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The I Do’s & Don’ts of Marriage: Advice from the FCMB Mamas

One of my very best friends is getting married in less than two weeks! I recently put the kiddos to bed early, popped a grapefruit seltzer, and sat down to write my matron of honor speech. The word ‘matron’ makes me feel so old! Especially since next month I will be celebrating my tenth wedding anniversary. But I was stumped on what to say. What words of wisdom could I offer?

I can clearly remember my wedding day, standing at the alter looking into my husband’s eyes and proclaiming our vows to one another. And guess what, those vows were no joke. Marriage is hard work (especially with three little kids and a few business ownerships thrown in!). Back then I was naive enough to think that LOVE was enough. Little did I know that it was just the foundation of our marriage.

Over the past 10 years my husband and I have had some extreme ups and downs in our relationship. (Giving birth to twins when our little guy was barely 2 years old really threw us for a loop!). Lots of laughter and our shared love of sushi and Bravo TV has kept us going strong. We are both not the same people who stood face to face at the alter. I’m learning that we are both continuing to grow and change, and in order to adjust we need to give one another freedom and support. Also shared responsibility in caring for our children and our home keeps us grounded. Neither one of us is doing more or less than the other. It really is a team effort, but I still need to remind myself that we are always better together. So far we have survived all of our worst days.

This all got me thinking about the marriage advice I received when I got married. We all know that advice needs to be taken with a grain of salt, however some of it stands true. So of course, I checked in with the mamas on the Fairfield County Moms Blog contributor team to see what they had to offer. Here is what they had to say:

Realize you will not change your spouse. Accept their quirks and differences because that is one of the many reasons you fell in love with them. {Stephanie – married 14 years}

Never go to bed mad at each other. Always communicate! {Megan – married 10 years}

Play together (and not just in THAT way!). My hubby and I enjoy playing tennis together, Rummi-kub, Yahtzee, and even getting away for a night of blackjack! {Lisa – married 10.5 years}

Find little ways to surprise each other. Give each other’s hobbies/ books/ music/ food/ etc. a chance. {Maria F., married 9 years}

Keep dating your spouse. Kids grow up and leave; you don’t want your spouse to do the same. {Maria S., married 10 years}

When arguing “stay in Cleveland,” meaning stick to what you’re actually arguing about and not go off on a tangent and bring up other things. {Stefanie, married 12 years}

Laugh! Sometimes you just need to look each other in the eyes and laugh. Even when times are tough and your kid poops on the carpet. {Daria, married 4 years}

Communication! Don’t be afraid to be honest, don’t be defensive, learn from your mistakes, and don’t carry grudges moving forward. {Hilary, married 7 years}

Make time for each other! With kids, jobs, house stuff, and everything else you have to FIND the time to reconnect! Also be silly, admit when you are wrong, and apologize. {Nikki, married 8 years}

Don’t take your frustration out on your spouse, especially if they aren’t the one that caused it. Remember that they are your partner in this life and they are there to help. {Aarika, married 6 years}

Enjoy your kids together. Play as a family and make time to be away all together doing something fun. It’s so fun so watch your kids interact with your spouse as you make memories together. {Kate S., married 8 years}

Always remember where your love began. It’s important to celebrate the spark you had way before a house, kids, jobs, pets, etc.! Life can change, but never why you fell in love. {Elisabeth P., married 9 years}

As with all great advice you can either take it or leave it. Do what works for your relationship. So overall I guess my best piece of advice is to put in the extra effort. The love is there, you just really need to work hard to keep it alive!

How long have you been married? What advice can you offer?

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