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The Top 20 Lessons I’ve Learned From Marriage:
(in no particular order…)

  • It’s important to apologize, even when you don’t believe you did anything wrong. What you did do is hurt the one you love, which is enough to apologize for.
  • Unconditionally love your spouse. It’s too easy to leave a marriage when it’s based on conditions.
  • Appreciate the differences. Like likes like, but there is a reason that God made opposites attract.
  • Learn ways to make your spouse feel loved. It may not be the same ways that you feel love or naturally express it.
  • Everyone is predictable. Accept and adjust to your spouse’s predictable behaviors and emotions, rather than try to change them.
  • Allow breathing room for growth in one another. People change as life happens, but the core values of who they are will always remain.
  • Being happy is an inside job. Do not make it your spouse’s problem.
  • Do not set your spouse up to fail. Be their rock, don’t beat them with it.
  • Always discuss expectations. It’s too easy to fail when you can’t see the target (or are unaware that it’s even there.)
  • Appreciate and express appreciation for one another.
  • Forgive. If there is no reason your spouse would want to intentionally hurt you, there is also no reason to ponder on the pain.
  • Sometimes, a simple hug will fix anything.
  • Always respect your spouse. It’s very difficult to regain respect once it is lost.
  • Keep things in perspective. It’s a waste of energy to make big issues out of little annoyances.
  • Never blame your spouse. It’s usually not your spouse that you are frustrated with, but the situation that you are both in. Work together to work it out.
  • Listen. It’s more important than your opinion.
  • No marriage is perfect, despite what you see in the media.
  • It’s okay to agree to disagree.
  • Be grateful. You could lose what you love in the blink of an eye.
  • Always focus on what you can contribute to your marriage, not what you take away from it.

Happy 11th Anniversary, Craig.

I love you.