20 Things Learned After 20 Years Of Marriage


My wife and I celebrated 20 years of marriage on July 1st 2015. I’m far from having any idea or formula for what makes any marriage work, let alone work for two decades, but here are some simple things I’ve learned and continue to work on in my marriage.

  • 1) Love isn’t just a feeling, it’s a combination of commitment, tolerance, forgiveness, compassion, and endurance.
  • 2) Even after twenty years, you can’t make assumptions about what you know of your partner.
  • 3) Change your views, beliefs, and opinions together, as much as you can.
  • 4) Look nice for each other, like you did when you were dating (and really felt like something was at stake). The effort is easier said than done.
  • 5) Spend money on a really good mattress.
  • 6) A fight isn’t about winning, it’s about being understood.
  • 7) Laugh together as much as possible.
  • 8) Avoid going to IKEA together at all costs.
  • 9) Kiss like you mean it.
  • 10) It’s ok to settle into routines as long as they don’t become rules.
  • 11) Move somewhere away from family, even just for a little while.
  • 12) (Kids cover your eyes/ears) Play strip poker or Monopoly or Parcheesi or something together because why wouldn’t you.
  • 13) Occasionally do something extravagant, dine at an expensive restaurant or a night at a fancy hotel (aka treat yo self).
  • 14) Agreeing is easy, compromise is hard.
  • 15) “in sickness and in health” happens more often than you think and isn’t always just physical.
  • 16) Family and money only cause turmoil in marriage if you value them over yourself and your partner.
  • 17) Don’t rely on love to get you through difficulties, but respect and admiration can get you through most anything.
  • 18) You are different people with different interests, don’t only embrace those differences, encourage them.
  • 19) Marriage is not like a battle or a war or a race or a marathon, it’s a house you build, sustain, and remodel together.
  • 20) Twenty years is only a long time if you’re always waiting for what’s next. Enjoy where you are now and it’ll fly by.