10 Things I have learnt in 10 years of marriage
Relationship and Romance

10 Things I Have Learnt in 10 Years of Marriage

10 Things I have learnt in 10 years of marriage
The first 10 years of marriage have been an adventure of highs and lows

Myself and High Command have just celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary.

I pulled out all the stops by cooking a romantic meal and we enjoyed a rare child free night at home.

One of the first of my friends to get married described marriage as a marathon, not a sprint, that requires continual time and effort investing into it.

Sage advice that has stuck with me over the years and that sometimes I have got right and sometimes I have got wrong.

Our first ten years of marriage have been a roller coaster of emotions which have been exhilarating, nerve wracking, stressful and joyful, all wrapped up into one giant bundle of experience.

I have learnt a lot over the years and here are my ten key learning points:

  • Importance of communication – clear communication in a marriage is fundamental to it’s success. As the hustle and bustle of careers and children take more prominence it is vital that clear and regular communication is maintained. Poor communication is often the key precursor to a marriage breakdown.
  • It’s all about teamwork – working together as a team within a marriage ensures that you all feel valued and succeed together. Through ensuring a shared vision for each other as well as the marriage, happiness can be maintained all round.
  • Shared goal setting – regularly setting and reviewing goals, both individually, as a couple and as a family ensures that everyone is clear on each other’s aspirations in life. So often couples fail to do this which leads to a disconnect and subsequent resentment within the marriage as one person is prioritised unfairly over the other. If left this can result in the breakdown of the marriage.
  • Compromise is key – as the saying goes ‘You can have anything you want in life, you just can’t have it all’. And this is so true of a marriage. Trade offs and compromise are key to a marriage’s success as you factor in each other’s aspirations and goals together with those of your children.
  • Couple time – making time to spend with each other amongst the challenges of career and family commitments is so important. Whether it is through a family member, friend or baby sitter, ensuring you have child care options to make this happen is very important.
  • Having kids is not a walk in the park – despite repeated warnings, it is easy to disregard the advice from others that having kids will be a walk in the park. Eight and a half years in with three daughters, and the sleep deprivation to accompany it, I now accept that the relentless pressures that being a parent entails takes it’s toll, and it is important to ensure that these are managed accordingly.
  • Me time is so important – together with time spent at work, within the family unit and as a couple, it is vital to set aside ‘Me time’ for yourself. Whether it is exercise, pursuing a hobby or catching up with friends, this provides a break from the pressures of work and family life and allows time for reflection.
  • The phenomena of flowers – women love flowers. I don’t know why but they do. Period! Setting myself a recurring reminder to regularly buy my wife unprompted flowers (as opposed to only when I have an apology to make) never fails to put a fantastic smile on her face.
  • Important to give back – it is important to not just take, take, take from a marriage in terms of time, effort and love and that you must regularly ‘deposit’ the same back into the relationship to ensure the other is happy and feels appreciated.
  • The power of marriage counselling – marriages are not all plane sailing and it is important not to give up too soon and walk away when the going gets tough. Marriage counselling is a powerful tool that can help you to gain perspective during a difficult period, reopen communication and help to steer your relationship back on course.

What have been the big learning curves during your years of marriage?

What advice would you give to others who are embarking on their marriage adventure?

As always it would be great to hear from you with your comments below 🙂

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34 thoughts on “10 Things I Have Learnt in 10 Years of Marriage”

  1. Great advice Tom yes marriage at times can be tough no doubts there add kids to the mix and it can get harder really interesting read #triumphanttales

    1. Thanks Nige – I think kids certainly add a ‘magic ingredient’ to any relationship which can present all sorts of new challenges that if you don’t work together on can lead to serious problems.

  2. It’s so nice to hear this from a males point of view. Marriage can definitely being hard work some days but other days, it’s the only thing that keeps you going.
    Thanks for sharing,
    #triumphanttales

    1. Thank you – it’s most certainly a marathon not a sprint to achieve success 🙂 – I love your point about it keeping you going some days – I am a firm believer in the sanctity of marriage and some days it has been the only thing that has stopped me pulling the plug too 🙂

      1. I’ve always understood that to make a marriage work you need both patience and compromise in abundance but yes, some days you just have to remind yourself that murder is a crime with a life sentence. 😂

        1. Lol – I get into trouble for stating on each anniversary what corresponding time frame and for what offence I could have served in prison 😉

  3. Firstly, congratulations! I think celebrating 10 years is an achievement. I think the most important point that I totally agree with is, spend time together -have couple time. My children are almost grown and Hubbie and I have more time together now. Many friends are splitting up because they just don’t have anything in common after their kids have grown. Sad really. #dreamteam

    1. Thank you so much. Yep I completely get the empty nest/suddenly realise have nothing in common. The more effort you put in the more you get out. Glad yours is going strong 🙂

    1. Thank you and very much appreciated – you are absolutely right it is a milestone. I am not great at celebrating my achievements and have to acknowledge that 10 years is an achievement! 🙂

    1. Congratulations on your seven years – excellent stuff 🙂 – team work for me is such a pivotal thing although as my wife often tells me I have to be careful that I don’t think I dealing with a ‘work situation’ when trying to manage something at home 😉

  4. Some very wise advice there and I should direct my hubby to your point about the flowers! We have been married for nearly 16 years and for us supporting each other’s goals is the most important key to a happy marriage #TriumphantTales

    1. Goal alignment is so important – the joke in our house is that we sit down over the Christmas holidays each year for our annual appraisal to discuss amongst other things setting our individual, joint and family goals 😉 (it works though!)

  5. Great advice. We have been married almost 8 years and have weathered much – redundancies, miscarriage, infertility, a baby (now a toddler), job stress, bereavements, caring for family members, juggling multiple jobs, all sorts. Communication is key and remembering that no matter how you might be grumpy sometimes or disagree on details, that you share the same goals, values and objectives. I’d have to pass on the flowers as I actually don’t like them but whenever he goes to the shop I get “a prize” (ie a treat like a bar of chocolate or fancy tea bags) and that is better than all the big fancy pants presents. #TriumphantTales

    1. Wow sounds like you guys have been through a lot and is testimony to your relationship that you’ve weathered it all. And nothing wrong with a large bar of chocolate!!

  6. Really great tips that could actually save a marriage. My top tip would be to check out you have the same values before embarking on marriage and be really sure you do. In both my long-term relationships, I have felt very hurt and let down on the loyalty/fidelity front and partly because my now husband has different definitions of those words to me. Love your tip on me time – I neglected that a lot and as a result am having to battle to remember that I was an strong independent woman and can be again. Sorry that is a bit bleak but if people follow your tips I think they will be on the right track and flowers are always welcome here lol #BloggerClubUK

    1. Thank you for you kind words it’s very much appreciated – absolutely agree about value alignment. Sorry to hear about your challenges which I can so relate to. It is so easy to lose our own personal identity within a relationship and is something I am currently working on to remind and redefine who I am! 🙂

  7. We just celebrated 8 years together and next year we’d have known each other for half of our lives and I agree with everything you’ve said above.
    I suffer with depression and went into a downward spiral after our first child. If it wasn’t for our communication; I wonder if we’d have got through all those low points.
    Unfortunately flowers are rare due to Hubby’s hay fever but I get them on the odd occasion! I also watch the odd footie documentary with him to make up for all the soaps he puts up with!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

    1. Congratulations 🙂 – being bipolar myself I can completely relate to how important communication is during depressive episodes! Well done on taking one for the team watching for footy docs 😉

  8. I’m with you on this – communication, compromise, support are all important. Time together as a couple away from the kids as well as time on your own are key. #TriumphantTales

  9. Hi Tom, having been married for far more years than I care to remember I’ve learned that it is so important not to lose sight our ourselves, who we are and what we want from life. Just because we are married doesn’t necessarily mean our paths are the same as our partners… My advice to newlyweds would be it is going to be tough at times and it’s how you handle those tough times that make the difference. Communication and understanding are both key.

    Thank you for linking up with #keepingitreal

    1. Sage advice Debbie thank you – I have stopped dressing up marriage as all a bed of roses – as you say how you deal with the tough times is key to a successful marriage 🙂

  10. Congratulations on your 10 years! That’s a lovely milestone. I agree that it’s really interesting to hear things from a male point of view. Loving your flowers tip. It’s the best when someone surprises you with flowers for no reason at all. Thank you for joining us for the #dreamteam 🙂

    1. Thank you. Yes I still don’t get the phenomena of flowers and how effective they are but they obviously strike a chord so worth every penny 😀😀😀

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