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18 Tips For A "Happy" Marriage

Celebrated 18 years of marriage this weekend. Figured I had AT LEAST 18 things I could share on the topic of marriage.

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1. Decide your own definition of "happy".

Only you and your spouse know what makes YOUR marriage a happy one.
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Only you and your spouse know what makes YOUR marriage a happy one.

2. Make time for things you enjoy doing together.

Movies, dinners out, hiking, traveling. Don't stop doing those things you love.
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Movies, dinners out, hiking, traveling. Don't stop doing those things you love.

3. Find common causes.

Whether it's helping animals or riding bikes for cancer, make the world a better place together!
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Whether it's helping animals or riding bikes for cancer, make the world a better place together!

4. Try to make extended family a priority.

Encourage a love and acceptance of one another's family. For better or worse.
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Encourage a love and acceptance of one another's family. For better or worse.

5. Encourage each other's dreams.

Who cares what the rest of the world thinks?!
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Who cares what the rest of the world thinks?!

6. Listen.

Set aside your phone, the TV, your personal agenda, and just HEAR what your spouse is saying.
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Set aside your phone, the TV, your personal agenda, and just HEAR what your spouse is saying.

7. Keep things sweet, special, sexy.

It doesn't have to be everyday, but a little fun and romance goes a long way.
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It doesn't have to be everyday, but a little fun and romance goes a long way.

8. Try and enjoy something your spouse wants to share.

You don't have to share a brain, but learning to like something he/she likes can do wonders for your relationship.
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You don't have to share a brain, but learning to like something he/she likes can do wonders for your relationship.

9. Give his/her friends a chance.

They don't have to be YOUR best friends, but even if they aren't your favorite people, if they're good for your spouse, be supportive of outside friendships.
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They don't have to be YOUR best friends, but even if they aren't your favorite people, if they're good for your spouse, be supportive of outside friendships.

10. Agree on time issues.

It's the commodity we can never get back so plan and use it wisely.
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It's the commodity we can never get back so plan and use it wisely.

11. Don't compare your relationship to others.

Just like we set ourselves up for failure if we compare ourselves to others, the same holds true for your marriage.
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Just like we set ourselves up for failure if we compare ourselves to others, the same holds true for your marriage.

12. Beware of secrets.

Some people have something they haven't been completely honest about, but be careful of those things that can be hurtful if ever revealed. Agree from the beginning to be as open and honest with one another as possible.
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Some people have something they haven't been completely honest about, but be careful of those things that can be hurtful if ever revealed. Agree from the beginning to be as open and honest with one another as possible.

13. Create your own relationship boundaries.

Only you know what works best for your marriage when it comes to relationships with others, job obligations, health issues, past experiences, or any other touchy subject that spouses have to deal with.
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Only you know what works best for your marriage when it comes to relationships with others, job obligations, health issues, past experiences, or any other touchy subject that spouses have to deal with.

14. Laugh together. Often.

Find movies, activities, books or even favorite stories that cause you to share a laugh. It's good for your soul... and the soul of your marriage.
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Find movies, activities, books or even favorite stories that cause you to share a laugh. It's good for your soul... and the soul of your marriage.

15. Accept growth and change.

It's likely neither of you will stay the same as you were when you married. For good or bad, change will occur. In both parties!
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It's likely neither of you will stay the same as you were when you married. For good or bad, change will occur. In both parties!

16. Give each other space!

To grow, to learn, to be your own person, to improve, or just have your own thoughts and ideas. You can still have a strong relationship if you stay connected while also giving each other room to breathe.
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To grow, to learn, to be your own person, to improve, or just have your own thoughts and ideas. You can still have a strong relationship if you stay connected while also giving each other room to breathe.

17. Agree to disagree.

This goes hand in hand with #15, especially if your religious or political views change over the years. Give peace a chance!
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This goes hand in hand with #15, especially if your religious or political views change over the years. Give peace a chance!

18. Connect.

Hang out after the kids are down. Get away on special occasions. Plan date nights. Squeeze in a lunch date. Go to the spa together. Play golf. Intentionally spend time TOGETHER. And use that time to actually talk, interact, CONNECT.
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Hang out after the kids are down. Get away on special occasions. Plan date nights. Squeeze in a lunch date. Go to the spa together. Play golf. Intentionally spend time TOGETHER. And use that time to actually talk, interact, CONNECT.

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