One of my favorite people here at work has been married over 9 years. I asked her for some advice on a long marriage and this is what she said (in paraphrase form): Treat your husband better than you would a stranger. Which is kind of an obvious thing, right? She said that you can't treat your husband like a sibling, picking on him or pointing out flaws, and you need to be supportive of your spouse, even when he decides to do something crazy, or when he might not be doing something well (or in Alex's case, he decides he wants to ride his bike across the country!). And if you would interact with a stranger by asking how they are doing or by being a nice person, you should always be nicer than that to your spouse.
I though this was pretty cool advice. Mostly because the advice is obvious, but it's not as easy as it seems. With stress, school, job, just LIFE, things get crazy, everyone get cranky and sometimes it's hard to remember to just "Be Nice".
Some friends of ours were married a couple years ago. In their wedding invitations, they asked guests to write pieces of advice on marriage. Another couple were married in a traditional Indian wedding, and the bride's married relatives came on stage with her to give her advice in marriage. Some other friends of ours asked guests to write encouragement or advice on small tiles which the couple made into a mosaic.
I love the idea of advice. I love that everyone has advice and I love being asked for advice or for my opinion because it makes me feel like people care about my thoughts and ideas.
So, I now propose to you: what's YOUR advice to a good, long marriage? Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
C & A