50 Life and Marriage Lessons from a 50-year Couple*

  1.  Marriage isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.
  2.  Life is too short not to share with someone special.
  3.  If you believe marriage is a lifetime commitment, it’s never too late to try again.
  4.  Agree that no one is in charge of your happiness but you.
  5.  Marriage isn’t always fair, or always great, but when it’s great...it’s worth it.
  6.  When in doubt, just make the next apology.
  7.  Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.
  8.  Arguments are not allowed on vacation. Repeat mantra as necessary.
  9.  Once per year, take a day to sit and talk about spending, saving and investing.
  10.  Don’t go nuts if your spouse occasionally buys something you can’t understand.
  11.  You don’t have to win every argument.
  12.  Be the encourager for him or her you want for yourself.
  13.  Cook together and heat it up in the kitchen.
  14.  Get outside every day. Let Mother Nature nurture your relationship.
  15.  Be confident enough to cry on his or her shoulder if needed.
  16.  Save for things that matter.
  17.  Give him or her the gift every day of being 100% present in a shared moment.
  18.  Get angry with God instead of your spouse; He can take it and forgive quickly. 
  19.  Even on a bad day, you can still make him or her feel loved and appreciated.
  20.  Overprepare, then go with the flow.
  21.  Is the mortgage paid? Then let’s take a risk. If not, pay it first!
  22.  Before criticizing something he or she did, ask: “In 5 years, will it even matter?”
  23.  Don’t wait to treat today special: eat lobster, drink champagne, wear lingerie. 
  24.  Enjoy an awesome honeymoon-- even if it means doing it later (or again). 
  25.  Don’t take yourselves too seriously; no one else does. 
  26.  Give. Space. When. Needed.
  27.  Time heals almost everything. Give Time time.
  28.  Sweaty exercise can be sexy-- and showering together is fun.
  29.  Growing old together beats the alternative of dying young and alone.
  30.  Remember that apologies may hurt, but chocolate is cheap. 
  31.  What other people think of your marriage is none of our business.
  32.  Make peace with your individual past so it won’t screw up your mutual present.
  33.  If you have children, don’t contradict one another in front of them.
  34.  Your brain is the most important sex organ.
  35.  Whatever doesn’t end a marriage can indeed make it stronger.
  36.  Don’t be afraid to show your spouse all your eccentricities.
  37.  Show the one you love you’ll always go after what else you both want in life. 
  38.  Keep many fewer secrets than you thought you would before getting married. 
  39.  Marriage comparisons are a trap. Their journey is not ours.
  40.  Your children get only one childhood, so make it a priority.
  41.  Take a deep breath before saying that thing you think might hurt him or her.
  42.  Once per year, review clutter together and get rid of what isn’t useful.
  43.  Something doesn’t need to cost months’ worth of salary to be a great gift.
  44.  Do something each day to make it easier for him or her to choose to be happy.
  45.  Believe in the limitless power of love.
  46.  Realize that however good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  47.  Choose habits that show you want to live with him or her for 50 more years.
  48.  Always speak respectfully to your spouse; say ‘sorry’ when you mess this up.
  49.  Live like you believe the best is yet to come…
  50.  Love like you believe the best is yet to come.