J and I have tried to live this out in our marriage. (We are not perfect we have our moments) But I think this advice paired with the following decisions we made going in have made a world of difference. My brother asked for marital advice recently and this is what we said...
We made the decision early on to live by these (some are cliched)
- We will be equally yoked to each other with God. (both our ceremonies had a Pastor and we made a promise to each other and God)
- Always say "I love you" and give each other a kiss before leaving each other for the day, the week, the year, and before going to sleep at night. (somewhere this became three kisses and now it is tradition)
- Never go to bed angry. (so far this hasn't been an issue for us because we don't have big fights we have disagreements that are usually solved in 10-20 minutes)
- Both of us will give 100 % (this was another piece of advice from the Pastor, he said it won't work all the time but if both of us are trying it will be better)
- If you say something negative to the other person you have to say two things positive to build it back up. (we work like a gas tank in a car if you take away you have to refill)
- Realize that some days you will be in a bad mood or he will be in a bad mood and deal with it. (on rare occasion both of us are in a bad mood we deal with that too)
- In the middle of an argument over something stupid use the words lederhosen and/or Fahrvergnügen, you can't keep a straight face when these are said. (this has ended some silly arguments in our house on more than one occasion.
- If I want J to do something I shouldn't hint, suggest, or assume...I need to direct. (J gave me this advice on our first or second date...if I want him to take the trash out say "honey please take the trash out" not "the trash can is full" or "the trash needs to go out" otherwise he will not realize it is being asked of him)
- If you ask your spouse to do something don't micromanage it. (give them the task and let it go it doesn't matter that they did it differently than you, J had a problem with the way I loaded the dishwasher, I had a problem with his laundry methods now we're just happy the other person did it)
- Love each other unconditionally. (this has been easy for us so far)