Sometimes it feels like every happily married couple has their own list of ~secrets~ that they've collected over the years to maintain their happy and healthy relationship.
Well, recently, when Reddit user PrincessAsia asked, "People who married their high school sweetheart and are still happily married today — what's your secret to the longevity of your relationship?" it gave us all a peek at that ~secret list~.
Here are just a few of the most honest, heartwarming, handy pieces of advice shared:
1. "Recognize that you’re both going to change over time, and enjoy that journey together."
—birdmommy, married 25 years
2. "The best thing you can do is communicate. Early in the relationship, I wouldn’t communicate my feelings because, as a man, it made me feel weak. This almost ruined it altogether. I opened up more over time, and I’ve gotten to the point where I'M the one who keeps the conversation going if I feel like my wife is holding back."
—The_Cawdah, married 8 years
3. "Support them in public, argue in private."
—adalab, married 25 years
4. "I try to make a point to ask her about her day, talk things out calmly, and pay attention to what she wants/needs. I keep a list of things I catch. Being able to listen to your partner and do something to make their day/hour/minute is something that really makes people cherish each other."
—WtKemp, married 10 years
5. "We've loved each other and we've hated each other, but I can honestly say that I've never loved him more than I do now. We love spending time together, and we've taken a childless vacation once a year for the past 10 years, which helps us reconnect. So our secret is quality time together and a lot of forgiveness."
—hiphopanonymouy, married 23 years
6. "We aren't jealous, so I think that takes care of a lot of problems. ... We know when to let things slide, and when to complain."
—HoustonJack, married 40 years
7. "Accept that — no matter how long you've been together — you are not the same person (meaning you're not ONE single person). You will have different interests. Trips alone are okay. Give each other space."
—JimBenningsHairDye, married 19 years
8. "Pick and choose your battles, compromise, and communicate."
—inwoodatheart, married 33 years
9. "Separate duvets on the same bed! I can wrap myself up all nice and snug and be warm, and she likes to move around and have 'fresh air.'"
—ColonialSpore, married 23 years
10. "We live by the idea: 'Each for the other and two against the world.'"
—robingallup, married 17 years
11. "Not me, but my parents — my dad always says the secret is to find a person who will 'stick with you.' My mom has stuck with him through terminal cancer at 18, tumor surgery at 41, heart surgery at 56, prostate cancer two times in your late fifties, and now another terminal condition at 62. My dad is a beast and keeps on fighting. My mom will always be there next to him cheering him on daily. Both of them are inspirations to me."
—extremenapping, parents married 37 years
12. "Be best friends first and foremost. We spend time doing things together and we spend time doing things individually. Also, I get along with her parents and she gets along with mine."
—Darth_Crispy_Bacon, married 22 years
13. "We talk about money on a VERY regular (probably weekly) basis. Money talks remain practical and problem-solving-based with no accusations or hurt feelings. We both trust each other completely with our spending choices, but still check in with each other on major purchases. There are almost never any surprises with bills. We want to work together to build and grow the life we have, so it's not a competition."
—Exvanlane, married 11 years
14. "Weird tip, but: Before you go and speak (or yell) in anger towards them, eat something. I have learned 'hanger' is real and the person I'm most likely to take it out on is my spouse. Also, when I've seen that he's mad for seemingly no reason, I've made him a sandwich and he's totally fine. I'm pretty sure it's made our relationship and communication 100% better."
—dustbunnylurking, married 10 years
15. "We like to surprise each other. Sometimes I'll surprise him by fixing something he likes before he can do it, and other times he'll come home from work with food, but he hides it from me just to surprise me later."
—pizzainmymind, married 10 years
16. "We realized a long time ago that a relationship doesn't always have to be equal, but it does always have to be fair."
—unhandy_handyman, married 22 years
17. "Get married with the intention of making someone else's life better, have children with that person because you want to care for them together, and always give more than you take."
—epidemica, married 19 years