The longer I am married, the more I see how naïve I was when I first got married. I thought I had learned a lot after watching both of my parents go through MANY divorces and then going through my set of divorces. Even after almost nine years of marriage, I’m still learning how to navigate being married. I hope by me sharing these tips with you that you’ll benefit from it.

Fight with Love, Not to Win

Every couple has arguments. If you aren’t struggling at least a little bit, then you’re not HONESTLY talking. If you’re fighting with love you’re less inclined to say things, you’ll regret later. It also becomes easier to put yourself in your spouse’s shoes. Fighting with love causes you to think with a selfless heart, therefore, reaching compromises is a quicker process.

Make Time For Each Other

Life has a way of becoming hectic in a blink of an eye. Your week can start on a Sunday and be back to another Sunday without you even knowing where the time went. Before you know it, you and your spouse have barely had a chance to get a quality kiss let alone anything else.

This is a sure fire way to lose any sense of bond that may have been there when you first got married. Couples need to make time for each other during the busyness of the week. Not only will it help your marriage, but it will also help YOU to relieve some stress.

I watched what was supposed to be a “funny” video on Facebook, but all it did was sadden me! I know what it’s like to be a woman who is exhausted, stressed out, and having food that just didn’t sit well. If I turned my husband down that many days in a row, it would cause a significant gap between us. This would take more time to repair than giving him attention and the love he desires would have in the first place.

Couples also needs to strive to have date nights. Date nights do not have to break the bank or even be away from the house, but they do need to be about the two of you ONLY. It’s a perfect time to remember the good times and dream about the plans for the future. Plus, you can show each other how much they are appreciated.

We also have pretty solid days for date nights each week. However, when things happen, “like we ate a chili dog,” we set an agreed upon rain date. Notice I said “we.” We both need to know we feel wanted and appreciated, and this system ensures there is no doubt between us concerning that.

9 Marriage Lessons After 9 Years of Marriage. Which ones do you agree with? What would you add?

Work Together

I’ve always been told if you collaborate with a horse they are more inclined to do your bidding. I’m not saying my husband is a horse by any means, but he can be as stubborn as one. If I’m honest, I can be just as feisty as a mare. Just like as I mentioned compromise above, couples need to work together to keep the household and family running smoothly.

Regardless whether a spouse works outside the house the house or not, a single person shouldn’t be responsible for every aspect of running a home. Each person should have something they are responsible for doing or managing.

Everyone in our home is in charge of various tasks. We BOTH raise the kids and are active parents. We work together to ensure that they are taken care of according to what we both have time to handle.

Put Each Other First

I live less than 200 ft. away from my in-laws (all of them), but my husband still puts my needs and wants ahead of everyone else. My husband does A LOT for my mother-in-law, and she is very active in our life. However, he has always stood behind any requests I may have. There are times he overrides me, but not often. He is quick to tell me when I’m unfair to him and them. During those times, I listen because he always makes me feel like the most important person to him.

Our spouses are supposed to come first before family, KIDS, friends, or even work. There are times when other people come first, but those should be rare times! We will not be living with our KIDS all of our lives. Our spouses need to be our number one concern. Children need to see a healthy marriage! A healthy marriage is one filled with love. The only person that should be above your spouse is God (if you believe in him.)

Keep Troubles IN Your Home

When I was first married, I would seek input from my friends about issues concerning some of the problems I was having in my marriage. I thought that was what wives did. In most cases, it truly is what happens. However, I’ve since learned that it’s far better to work issues out with my husband on our own with loads of prayer and love.

It didn’t benefit our marriage to have outside influences interfering in our relationship. We had to learn how to be adults and solve our problems on our own. Besides, I don’t want someone else only to see the wrong sides of my husband. My husband has MANY wonderful traits, and I’d much rather have the world see those qualities versus any others.

IF you need outside help, I recommend reaching out to your preacher and/or a marriage counselor. This way they can provide you trained help. Plus, they can give you an objective point of view.

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Divorce is NOT an Option

Growing up, I heard the divorce word threatened and then actually take place within my parent’s relationships. As a result, putting an end to my constant insecurity issues was one of the biggest obstacles we had to overcome in our marriage. I was beginning to wonder if we would in fact ever get to that point, but we did get to the point where my insecurities hardly ever come to light.

I believe the reason we were able to lay those feelings of doubt to rest finally was that the word divorce was thrown out the window. I can rest assured that we will have our battles and we will go through the storms of life TOGETHER FOR LIFE.

Every spouse needs to know that their marriage is secure! If the word divorce or even the small dose of threatening to end your marriage has ever come up, stop it NOW!

It’s incredibly hard to love when you wonder if the rug is going to be pulled out from underneath you at any moment. When you can’t love completely, you can’t appreciate the good moments, and the bad ones just become even more profound. It is hard to want to fight or even put forth the effort to make a marriage last if there is a threat of divorce on the line.

Never Let the Sun Go Down When the Feathers Are Ruffled

Just like we need to fight with love, we need to ensure that we don’t let issues fester and prolong. It’s wise to try to solve the problems before we close out a day. Sometimes we can’t always reach a suitable compromise in one day. However, you can agree to disagree. You can close out the night with a kiss and provide reassurance that you will address the issue later when you’ve both had time to think about the issues. The key point here is do not go to bed mad at each other.

Encourage One Another

I don’t know of many people who do not have dreams. Dreams are sometimes the very thing that can keep a person sane when the reality of our worlds seem completely off track. My husband has always been my biggest support system. That has been one of the things I appreciate about him the most.

Often one or both of the spouses gives up their dreams for the family. It causes loads of resentment and other issues. When a person is supported by their other halves, they can grow wings and soar in ways unimaginable.

Sometimes your encouragement is the most vital to them. When you don’t support them, in some cases, they feel like no one else will either. Then they let their dreams die off, and they end up with living a life of regret.

Help your spouse to achieve whatever dreams they may have. Who knows their vision may lead to a whole new lifestyle that was twice as good as what you had before.

Laugh Together!

Yes, I consider that a lesson learned. I have always had a serious nature. However, my husband has always found ways to make me laugh. He takes great pride in having the ability to make me smile and laugh when I’m depressed or upset. I can do the same for him.

Laughter is truly the best medicine! It can bring people closer together in ways that can’t be described. Enjoy the moments you have together.

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I declare that being a wife and a mother has been two of the toughest roles I have played in my lifetime. However, they have been the most rewarding. I’ve grown and learned with my husband and kids in ways I never expected. I look forward to the next nine years of our lives together. I’m blessed beyond measure, and I praise God daily for my family (even those who are far away for right now!)

What lessons have you learned through your years of marriage?