  3. wow … i really liked this. thanks for sharing.

  4. “Focus on improving yourself, not your spouse.”

    Boy is that one key . In other words, be careful not to focus on their weaknesses. If your focus is to change your partner then you’d better re-think it before you commit. Focus on their positive attributes and let them focus on their development.

    Good advice.

    Dan @

  5. It’s hard to “keep dating” once the kids come, but so worth it. Sometimes, all we can swing is a game of backgammon after the kids go to sleep. But sometimes that’s all we need.

  6. We’ve been married nine years. A few years into our marriage, I was reading Practicing the Presence of People by Mike Mason, and he challenged me to look beneath the emotion of anger and ask God to show me the truer, deeper, emotion lurking underneath. I have discovered that most of the time, when I am angry at my husband (or anyone else), if I pause for a moment to ask this question, I almost invariably find that fear or pride is the root of my anger. This little gem of truth has served me well and I go back to it again and again. It helps me keep frustrations in perspective and to forgive more readily. It also nudges me toward intimacy, freeing me to be open with my husband and tell him what’s REALLY going on in my heart. So many times we really aren’t arguing about the surface issue.

    Thanks so much for this post. There is SO much wisdom here!

  7. Love this! And I have found all of this to be true. I also think that moving a lot has brought us closer. Because no matter what else is changing, we are our constant!

    Congrats to you and Kyle!

  8. Robin from Frugal Family Times says:

    We’ve been married a dozen years now and I’ve learned that you can UNlearn some beliefs about marriage. I believed that one eventually falls out of love with their partner, but you stick it out for the kids. I believed it to my core. I’ve since wised up. Our love is different than 12 years ago, but ever present and weird and deep. Thanks for the opportunity to reflect, Tsh!

  9. Thanks, Tsh!

    We just celebrated 14 years. And I wrote about it too! (but not quite as lovely as you did!) Thanks for the reminders!

  10. Such wisdom here. We just marked 12 years so are in the same season. I love #4 and #5 the best. Not at all easy to do, but astonishingly important! xox

  11. We’ll be married 10 years coming up next May and just seeing the milestone looming is a little overwhelming. We’re gone through more in the last 10 years than I could have imagined. Making time for each other is huge. We thought we had that figured out and then we added a second child, two indie published books and a few other complications. It’s especially hard to make time for sex when you’re both exhausted and you have children who are very light sleepers in a very small house. I know people managed this for centuries and often wonder how. Whatever is most important to you in your marriage; Making it a priority. That’s means sometimes putting you and your marriage first not last. If I don’t get a shower and something decent to eat, having intimate time with my husband isn’t much of a possibility. So sometimes I need to take care of myself so that we don’t suffer.
    Congrats on 10 years of marriage. It’s a significant milestone that so many marriages don’t make it to. I’m glad you were able to mark it with special celebration.

    • Yes! Taking care of myself is taking care of my marriage and family. What good is a tired, icky-feeling, hungry wife and mama? Thanks for the reminder.

  12. This was great! Our 10th anniversary is this December. It’s crazy how ten years has flown by in some ways. We’ve been through some tough times, but God has been there when we called on him. We are so thankful for each other and our two favorite gifts, our daughters.

  13. Kim Johnson says:

    We’re going on 20 years here. I especially love numbers 4 and 5. The lesson that meant the most to me was to not jump to negative conclusions. When your spouse is at his most annoying, keep in mind that he is not doing it just to annoy you, and he may not even know how frustrated you are! My other lesson is, no mind reading assumed. If you want flowers, ASK. If you’re so stressed you can’t handle another minute, SAY SOMETHING. Do not assume that your spouse will “get it” without your using actual words.

    Great post.

    • Yes! The asking is so crucial. We even make a joke out of it, honestly. “Right now, I need you to hug me, not tell me what to do.” “Now’s the part of the show when you tell me what you’re feeling, not keeping it all in your head.” 🙂

    • Oh yes Kim, we have been married 35 years & I used to think my husband should know what I want/need but he didn’t. You have to communicate. The funny thing is now after all those years he often knows what is wrong with me before I do. Yes Iam very lucky to have such a wonderful husband, he is my best friend.

  14. Congratulations to you and Kyle! Fantastic post!

  15. I loved reading this list! And, I wholeheartedly agree, ‘your spouse is your home!’ I feel at home anywhere as long as my husband is with me!

  16. we’re about to celebrate our ten years of marriage january next year. thanks for the stuff you shared, i have learned so much and definitely would make my own list soon! glad to have seen your blog. love it!!!

  17. Hi Tsh! I love this post! I haven’t been reading blogs too much due to my work schedule but I saw this on your pinterest board and I’m glad clicked it! Also, I know you have been running, and you look fantastic in the picture above!

  18. The keep dating thing is such good advice. It can be so hard with little ones, but it is worth it in the long run. Congratulations on 10 years!

  19. LOVE this post.. I will be married 8 years in February next and the one thing I’ve learnt is also, what you learnt.. Improve Yourself Not Your Spouse:-).. And yeah, love they way they hear it:-) Thanks Tsh and Belated Happy Anniversary!

  20. I love this! I really needed to read it too. I have been married six years, and we were pregnant when we got married. That presented lots of challenges! I definitely needed to be reminded I am not my spouse’s holy spirit! And you cannot make people change, you need to be the change you want to see (yeah Gandhi).
    -Regular reader, rare commenter.

    • I love regular readers and rare commenters! No need to say anything unless you feel led to. Thanks for being one, and thanks for the words you did share here. Grateful for you.

  21. This is a great post! I’ve been married 5 years and it IS hard! I’ve learned that I have to let my husband be himself; I’ve also learned to trust him as the head of our household among a million other little things. And yes, dating is ALWAYS a good idea. And we don’t have kids (yet?) so I haven’t learned a lot still. But I take comfort in the fact that by that time we’ll have built a strong marriage that any little ones we have will draw from and look too as an example.

  22. I’m coming up on 20 years of marriage now, with five kids. #1 thing I’ve learned is to set my default response to conflict to “whatever keeps the door of communication open”.

  23. Michelle Dry says:

    Congratulations! Our 10-year anniversary is one week after yours! So this post is close to my heart. Thanks!

  24. Working on year 17 – communicate, communicate, communicate!

  25. Love this, Tsh. We’re at 16 year and counting. Marriage does take a lot of work and intention to make it great, but so worth it!

  26. Love this! We have only been married for about 2 and half years, and are still learning. There was so much wisdom in your list (and I saw some mistakes I/we are making, too!) …I am printing it out to remind myself of all of it.

    Congrats on your 10 years! Many, many more!

  27. Wow, I thought I was looking in the mirror when I read that. Your individual and married traits seemed practically identical to ours. I will do some digging, but I’d love to hear more about when one spouse is more introverted and the other is more social.

    • Good post idea! I’ll log it away…. 🙂

      • I would so love to read a post about that very topic. We celebrate 10 years of marriage later this year and I still struggle a lot with being married to an introvert when I’m such an extrovert.

  28. I love this post! Everything you said is true, especially about making time for each other after having kids. We’ve been married for 4 years, and my husband is truly my best friend! 🙂

  29. Love, love, love this post Tsh. Three cheers for the two of you. xoxo

  30. Therese Green says:

    Congratulations! We are a year behind you 🙂 I love this post! Great words of wisdom!

  31. Happy, happy anniversary! Congratulations. Beautiful tribute to a love story.

  32. so many of these i have discovered as well after being married 10 years. i have found the #1 most important thing to do is forgive all the small things and the big things so that a wall doesn’t quietly build up in the heart. marriage is the most refining and the most strengthening gift (well, maybe a close second to kids!).

  33. We have exactly the same love languages situation. That could sure be easier – but I suppose it grows us 😉


  34. You are lovely!!
    I don’t think I can add anything, this was such a great list! My husband and I will be married ten years this December. I look forward to many more!!
    thanks for writing!

  35. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. You guys have a good thing going!

    One thing I’ve learned is to not look to my husband to fulfill all my hopes and dreams! A person cannot do that.

    I’m also wondering if it might be good to watch fewer romantic comedies 🙂

  36. Mary Beth says:

    “The most successful marriage is the one in which forgiveness is often sought, and richly given.” -from the book Intimate Allies

    Our pastor chose an excerpt from that book to read at our wedding in addition to the scriptures we chose. That one sentence has stuck with both of us as the single most important ingredient in our almost nine-year marriage.

    Congratulations on ten years!

  37. I completely agree that marriage gets better with time. About to celebrate six years, and in that time we are DIFFERENT people. In good ways:)

  38. LOVE this post.
    especially the part about love languages. I have only been married for just over a year, and in that year, we have found that our love languages are also the complete opposite (actually the exact same situation as yours, unfortunately). That was a hard one to swallow, but we just took it as a sign that we needed to learn the other one’s language a little better. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s nice to at least have that knowledge of our languages in our heads.
    Congrats on your 10 years! Absolutely worth celebrating.

  39. I absolutely love this.

  40. Love this post. It is a mirror of so much of how I feel about my own marriage (only 8 yrs in though – you beat me!). Love and marriage and family… always an adventure! sigh…

  41. I’ve learned (just in the past few months) how crucial prayer is. There have been several instances lately where my husband and I could not see eye to eye on something. I prayed that God would change one of our hearts, even if it was mine that needed to be changed. In one instance, my husband ended up taking my side. In another, God used someone else to make me realize I should be taking my husbands side. Right now we are at a deadlock on yet another thing. I don’t know which one of us is gonna have a change of heart, but I really really hope it’s my husband! 😉

  42. Having moved six times in six years, I appreciate your comments about what moving does for your marriage. Our moves haven’t really been that enjoyable, and it’s easy to let the negative things overpower the positive ones. But some truly great things have come out of our moves.

  43. Thank you so much for sharing this. We’ve moved 17 times in 19 years of marriage – twice to other countries – and I definitely echo the adage that home is where your spouse is. “Home” is a nebulous concept for us, but we always know that it is right where we are with each other, no matter where that is, and every time we move, we know we have at least one friend there. 🙂 Also, I appreciated hearing about your “balcony dates.” When my husband was a PhD student in England and we had three little ones and very little money, our dates were at our little red table in the kitchen, reading to each other out loud from the quirky British newspaper, and eating appetizers, while the kids watched a movie in the other room and ate frozen pizza. We wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. Thanks for bringing tears to my eyes and for inspiring all your readers today.

  44. Wonderful words. Thank you for sharing!

  45. One of our early lessons: Different does not equal wrong!
    Having two different opinions or two ways of doing things doesn’t mean that one of us is right and one is wrong. Getting things my way isn’t any more “right” than the way Scott feels things should be. In the beginning, this was important to understand as we adopted (or set aside) traditions and methods from our families of origin. Now, it’s an important reminder in keeping the ego in check!

    12 years and learning!

  46. beautiful and wise! i found myself eight years in, nodding and nodding with you. so so good.

  47. So true that it is important to keep dating. All too often we are like business partners with the kids and the home. Going on a date (or making a date in) helps me to remember how funny I think he is – how handsome I think he is – how much I really like spending time with him.

  48. Love this post & I continue to believe that the main difference between an okay marriage and a growing marriage is the capacity to continue to allow space for each other to change. After 32 years of marriage, I am no longer the same woman that said, “I do” but in new ways I say these two beautiful words now today. Part of why this is even possible is because we both appreciate who we are becoming and that together we are making space to grown, become and expand who we are.
    Thanks again,

  49. The main thing is to be thankful, thankful, thankful for all the things your spouse does for you, and not to focus on the not-so-good things. He is usually trying, though he will not be perfect. I’ve been married 32 years, and I just really realized this a few years ago. I wish I had known it a long time ago. Just thank God and move on.

  50. Great post and so true on all points. I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned over our twelve years together has been that I am n my husband’s journey. In our first year of marriage I was in a Bible Study with some amazingly wise women. I remember distinctly one of them looking at me after we finished reading about the Israelites escaping Egypt and pointing out that the numbers counted only the men. “We are on our husband’s journeys,” she said. “And sometimes that journey may lead us into the wilderness. How will we lighten their load on this journey?”

    As my husband and I have recently walked through the longest, hardest and most difficult year of our marriage I’ve seen more and more the importance of my role as his support. When I didn’t understand him, couldn’t read his emotions, I had a choice to make the journey through the wilderness a little easier, or a little harder. Some days I did well and I was able to encourage him. Other days I failed and I made the path a little darker. In the end, we both came out on the other side a little more refined and a lot more appreciative of one another.

    Our role as wives is so important and shouldn’t be diminished. We hold a lot of power over our men. I learn every day how to use that power in a way that makes him better and glorifies the One who created him for me. And heaven knows, he has made me better! I simply can’t imagine life without the man who can make me laugh harder than anyone else. 🙂

    Thanks for the encouragement, Tsh!

  51. HA! You described mine and my husband’s love languages to a tee!! 🙂
    We celebrated ten years in August and I agree with your list!
    I would add that women should not complain, whine or ‘talk smack’ about their husbands to anyone except in rare situations and to a trusted friend. We vowed to do that early on and it has served as well. If something goes down, we deal with it or let it go. Choosing not to re-visit it over and over just to vent has proven to be a great tactic.

  52. I love this! I’m almost a newlywed compared to many of you (2 years this month), but I can still see how many of these lessons I’ve ‘learned’ so far.

    One major thing I’ve learned is to act toward your spouse the way you want to be treated (respectful, give them the benefit of the doubt, help them, etc.). Of course, this applies to everybody, but sometimes with a spouse you can get too ‘comfortable’ and let things slip. Thanks for the reminders!

  53. Magdalena Gutierrez says:

    Happy 10th yr anniversary to both of you. Thanks for these inspiring thoughts you’ve shared. This will be beneficial guide for us new couple and hopefully to reach ten years and more with the grace of the Lord.

  54. Loved this post, Tsh! But I also have to add… your 3rd little one is ADORABLE. He has darker hair than the other two. I haven’t seen a good glimpse of him yet!

    • Yep, he’s the only kid of ours that even remotely looks like either of us! Kinda funny how that happened. And thanks; I like him, too.

  55. In my 13 yrs of marriage life, i’ve learned that we definitely unique individuals. We can’t change our spouse to be what we like him to be, but we can compromise. I call it ‘win-win situation’. I compromise to his spontaneous character and he learned to compromise to my ‘organizing’ character. And believe me, it works.

  56. Congratulations on 10 years. My husband and I will hit 17 this year and I agree with everything mentioned in you list. Oh and I too cannot get my man to like zucchini, but I have been able to sneak it into his brownies without him noticing.

  57. This is so true. Congrats on 10 years! We’re up for our own 10 year anniversary this coming Feb. I found your words to be totally true for our marriage as well as we’ve spent most of it living in Madagascar,
    “Moving to a new place helps you align your loyalties to the person to whom you’ve committed, because it’s not easy, and because those apron strings tend to run long.” Indeed, when you’re in a strange place with no one else to lean on, your spouse becomes a lot more important. more of a sounding board, more of an advocate, more of a friend.

  58. I’ve learned that the point of a disagreement is not for either of us to win, but to expose truth. Truth may make either one of us look bad, but if we embrace that, we’ll grow.

  59. I’ve learned that life doesn’t revolve around me. It’s amazing (embarrassing, actually) how self-centered I was before becoming a wife and mother!

  60. I’ve learned that eventually we will work it out, so why prolong the inevitable by giving the silent treatment? Once I realized how committed I was to him, I stopped doing little things (like that ‘ol silent treatment) to sabotage our relationship.

  61. This is a lovely post full of truth. Congratulations to you both!

  62. Happy anniversary and thanks for the encouragement! I love this post! We’ve only been married four months and it is so, so hard. Some days I feel like throwing in the towel and I’m constantly reminded of my selfishness. Ouch! : / I’m printing this one out. I know I’ll be revisiting it often 🙂

  63. Congrats you two love birds! I’m so happy I got to meet your other half, Tsh. This is such an excellent post. Thanks for sharing!

  64. Love yourself first and foremost. Not in the narcissistic way but in such a manner that you are confident and contented in your own skin. Your partner will feel that. And that will make you lovable in his/her eyes…

  65. Hannah D. says:

    Congratulations! We just celebrated 15 years last spring, and I can so relate to all the point here. But I had to giggle at #5, since your love languages, and the discrepancy between them, match ours pretty much exactly!

    We recently read The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller, and found it so helpful and vision-renewing. Have you read it? A few of your points reminded me of things I highlighted.

  66. my husband and i celebrate 10 years this april…thanks for this!

  67. Okay, this is awesome. Seriously. I’ve been married for almost 7 years and these tips really hit home. I love the balcony date idea and agree that you need to make time for one-on-one time, even though it’s tough when you have kids…and a budget! Putting your spouse first is SO much easier said than done, but I’ve learned that doing so makes marriage so much happier and healthier. Thanks for this!

  68. Just wanted to say Happy Anniversary! November 2nd is a good day, it’s my birthday!

  69. I really love this post, especially the part about working on improving yourself and not the other person. My husband and I have been married 2 years in December and we have a 6 month old son. I’ve only recently stopped trying to change him into the “Perfect” man, because I realized he is the perfect man for me. His imperfections are great because I’m imperfect. All we can do is continue down the road of life, improving ourselves, and in turn we will improve each other.

  70. Thanks Tsh!

    We just celebrated our 6th last month. When I was first married, my pastor sat me down and she said, “Just always give each other the benefit of the doubt.” That advice helped me SO much, especially in the first two years when we were still settling in to the whole situation of being married. It has prevented a lot of fights from happening, just to take a second and think, “Wait, he probably didn’t mean it the way I’m taking it.” And almost always, he didn’t.

    And yes, after kids come, it is absolutely crucial to date each other as often as possible. Otherwise you go from lovebirds to roommates in two diaper changes flat!

  71. Thank you so much for the sincere words, Tsh! I have been married only a month, & it has been such an amazing journey already! We are both constantly looking to couples & gleaning what we can. I appreciate you, your blog, your podcast, and your insight immensely! Thanks. Be blessed.

  72. I am only 2 years in with my marriage and there is sooooo much I have learned and based off this post, soooo much more I will be experiencing. I can definitely relate to #1, it is hard, but the pros outweigh the cons

  73. I just found you and I have two things to say:

    1) Where have you been all my life?? I LOVE your blog.

    2) Thanks for the punch in the gut (I mean that in the nicest way possible). I needed to hear that I am not here to be my husband’s personal Holy Spirit. So true!

  74. This is a great conversation! I’m a professor of sociology, and I just finished a study of over 40 couples who’ve been married 40 years or more totaling over 3,500 years of marriage. They pointed out some of the exact same things that were said here. I’ve posted one of their love stories on my own blog at, and I’d love to hear all of your comments about their story. It would really help me out a lot for ideas for my next book about this study. I want to be sure I’m writing what couples really want to know. Thanks!

  75. melanie boecking says:

    Say YES to each other… everytime you possibly can…

  76. Happy Anniversary! Thank you for the great reminders. We’ll be married 8 years this December. We lived in 6 places in our first 6 years of marriage, so that really cemented our loyalty to one another. We’ve added 3 kids in the last 4 years, so that’s been a whole new learning experience for us. Thank you for the opportunity to reflect!

  77. Wow! It’s so inspirational reading this! I’ve been married for about a year and I have got to say, it has been the toughest one year ever! tougher than all the tough moments of the past 22 years of my life. I have learnt a lot in the past year. People are all made differently. we are so used to our own ideas and ways of life that sometimes even the idea that someone else thinks differently is bizarre. I just want to say to all the couples that are thinking of divorce! Please please please try to make it work. sometimes we give up too easily. In the past one year I have thought so many times of giving up. I am slowly starting to see that marriage is a lot of work and it can only be beautiful if it is made beautiful. It is like an empty canvas. It is entirely up to us to paint a beautiful picture and we are all capable of it! we just need to keep trying. Thank you so much for sharing your valuable experience. 🙂

  78. I stumbled upon your blog when searching for a synonym for the phrase “happily married” and I have to say I have found exactly that! How inspiring is your blog and your life! Great job and please do continue : )

  79. I’ve just stumbled on your blog by way of Ed Cyzewski, whose book on creativity I’ve just finished. I visited Turkey in 2007 and fell in love with it. I’ve only begun to read your blog, but the “10 Things in 10 years post” is spot on. I’ve been married 27 years. I am now an empty nester. I can tell you your ten things will take you at least as far as I have come. I especially love the line you wrote about home being the soil under the feet of the one you love ( My loose paraphrase…sorry!). Lovely thought and so true. Keep thinking and writing! Blessings on your marriage.

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